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80 Percent of North American Journalists Check a CEO’s LinkedIn Profile Before an Interview, Says New Survey by Public Relations Global Network

Importance of Social Media Underscored; Reporters Also Check Twitter and Facebook, Along with Past News Coverage, to Prep for Interviews

PHILADELPHIA (March 16, 2015) — CEOs, take note: If you’re going to be interviewed by a journalist, update your LinkedIn profile ahead of time. A new survey by the Public Relations Global Network finds that 80 percent of North American journalists check an executive’s LinkedIn profile before an interview.

journalists look to social media to research CEOs before the interviewThe survey of 50 journalists also found that 70 percent of reporters check a CEO’s Twitter account and 64 percent visit a company’s Facebook page before an interview.

“This survey reinforces the importance of a robust online presence for both CEOs and their organizations,” said Anne A. Buchanan, APR, president of Buchanan Public Relations. “Having a fully optimized social media presence on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook is a prerequisite in today’s digital world. Failing to do so can undermine a reputation and miss an important means of sharing information.”

In addition to social media, North American journalists also prepare for a CEO interview by reviewing past media coverage (82 percent), visiting the company’s website (58 percent) and reviewing the company’s annual reports and news releases (56 percent).

“It is striking that social media is now as mainstream an information source for the media as more traditional company-issued news was in the past,” Buchanan said.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Journalists show a slight preference for conducting CEO interviews in the executive’s office (88 percent) than by phone (70 percent)
  • During an interview, journalists expect a CEO to demonstrate outstanding knowledge of the company and market (94 percent), an engaging personality (80 percent) and a strong track record of performance (74 percent)
  • The biggest interview turn-offs for journalists are arrogant behavior (70 percent), failing to answer material or sensitive questions (66 percent) and attempts to influence what should and should not appear in the article (62 percent)

This survey follows PRGN’s similar survey of more than 150 European journalists last spring. Highlights from the European survey found differences in approach between continents.  The most notable was that European journalists are more willing to permit a CEO or PR firm to review an article before it runs. That practice is rare in North America.

About PRGN

The Public Relations Global Network (www.prgn.com) is one of the world’s top four international public relations networks. Nearly 50 independently owned and operated PR firms in 80 markets belong to the invitation-only network.  Collectively, PRGN firms have revenue in excess of $110 million, employ more than 900, and operate 65 offices.

About Buchanan Public Relations

Buchanan Public Relations (www.buchananpr.com) is a full-service public relations, social media and crisis communications firm and a founding member of Public Relations Global Network (PRGN). One of the Philadelphia region’s fastest-growing communications firms, its clients include large, global corporations, regional businesses, ventures and non-profit organizations.

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// // Commented by Jon Ericson, 29Feb2016 // // // //