By Rieva Lesonsky
With all the reports that newspapers and TV are being eclipsed by social media, does pursuing traditional print and broadcast media coverage seem to be a losing game? Not so, according to a new study by Allstate, which found that traditional media is still one of the most trusted sources of news and information.
Despite the rise of social networking, only 30 percent of respondents in the survey said they trust information on social networks either some or a great deal. In comparison, 71 percent said they trust information in newspapers some or a great deal, 70 percent trusted cable news networks and 64 percent trusted network news. Just slightly over half trusted company websites, while 34 percent trusted blogs.
Even respondents who were active social network users themselves had similar patterns. In fact, they were slightly more likely than average to trust public TV and radio (79 percent), newspapers (74 percent), cable news networks (73 percent) and network news (65 percent). Perhaps being active in social networks has shown them they can be unreliable sources: Just 36 percent trusted social networks—the same percentage that trusted ads.
In other words, there’s still an intangible trust factor when your business gets written up in the local paper or spotlighted on the evening news. How can you start a PR effort that gets traditional media’s attention? Well, here’s where social media has its uses: The Oriella Digital Journalism Study, which polled more than 600 journalists in 16 countries, found that more than half of them use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to find sources for their stories.
Try approaching local journalists by finding them on social media, watching what they are writing about and pursuing, and offering yourself as a source of information and expertise. Social media mentions may not buy you trust from prospects and consumers, but being active on social media can make you a trusted source for journalists—and earn you air time or ink in their stories.
Image by Flickr user NS Newsflash (Creative Commons)