For 21 years my dad was a reporter. A lot of my early childhood memories of him include the late-night bedtime shifts, holidays spent on deadlines, and urgent phone calls with his editor at The Baltimore Sun checking facts before the paper could be “put to bed.” My brothers and I weren’t the only ones who needed to be tucked in.
In the early 2000s, reporters were in a race with the Internet and the new age of social media. Every story had to be hard-hitting, well written, thoroughly reported and meet the deadline to keep pace with an evolving media monster, the World Wide Web.
Fast forward nearly 20 years and the question I grapple with is how do traditional journalism and social media coexist?
It is no doubt that American journalism is under stress and newsrooms are shrinking as this chart from Pew Research Center clearly shows.
Traditional newspaper subscriptions are down, and newsrooms are shrinking, but there is a premium paid for good reporting. A positive story can put a company on the map.
While journalists compete with social media when it comes to breaking news, they also use it as a tool for story ideas, sourcing subjects for interviews, collecting personal information, and gathering data.
A PR reporting tool called Muck Rack conducted a study called, “The State of Journalism 2023,” in which they interviewed over 2,000 reporters nationwide to learn more about today’s reporters’ social media habits.
Here is what I learned:
Takeaway #1: 44% of the journalists interviewed say that they consult a company’s website and social media in their reporting.
We advise all of our clients to keep an up-to-date website and share consistent blog and social media content. Not only could it catch the eye of reporters, but your website and social media pages are an important aspect of running a successful business. It can help to increase engagement, improve user experience, enhance your search engine rankings, establish your expertise and credibility, and keep you ahead of the competition.
Takeaway #2: 90% of the journalists interviewed use Twitter.
- 83% use it to follow the news.
- 78% use it to promote their work.
- 69% use it to find sources.
Using Twitter as a platform to engage with media reporters can be a great way to build relationships and increase your company’s visibility. By following relevant reporters, engaging with their content, sharing content, offering exclusive content, using hashtags, and monitoring for opportunities, you can establish your company as a thought leader in your industry and build valuable relationships with key media contacts.
Takeaway #3: Facebook is the second most valued network to reporters followed by LinkedIn.
Like Twitter, you should also consider building out these platforms with your company’s audience in mind. Facebook and LinkedIn can help your company build relationships with the media and your pipeline of potential customers.
Takeaway #4: This year, journalists plan to spend more time on LinkedIn and YouTube.
Short-form videos are becoming increasingly popular in new age media and storytelling. LinkedIn and YouTube are great platforms for storytelling through short-term video, which can be used as a powerful way to connect with your audience and build brand awareness. Use short-form videos on these platforms to tell stories about your company’s history, values, or culture.
Takeaway #5: 66% of reporters track their stories on LinkedIn.
Engaging with a reporter’s story on LinkedIn can be a great way to start developing a relationship with them. By commenting on their story, sharing the story, offering additional information, and being authentic, you can establish yourself as a valuable contact and increase your chances of being featured in their future stories.
Yes, keeping up with social media and your website can be challenging, but it is essential for building and maintaining your brand’s online presence. These platforms can even help you build relationships with reporters and establish yourself and your brand as a credible source of information.