Study Bolsters Blog-Related PR Practices

The trend toward PR agencies setting up blog-specific practices got a boost this week, as a new study found that more than half of journalists use blogs in the course of their work.

The research, conducted by Euro RSCG Magnet and Columbia University, would seem to support the importance of efforts like Ketchum’s “Personalized Media” practice and CooperKatz’ Micro Persuasion effort.

The Euro RSCG/Columbia study shows that more than 51 percent of journalists use blogs regularly, and 28 percent rely on them to help in their day-to-day reporting duties. By contrast, a recent Pew Internet and American Life Project survey showed that just 11 percent of the U.S. population as a whole reads blogs.

“The fact that the media are using blogs for reporting and research… demonstrates that blogs have an enormous potential to not only influence the general public, but to influence the influencers — journalists and the media — as well,” said Aaron Kwittken, CEO of Euro RSCG Magnet, in a statement.

Journalists mostly used blogs for finding story ideas (53 percent), researching and referencing facts (43 percent) and finding sources (36 percent). And 33 percent said they used blogs to uncover breaking news or scandals. Still, despite their reliance on blogs for reporting, only 1 percent of journalists found blogs credible, the study found.

Weblogs seem poised to wield a greater influence over journalists — and therefore over the stories they disseminate via the mainstream media — in the coming year. Sixty-eight percent of respondents believe that blogs will become a more popular tool for corporations seeking to inform consumers.

The report was based in responses from 1,202 journalists working at newspapers, magazines, online publications, wire services and broadcast outlets across the U.S.

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