Social Media News Release lacked news

emailed me a link to a Social Media News Release he has issued at to announce the results of an online PR Survey.

This is a useful opportunity for me as a blogger to consider the usefulness of this interactive approach to presenting information. 

The facts are clear – although the “opening” seems to lack bite – where was the news here? 

I could click on a couple of graphs – but I’m just not sure that I discovered a great deal from this study – or the way in which it was presented.

Being able to see a pdf of the survey results was useful – but the methodology itself didn’t seem designed to really provide a lot of insight into online PR.

We discover that “99 percent of all respondents said that online coverage is either important or very important to their organisation or clients.”  I suppose that is encouraging – but hardly surprising.

Even the quote didn’t add much depth (here’s the most interesting para of three):

“Although the results are far from doom and gloom, a worrying result received from the survey was the lack of confidence PR people had in their peers’ ability to perform effective online campaigns. If this is a true reflection of the entire industry then it should be cause for alarm as the technology continues to move forward and the tight grip of the traditional media continues to loosen.”

But the question relating to this observation seeks an opinion about others – and as the 101 respondents weren’t experts, I am not sure what is the basis of their views:

“From your own experience do you think most PR professionals are capable of carrying out comprehensive and effective online PR campaigns?”

It might have been more interesting to know if they personally felt capable and what they had done to improve their abilities.

I think the concept of a release that offers more opportunities to dig deeper into a story and use multi-media is interesting.  And I applaud Stephen for his efforts here.  But that doesn’t get away from the fact that any release requires a solid story.

Sorry, Stephen, this didn’t do it for me.

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

3 thoughts on “Social Media News Release lacked news”

  1. Hi Heather

    Thanks for the links and your kind words about our SMNR platform, even if you were less than sold on the story.

    I agree with you that the survey lacks true depth, however as this was our first on the topic we were initially just seeking to assess the broader views on the importance of online within the wider PR community. In fact the reason for the relatively limited commentary within the quotes and the lack of analysis within the survey pdf was at this level we thought the results pretty much spoke for themselves.

    On the “being capable” question point, this is something we discussed before finalising the survey. Clearly bias is always an issue within survey questions and we considered that on balance a question relating to someone’s views about PR’s capabilities in general was less likely to generate a biased response than one about themselves. We also hoped that the follow on question regarding the underlying reasons for any lack of perceived capability would further limit the bias. However I accept that this is a matter for debate and we will give this more thought before asking a similar question in the future.

    As I said this was only an initial short piece of work to establish the general views held and we will be looking at carrying out more research in the future and would appreciate any suggestions of areas that could be probed.

    Oh and blame Stephen for the lack of bite, be assured he has had a firm kick under the table 🙂

    Thanks again.

  2. Adam – thanks for your explanation. I hope Stephen doesn’t bite from under the table. I will give some further thought to this topic and research among some of my PR students for their experience and capabilities in online.

    From discussions earlier this year and monitoring the area, I feel your study was right in respect of the level of interest – but levels of competency and experience are probably very low.

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