Where Did You Hear That?

In public relations, the WHAT, WHEN and WHERE matters: WHAT you say, WHEN you say it, WHERE you say it. A misstep in placement can render your words lost in the wilderness of indifference.

New data released by the Pew Research Center gives us the latest intel on where Americans are consuming their news — feeding our communications strategies at The Mach 1 Group.

Digital sources such as news websites, search engines, subscriptions and social media have been the primary way Americans consume their news for the last four years. Online sources are convenient, affordable (often free) and provide users with real-time updates.

Television — both network and cable news programs — still draw a large and often targeted audience, while radio and print publications have remained steadily behind.

While half of adults in the United States get news at least some of the time from social media, they aren’t necessarily using it to seek out news. More Americans relied on social media during the pandemic, but the numbers have languished since 2021 and remain behind news websites/apps and searches. 

What does this tell us? Social media remains a potent instrument in our PR toolbox, but it’s not the sole mechanism at our disposal. Pursuing traditional earned media and investing in search engine optimization (SEO) will often deliver a bigger impact.

A compelling story, seen by many, will transform public opinion. We strive to land positive earned media placements as often as we can, with as many reputable outlets as we can. The latest data tells us that this is still a strategy that works.

Read more about the latest news habits from Pew here.

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