Survey Results: Do Journalists Actually use Press Releases Sent on Newswires?

BIRMINGHAM, England, September 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Technology PR and search agency Vitis PR has announced the results of its survey of UK journalists, which reveals which newswires/press release distribution* services journalists actually read and to what extent they find these services useful in their work.

Vitis PR surveyed 80 UK journalists from its own contact lists across a variety of industries. The survey targets included consumer and business technology, marketing, cleantech, ecommerce/retail and the automotive sectors. The agency believes that these results are also applicable across other vertical sectors.

Journalists, from daily newspapers to well respected websites and freelancers took the time to help the PR agency to understand:

How often do journalists use newswires?

Which newswires are the most valuable?

What newswires are used for?

How newswires should interact with journalists?

How often do journalists use newswires?

37% of journalists use wires daily

30% of journalists use wires occasionally

21% of journalists never use wires

Which newswires are the most valuable?

Respondents were asked to indicate which services they found most valuable in their work.

Of the journalists surveyed, 54% found that PR Newswire was the most valuable newswire followed by PA** (38%), SourceWire (37%) and Businesswire (34%).

Newswires specific to particular verticals were also mentioned by individual journalists, including:

· NewsPress (automotive)

· Headline Auto (automotive)

· Gamespress

· Technology4Media.

Based upon the comments Vitis PR received, journalists indicated (perhaps unsurprisingly) that industry-specific services tend to be more valuable.

What are newswires used for?

78% of respondents said they use newswires for news stories, while 56% use wires for article or feature ideas and 56% for monitoring industry trends.

The mass news distribution offered by wires is a negative for some journalists, especially freelancers who benefit from exclusivity: "From the freelancer's point of view newswires are problematic because everyone has the same resources. My ability to earn a living depends on the exclusivity of the content I can offer, so it's difficult to see where they fit in except as a resource for general background."

"I did once pitch a story from one, when I was much younger - the conversation went, 'I've just found this story out'...'Thanks, so have I', said the editor. Which kind of short circuits the whole thing."

Fact checking seems to be a useful service. Specific feedback includes:

"Writing news for a monthly print publication I simply use newswires as an easy way to find/verify information. They are often faster/easier than navigating corporate websites and press rooms. Links in wire releases to images and more information are particularly useful."

Jas Sahota, Director, Vitis PR commented: "We believe that the best way to target a journalist is to follow them, understand what they write about, pitch a story to them exclusively and provide them with good content. While wires offer the ability to provide additional information the feedback from our respondents is that (on the whole) newswires need to find a way to help cut through the volume of less valuable releases."

Full survey results: Which newswires do journalists actually read?

* Newswires in this survey are press release feeds or press release distribution services - these terms are often used interchangeably and, as one of our respondents pointed out, there's a clear distinction between services such as Reuters, PA and Bloomberg (which carry original articles by journalists) and press release feeds.

** Although PA (Press Association) provides news stories written by journalists, it also allows companies and PR agencies to pay for release distribution.

The survey was conducted over July and August 2012.

About Vitis PR

Vitis PR is a specialist B2B public relations agency, delivering high impact campaigns in some of the most competitive technology markets in the UK and overseas. Its clients benefit from an experienced all senior team, that is passionate about delivering successful, profile-building PR activity for start-ups and small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) through to listed companies. Through its SEO agency WebSearchOne Vitis PR also offers search engine optimisation services.

An award-winning technology PR agency, Vitis PR won gold in 2007's CIPR New PRide Awards for Outstanding Small Consultancy, silver at 2009's CIPR New PRide Awards for its work with the West Midlands ICT Cluster and silver at 2011's CIPR Midlands PRide Awards for its second Outstanding Small Consultancy in the past five years.

For further information, contact Vitis PR via


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