A survey of editorial staff has shown that – according to early indications – half of the respondents consider less than ten per cent of the content delivered to them by the commercial PR sector is relevant and that two-thirds of them want to receive less material.
And almost 80 per cent of those who have responded so far say that ‘follow-up’ calls to check if a press release has been received are actually attempts to pressure them into using the story, with more than half of editorial staff admitting to telling PR callers their press release has been received, even if they know, or are not sure, that it has not.
The survey is being carried out by Iain Fleming as part of a postgraduate Diploma in PR. He said: “The survey looks at a whole range of issues concerning delivery of content to news and picture desks by the PR sector and also shows that the method of delivery has changed significantly as technology has changed. For example, fax was responsible for about 90 per cent of press release deliveries a decade ago and is now nearer five per cent, while e-mail – unsurprisingly – now accounts for around 75 per cent of content.”
The online survey has been running for nearly two weeks and responses have come from as far afield as the United Arab Emirates, Ireland and the Isle of Man but Iain says more responses are needed if it is to be truly representative of the position across the industry and is urging all editors, section editors and news desk handling incoming copy and pictures to fill in as much of the questionnaire as possible, which can be found here.
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