Media Matters: Execs and In-House Counsel Reveal Who They Trust Most

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While certain social media platforms are making splashes (and tidal waves … and tsunamis) in the way we absorb content, a report by Greentarget and Zeughauser Group found that top decision-makers still value traditional media and expert sources for their news and information.

For the 2022 State of Digital and Content Marketing report, researchers asked in-depth interview and survey questions to 100 C-suite executives (most of whom were CEOs) and 100 in-house counsel. Their key finding, in comparing today’s landscape with that of pre-pandemic 2019, was that traditional media still matters.

“Executive decision-makers are looking to trusted editors and outlets for guidance in turbulent times,” the report says. “Both in-house counsel and C-suite members find traditional media nearly as valuable in 2022 as they did in 2019, with the category ranking No. 1 for the former group, and No. 2 for the latter group, behind publications and websites covering their profession.”

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Source: 2022 State of Digital and Content Marketing

As a valued source, “Publications and websites covering profession” saw a significant leap amongst C-suite members, with 2019’s percentage of 57% increasing to 80% this year. The third-most valued source for both execs and counsel was “Trade publications covering industry news.”

When asked what attracted them to the content they consume most frequently, C-suite execs and in-house counsel cited “Utility/usefulness” (72% and 75%, respectively), “Current” (60% and 65%), and “Source” (65% and 60%).

“Demand for earned media has grown during the pandemic because it is one of the most credible ways to showcase authority to business audiences on important issues,” says John Corey, Greentarget’s president and founding partner. “When a respected publication seeks out insights from a lawyer or consultant, that implied endorsement carries weight with executives — and demonstrates that you’re a recognized expert on the issue.”

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Source: 2022 State of Digital and Content Marketing

In terms of what type of content is preferred, articles topped the rankings for both groups. “Conferences/webinars and research reports also cracked the top three for each group,” the report says, “with decision-makers favoring content that’s educational, relevant, and easy to read and access.”

The report also interviewed 30-plus law firm chief marketing officers, finding that the distribution channels and sources they found “very valuable” for marketing their firm were LinkedIn (81%), traditional media (62%), publications and sites that cover the profession from a client’s point-of-view (62%), and trade publications and sites that cover “my industry’s news” (45%).

To read the full report, visit


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