Making Sense of Digital Preferences

10 years, 7 months ago


Carlos A. Mazalán on separate pieces of research into the digital channels preferred by journalists and the attitudes of technology companies to corporate blogging.

Exactly how do journalists like to receive information? Our April 2009 survey of journalists in Argentina and Mexico, taking a sample of 50 media professionals, revealed the following preferences in relation to e-mail:

• 49% prefer e-mail text only
• 45% want e-mail with pictures referenced in the server
• 38% prefer e-mail in html
• 28% like e-mail with attachments 

What, then, of attitudes to, and usage of, social networks:

• 51% use social networks for work and only 45% for personal use.
• 23% said they did not use any social network.
• Among those using a social network, 78% use Facebook; 64% LinkedIn; 33% Twitter; 11% Hi5, Sonic and other networks; while 8% use Plaxo.

Meanwhile, with regard to blogs and alerts:

• 64% read blogs for information
• 61% are using RSS
• 39% make use of Google Alerts. 

At my agency we have been reaching out to journalists every year since 1996 to find out how they like to receive information. Things have changed a great deal in that time. In our first survey we asked if they preferred to receive information by e-mail or fax!

Clearly it is very important for our profession to provide journalists with good content and we need to make sure we are innovative in the methods we use to deliver that content.

Corporate blogging

It is no surprise to see journalists increasingly turning to the blogosphere when seeking information. Yet a new survey of senior international technology executives finds mixed attitudes to corporate blogging. The survey by global PR network Eurocom Worldwide finds that only a third (33%) of tech companies surveyed have a corporate blog. The majority (63%) do not.

In a strange paradox, while bloggers are increasingly seen as an important and influential audience, many technology companies seem reluctant to blog themselves. The main reason that technology companies shy away from blogging, according to the survey, is that it is seen as too time-consuming – a reason cited by 36%. A third (33%) don’t see a value in blogging. One in five hasn’t thought about it, while 12% fear a negative reaction.

Conversely, the main reason for corporate blogging is to improve interaction with customers, cited by 51% of those who do blog. Meanwhile, 23% blog to participate in industry debates and issues and 14% say they blog to help raise their corporate profile. Finally, 11% blog to boost Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

“The interactive nature of Web 2.0 and social media is causing huge challenges for all organisations including tech firms as they adapt to the new environment for communicating with customers,” says Eurocom Worldwide Network Director Mads Christensen. “This is providing major opportunities for the PR industry which is best positioned to advise on the open and transparent conversation which the Internet demands.”

The overwhelming majority of senior executives surveyed (76%) say that Search is the most important development in marketing in the last 10 years. The survey was carried out in January and February of 2009 and covered 335 senior level technology executives with a broad international spread.

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The Author

Carlos A. Mazalán

Carlos A. Mazalán is the president of Mazalán Comunicaciones, founded in 1994. During these years, Mazalán has worked with more than 300 national and international companies and has been recognized as a pioneer in technology PR in Latin America. Mazalán Comunicaciones has provided consulting services to firms such as IBM, Microsoft, Lotus, Novell, Silicon Graphics, Oracle, Global Crossing, Google. Mazalán Comunicaciones has offices in Argentina, Mexico and a network of partners in Latin America. The company is a member of Eurocom Worldwide.

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