Traditional Outlets Hanging On

Traditional News Outlets Not Dead Yet: According to the 2009 State of the First Amendment survey, conducted by the First Amendment Center, Americans still turn to traditional news sources for major news stories, despite the emergence of digital platforms like Twitter. Among the findings:

• TV was the first source for major news stories for 49% of respondents, followed by the Internet at 15%, radio at 13% and newspapers at 10%, which places traditional news media as the first source for 72% of Americans. Twitter, e-mails and social networking sites each were named by 1% of respondents.

• For 48%, TV is the primary source for follow-up reports on those news stories, followed by the Internet at 29% and newspapers at 9%.

• Just 3% of those who had an opinion on Twitter found it a “very reliable source of news” and 14% consider it “somewhat reliable,” while 21% said “not reliable at all” and 13% said “not too reliable.”

• Many Americans have yet to “tweet”; 49% of those responding didn’t know enough about Twitter to have formed an opinion. The “reliability rating” rose only marginally among the younger groups in the survey.

Source: First Amendment Center

â–¶ Moving Sustainability Forward: According to the 2009 Greening of Corporate American Report, released by McGraw-Hill Construction and Siemens, companies across the United States are amping up their sustainability efforts and increasing their efficiencies. Specifically:

• 76% of firms have made significant commitments to sustainability and as a result, the firms of tomorrow must be innovative in their sustainability plans to stand out in the market and gain a competitive advantage.

• Three out of four firms view sustainability as consistent with their profit missions. They expect that green practices tied to core business strategies will reduce energy costs (75%), retain and attract customers (70%) and provide market differentiation by contributing to the financial performance of the company (61%).

• The economic crisis has supported, rather than deterred, sustainability activity; 57% of those polled believe sustainability practices are either unaffected or aided by the down economy.

Source: Siemens and McGraw-Hill Construction

â–¶ Leadership Trust, Drivers and Direction: Despite the current economic crisis, global confidence in leadership among executives has remained relatively stable, according to a study conducted by Korn/Ferry Institute and Braun Research.

To rank the most important characteristics of leadership, executives allocated 100 total points across seven categories, resulting in the following ranked list of leadership “drivers”:

1) Strategic skill (19)

2) Operating skill (16)

3) Personal and interpersonal skills (14)

4) Courage (14)

5) Energy and drive (14)

6) Managing financial performance (13)

7) Organizational positioning skills (12)

Source: Korn/Ferry Institute and Braun Research

â–¶ Advising the Advisors: A recent survey of financial advisors and wealth managers about their business-building efforts offers insights into what surveyor Advisors Trusted Advisor calls “The Seven Steps to Business Building.” The steps, identified below, can directly translate to PR professionals looking to build their own organizations.

1. Goal-setting

2. Marketing

3. New business development

4. Centers of influence (COI) strategy

5. Gaining client referrals

6. Effective public relations

7. Client communications

Among the findings:

• 68% of survey respondents believe they have a clear competitive story to tell, but only 36% think that story is expressed in their marketing materials “excellently” or “very well”; 64% said “somewhat” or “not at all”;

• The most frequently cited obstacle to new business development was poor marketing, followed by a lack of sales process and tools and no clear plan; and,

• 37% satisfactorily set new business goals and just 35% have written business development plans.

Source: Advisors Trusted Advisor