Media Rely Increasingly on Spokespeople

The media's use of spokespeople as primary news sources has increased 81% between 1995 and 2000 according to a study by Bob Williams, an ethics fellow at the Poynter Institute. "As a reporter, you look around the newsroom, and the tendency has become to talk to spokespeople rather than to even try to get to the principals," Williams told PR Week. Council of PR Firms president Kathy Cripps suggests reporters and editors sit down with their PR contacts for interviews as a way to improve the relationship between the media and PR practitioners. "We're more likely to be candid with reporters if we can trust them to use the information we give them appropriately."