Like anybody else these days, journalists and reporters have to do more work in less time. When they are looking for information, they use the web a lot (surprise, surprise!).

However, there are some characteristics of the way journalists, and especially business journalists, conduct research on the web that you might be interested in.

These are some findings of the Arketi Web Watch Media Survey (from a blog post on the Marketingcharts website):

  1. LinkedIn is the most popular social network among business journalists, with 92 percent having a LinkedIn account. (Eighty-five percent have a Facebook account and 83 percent a Twitter account.)
  2. Virtually all (98 percent) of journalists read news online, and 91 percent search for news sources and story ideas.
  3. Many engage in activities such as social networking (69 percent) and microblogging (66 percent), while more than half blog (53 percent).
  4. Despite high levels of social network membership, only 44 percent of journalists obtain story ideas from microblogs, while 39 percent obtain them from social networking sites.
  5. Eighty-two percent of business journalists say a company without a website is less credible, and 81 percent turn to a company site when they are unable to reach a source.
  6. Eighty-five percent call industry experts for breaking news.

What conclusions should you draw from all this?

  1. You need to be present online with a website, a LinkedIn profile for your company and a LinkedIn profile for you.
  2. You can start building relationships with journalists by following them on Twitter and commenting on their blogs, stories that appear on their magazine’s website and microblogs or status updates.
  3. You need to be where they are when they need an industry expert (fast): on LinkedIn.

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Jan Vermeiren is the founder of Networking Coach, author of the best-sellers “Let’s Connect!” and “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” and a well-known international networking and referrals speaker. For more information, go to his blog at http://www.janvermeiren.com/.