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If You Produce It, They Will Look – Digital Content and the Media

As Bill Gates once said, “Content is king.” But in today’s digital age, the term content encompasses much more than text on a piece of paper, or even words on a blog when it comes to online media. Video and visuals are more and more common in professional journalism today. According to a 2013 PRESSFeed survey, 83 percent of journalists view images as very important or important, and 53 percent view video content as very important or important.

Combining multimedia and digital content with the written word is effecting some revolutionary changes to the newsroom. According to a recent Sam Whitmore Media Survey Tech Edit Spotlight, The Wall Street Journal and New York Times have both recently rolled out video studios, which offer a variety of interview and video options from live, in-studio (WSJ) and talk-to-camera interviews (WSJ, NYT) to reporter field interviews (WSJ) and still photos with a music bed (NYT).

Economic pressures are driving the new multimedia reality. The bottom line is rather simple— digital content drives online viewership, engagement and increases length of stay on web pages. According to a 2013 PRESSFeed survey, press releases alone see a 77-percent increase in views when incorporating images, graphics and video.

MSLGROUP Infographic: What digital content is most effective?As reported by HubSpot, 40 percent of people respond better to visual information than plain text. On average, publishers who utilize infographics experience 12 percent greater traffic growth compared with those who do not. Posts that include videos attract three times more inbound links than posts in plain text and result in a 100-percent increase in time spent on web pages from viewers.

Editors are pressing for more digital content because their bosses are pressing for more website traffic. And in some cases, reporters are getting dragged along for the ride. To add some color around our work here at Schwartz MSL, our Tech Practice surveyed 25 of the most influential IT security journalists to learn more about their take on digital content. Here’s what we found:

  • 80 percent of editors/reporters use infographics and video content in their news stories.
  • 50 percent of editors/reporters that don’t use digital content today are open to using it in the future because the publications they write for are evolving their digital strategies.
  • 100 percent of editors/reporters that use infographics and video are open to accepting unbiased, third party-produced digital content.
  • 100 percent of editors/reporters that use digital content produce it themselves, take it from technology vendors or use third party firms to produce it.

Our survey enforces the growing prominence of digital content in today’s media landscape. The value of video, in particular, is increasingly recognized by both leading business and technology trade publications.

With 100 percent of journalists surveyed willing to accept content from third parties, our survey also shows the unique opportunity for us as PR pros to collaborate with these publications on behalf of our clients to produce content.

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Alison Mapplethorpe

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