What are the major trends affecting research?

Studies can prove an effective way to win coverage in print and online, but first you need to know what the media—and consumers—want to read about and discuss.

But PR pros need to recognise that what works for traditional media does not always translate to online. The two are very different beasts; therefore, it is vital to keep on top of current trends in print and online.

Let’s examine them.

Print Trends

On the print-side, it is becoming increasingly important to keep ideas fresh. Old-style surveys, which once created leading news coverage (celeb-based surveys, top 10 lists, formulas, etc.), are still used by news editors—but not to the same extent. A generic list-based survey on celebrities now needs a clever twist if it’s going to appear above the fold.

For instance, a survey that reveals that David Beckham or Cheryl Cole are the ultimate U.K. style icons now feels tired. (How many times have we seen that survey?) But recent GQ magazine coverage, in which Beckham’s son stole the headline, was a quirky slant on an old PR survey formula—and GQ achieved some great coverage with its research.

These days, PR pros need to be more creative with research for print media, by conducting in-depth studies on people’s attitudes and everyday life—delving deeper into lifestyle and habits.

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