The latest research about the media and PR in the Middle East by Media Source makes interesting reading.

The bad or good news – depending on your point of view - is that there are more press releases filling journalists’ inboxes than two years ago. The Arabic and English language media are more closely aligned than previously, particularly in the 0 – 20 and 21 – 40 categories but there is growth across the 41 + categories. This is not really surprising given the enormous growth we’ve seen in the number of new agencies in the region through 2007 and 2008.

Interesting reading for the PR industry – there may be more releases around but more of them are being used. Whereas ‘none’ or ‘less than 10 percent’ stood at 55 percent across all respondents in 2007, this figure has dropped by 11 points to stand at 44 percent. Use of releases has increased markedly among the Arabic language press with 41 percent of them claiming to use a quarter or more of all the releases they receive. Virtually every agency resists the tag ‘press release factory’ but should they, in fact, play up their skill in generating this humble communication tool?