Gorkana Insight & Analysis Team
Financial journalists are becoming less inclined to use Twitter to converse with each other, their audiences and PRs, preferring to listen-in on conversations, according to new research revealed in Broadgate Mainland’s 2012 Digital Trends Survey.
The report addresses the current state of the social media landscape in the UK's financial services sector.
A summary of the main findings can be found below:
• Twitter ‘voyeurism’ is rife in the media: 43% of journalists said they primarily use it to ‘listen in’ on other conversations and 38% use it to research stories.
• Just 12% of journalists use Twitter as a tool to chat, falling from 47% in 2011.
• Email is the only preferred method of receiving pitches, there was no interest in being pitched to by social media channels.
• 71% of journalists believe comment sections are valuable additions to online articles for the supplementary information and opportunity for debate, most are happy (37%) or indifferent (45%) to the quality of comments their articles receive.
• While 75% of journalists indicated they were sceptical about Wikipedia’s accuracy, 80% of respondents admit to using it as a source for research. • Journalists who appreciate receiving pitches by phone fell from 19% of respondents (2011) to just to 8%.
• Smartphones are seen as the most useful tools when journalists are away from their desks but 22% still prefer a notepad to the 14% who use tablets.
• Robert Peston (@peston) was voted ‘most admired journalist on social media’. In second came the specialist pensions journalist, Special Projects Editor at Pensions Week Charlie Thomas (@pensionscharlie)*. Third place was a tie between Paul Lewis (@paullewismoney), best known as the presenter of Moneybox and ‘financial agony aunt’, journalist and broadcaster Annie Shaw of CashQuestions (@cashquestions).
• The Financial Times was voted the most popular website when journalists were asked to rate the top financial services company or organisation websites. Coming in joint second were the Financial Services Authority, Hargreaves Lansdown and Headlinemoney.
This year’s survey, which addresses the current state of the social media landscape in the financial services sector, was expanded to include in-house communications practitioners as well as financial journalists. Some notable differences in approach were observed. For example, journalists may be overestimating the amount of control PRs have over their Wikipedia presence. Only 28% of in-house respondents have ever tried to seek editorial changes to their corporate pages and, of these, only 12% indicated they had been fully successful.
“The fourth Broadgate Mainland Digital Trends survey revealed some of the real challenges journalists are facing in adapting to an evolving and sometimes cluttered digital landscape," explained Sarah Evans-Toyne, executive director at Broadgate Mainland. "It’s notable that this year’s survey showed more journalists were becoming professional observers rather than active participants in the social media universe. However, over half of the journalists we surveyed recognised the importance of building a social media audience for their careers and the survey revealed two in 10 journalists now have their own personal websites.
“Since we first launched this survey, a plethora of new social media tools and services have been launched, creating new opportunities and challenges for journalists and in-house communicators to work together. New challenges such as the debate over updating and editing of Wikipedia, how companies can best pitch ideas to journalists and the line between personal and professional social media circles will no doubt continue to be important considerations for years to come.’
For a full copy of the report, with analysis, email firstname.lastname@example.org