Survey Says, PR is Still in the Woods
I just finished reading the Public Relations Society of America's survey(PDF) with Harris Interactive about the attitudes of the general public, Congress and CEO/Executives toward the media, marketing and public relations professions.'
First of all, full disclosure. I am an accredited member of PRSA, and have been a member for 10 years. I also serve of the board of directors of PRSA San Antonio. As a local chapter, we have nothing to do with this survey.
Top 5 Survey Findings:
1. Most people report that they have a defined set of news sources they trust and use, other sources they largely ignore (71 percent). Anyone “Z-List” blogger knows that this is true.
2. Most people say that they actively look for news and information that challenges their political opinions and social beliefs (65 percent). This is where we have to remind everyone that this was a self reported study and that actions speak louder than words.
3. 42 percent of adult consumers say that they rely heavily on Internet chat rooms, blogs and other alternative media to get news and information. However, only 21 percent of CEOs and Executives get their news this way. 70 percent of Congressional respondants say they DON'T get news this way. (Hmmm, does the phrase “out of touch” ring a bell?)
4. The Trust Factor. Out of 11 categories, PR came in 7th for trust. The only groups trusted less were conservative and liberal talk show hosts, entertainers or celebrities who support causes or issues, and people who work in advertising. The number one trusted news source was PBS and NPR. This shows that most people consider the motive when they consume messages.
5. Most people, in all categories, see PR as an important tool to get media to address things they wouldn't otherwise. But, they also know that PR isn't objective and that it can be used to take advantage or mislead.
more on what other lessons PR folk can take from this survey later…