The British PR company Edelman has been doing an international survey on the topic of "trust" for eleven years now. Because they are a communications company some of the questions always drift over into media topics. This year's study (2011) was no different. With 5,075 responses from 23 countries the study offers an international perspective often hard to find. One finding answers a questions many in the B to B world ask a lot these days: how do people now find out information about companies? This is an important question ask because as potential buyers begin searching for information, understanding where they are looking helps marketers know how to reach them at this critical time.
When respondent were asked where they "generally go first" for information about a company, search was the top choice (29%), followed by on-line news sites (19%), and then print sources (15%). Going to the company website received only 11%, and social media only 5%.
• When people want news about a company, the perspective of a 3rd party seems very important, otherwise why wouldn't they just go to the website of the company in question?
• With all the consumer buzz over social media, it does not seem to hold up well as a business news source. Great place to keep up with friends? Yes. Place to find information about companies? Not so much.
• For those who say that print is finished as a communications medium, think again. While a third place finish may not be great compared to a few years ago, it is still prominently on the map.
Download the entire Edelman study HERE.