Corporate blogs are the most useful of all social channels for media when researching articles, followed by Wikipedia and Twitter, according to research undertaken by Text 100, which quizzed 72 journalists on how they use social media in their professional lives, finding that on average three different social media channels are used to prepare each story.

When asked to rate the comparative usefulness of different channels for carrying out research into businesses or products, company blogs were felt to be more valuable than any other social media platform. While Twitter and YouTube ranked as being of greater use than LinkedIn and Facebook, the research highlights the importance for brands in building compelling content through ‘owned’ web properties.

Surprisingly, journalists still ranked the much maligned press release as a more useful information source than any social media channel.

According to Dan Baxter, managing director of Text 100, “These findings highlight the importance of implementing solid brand journalism programs to ensure corporate blogs provide the media and other influencers with the right kind of content. The ability to create timely, personalized content is increasingly valued by media who remain the single biggest driver of online discussion.

“While traditional communications channels such as press releases remain important brands are missing out by not embracing a balanced approach across all social channels.”

The study also found that contact by PR professionals is welcomed through social media channels. While 85 percent of journalists welcome PR contact through their Twitter profiles and 84 percent are happy to approached via LinkedIn, only 42 percent of media welcome contact via Facebook.