Greg Galant

2019 Finance Journalists Survey: What it Means for Comms Pros

By: Greg Galant | January 7, 2019 | 
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journalists There are now more communications professionals than journalists than ever before.

Today, it’s more difficult for comms pros to get coverage and make an impact.

It’s a challenging time for both professions.

Recently, Muck Rack spoke with journalists to get their insights on how the media is changing.

In the 2018 Annual Journalist Survey, journalists were asked about pitching and social media trends along with the state of the industry.

As a follow-up, we connected with finance journalists to get their perspective on what’s to come in 2019.

Here are a few of the highlights of the 2019 Financial Services Journalist Survey:

  • Fifty percent of finance journalists expect to spend less time on Facebook.
  • The top three topics in 2019 will be cybersecurity (57.5 percent), fintech (41.6 percent), and tax reform (35.8 percent).
  • Nearly 58 percent of journalists consult a company’s social media channels when reporting on it.

Now, let’s dig further into the survey findings.

Industry and Social Media Trends

According to journalists taking the survey, cybersecurity, fintech, and tax reform are among the most important topics that will see coverage in 2019.

Notably, AI and cryptocurrency are topics that closely follow those predictions.

Consistent with past survey results, journalists said online newspapers and magazines were their primary news source (60 percent), followed by Twitter (25 percent).

Additionally, 39 percent expect to spend more time on Twitter in 2019. While 50 percent expect to spend less time on Facebook.

And in today’s media environment, we consume and distribute news primarily on social media. That makes the nature of PR and journalism extremely time-sensitive.

We all know information can go viral and spread globally within seconds. So it’s not surprising that almost 76 percent of journalists say social media is a valuable source for finding news to report on.

Having a strong social media presence and working social into your overall communications strategy is also a good way to seize timely media opportunities.

Accordingly, 58 percent of journalists consult a company’s social media channels when reporting on them.

And don’t forget to include visuals. Images, videos, and infographics go a long way in increasing engagement. Including these makes content more share-worthy and appealing to your audience.

Journalists and Outlook on Finance Industry

With recent changes in legislation, potential reforms, and fluctuations in the stock market, the financial industry must contend with many external forces.

Despite the rollercoaster in the market this year, half of the journalists surveyed say the current business environment for the financial industry is more positive than it was a year ago.

And 38 percent say the business environment will become more positive in 2019. Whereas, only 29 percent say it will be more negative.

Notably, industry-specific journalists are generally more positive about the business environment they’re covering. However, 45 percent of journalists from the 2018 survey were pessimistic about the journalism profession as a whole.

However, journalists outside of the U.S. seem to be a bit more optimistic about the direction their industry is heading than U.S.-based journalists.

Media Relations

Over the years, our research has found that a lack of personalization is the number one reason journalists reject pitches.

According to this survey, 60 percent of journalists say they reject pitches for this very reason.

And 56 percent of journalists don’t like receiving pitches via social media at all.

Here are five key takeaways for communications pros:

  1. Build a social media presence for your client or your company.
  2. Implement a social media strategy to maximize opportunities and mitigate potential crises.
  3. Personalize your media pitches.
  4. Attend finance industry conferences to keep up with news and trending topics.
  5. Keep track of what journalists are saying on social media and which articles they’re sharing there.

Use Survey Results for Success

Stay on top of the news, trends, and important topics by reading online newspapers or magazines. Pick a few key news organizations and follow them on social media channels.

Twitter is a good source for news as it is happening. And LinkedIn is a good resource for corporate news and emerging industry trends.

But keep in mind, you need to check the facts when curating content from social media channels.

Here are a few more key statistics from this survey:

  • Academic subject matter experts (91.6 percent), industry CEOs and executives (89.1 percent) and company PR professionals (52.5 percent) are among the most credible sources for their reporting.
  • Eighty-five percent of journalists believe the most trusted sources in the financial industry today are print newspapers and by online newspapers (83.3 percent).
  • And 63 percent of journalists find it important to attend finance industry conferences as a way to keep up with news and trending topic.
  • Almost forty-two percent of journalists think the way most companies share information with the media is outdated.
  • Not surprisingly, 74 percent of journalists track how many times their story has been shared on social media.
  • And 79 percent agree that when reporting on the sector, they prefer traditional numerical and fact-based disclosures.
  • While 49 percent agree that when researching a company they’re reporting on, they would like to see more visual ways of sharing information (g., images, video, infographics).

So now you can take the results of this 2019 Financial Services Journalist Survey and incorporate them into your communications strategy.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

About Greg Galant


Gregory Galant is the co-founder and CEO of Muck Rack, a digital PR and journalism platform. He’s also the co-creator and executive producer of The Shorty Awards honoring the best of social media. Greg's also a member of Twitter's exclusive first name club. You can follow him at @gregory.