SSN readers look online for news

Readers’ interest in business news, new technologies, and industry analysis almost equal
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

YARMOUTH, Maine—News happens daily in the security industry, and most of Security Systems News’ readers stay current through online sources and what’s sent out through email, according to SSN’s latest News Poll.

When it comes to news, “[The] preference is on relevance—what will help the company be better positioned for business growth now and in the immediate future and what solutions will best fit our customers and their long-term strategy,” John Wilkinson, general manager at RFI Communications and Security Systems, said.

One company has a system for sharing industry information. “We try to put anything we get in print in the appropriate employees’ mail boxes. Technical and product magazines in the technicians’ boxes, industry trends in the administrators’ boxes,” Jason Brinton, owner of Brinton Electric Security Services, said. “Any articles online we find, we forward links in the same fashion to the employee’s individual email address for them to read.”

Brinton credited staying current on the industry for the company’s year-after-year growth. “It helps us to see where others have failed or excelled and how they did it,” he said.

The number of respondents preferring online sources was evenly split with those who predominantly read newswires and email blasts—42 percent. “There's a lot of info out there, and reading what's pushed out is sometimes easier and quicker than seeking out info,” one respondent said.

Sixteen percent said that they prefer to read their news in print.

Among newer media—such as podcasts, webcasts and social media or industry bloggers—almost half said that they prefer social media. “I mostly use Twitter ... I follow various news outlets and other sources for news updates,” said another reader.

“I still love reading the print version of Security Systems News, but for immediate news updates Twitter is my first source,” John Carmichael, regional security manager for Anixter, responded. 

“As for bloggers, I steer away from the sensationalists, looking for more informed analysis of the industry,” Carmichael said.

Second to social media, 43 percent said they like webcasts. Nine percent chose podcast as their favorite new media format. “Podcasts are perfect for driving, online articles during the time I'm at my computer, and [I prefer] print for when I'm on a plane or need to detach from a screen,” Brian Matthews, director of sales at Feenics, said.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they read news about security trends and analysis first. Business news, such as mergers and acquisitions, is the top priority for 35 percent. Twenty-eight percent are focused on new technologies or products.