How Consumers Find Digital News

Sample news website on digital tablet. Contents are all made up.

According to a piece in PRSA’s Public Relations Tactics, Americans today are getting their news differently than they have in the past. According to a new study from Pew Research Center, social media and direct visits to news-organization websites are now the most common ways to get news. Consumers are just about equally as likely to get their news through these two means.

However, news that is shared by friends and family through text and email spurred the most activity from readers, with 73 percent of them doing things like searching for more information or sharing the story with others. To compare, only 53 percent of news found via social media and 47 percent of news found from direct visits to news outlets’ websites spurred these same actions.

Another important statistic that has implications for media companies is that consumers can only recall the source of the news that they have read 56 percent of the time. They’re more likely to remember where the story came from when the link comes directly from the publisher, as opposed to being shared with them through social media or from a friend.

These statistics are important because knowing the role of social media in disseminating news and the critical value of social sharing can help PR professionals craft strategies and tactical plans that will help clients best reach their audiences and also amplify the reach of their traditional media coverage. By incorporating this knowledge into their plans, agencies will be able to better service their clients.