Media Relations: Journalists Feel Pressure to Make Stories Shareable

By on Saturday, March 7, 2015

Three out of four journalists say they are feeling more pressure to think about how a story could potentially be shared on social media, says a new survey by Muckrack and Edelman of 251 journalists in late 2014. This means the stakes are going up for everyone who hopes to see a story in print, on the air, in the sound waves or online. We have to be even more well-prepared with great stories, photos, videos and more. The survey also revealed a few more interesting tidbits about reporters and their social media use:

Twitter is their preferred social media platform. Eighty-six percent said they check Twitter several times per day. Seventy-five percent say they are using Twitter to build their personal brand and 78% say it is the most used social platform for their profession.

Photos and connecting to a broader trending story make your content shareable. Eighty-two percent of journalists responding to the survey said that having a photo makes content shareable. Sixty-six percent prefer content that can be linked to a bigger picture story that is already trending. Nearly half (48%) said shareable content can be easily localized or made relevant to a target audience.

When video is shared by a reporter – journalists prefer a company-created one. Seventy-four percent of respondents said they prefer to share a video created by the company. Only 14% prefer a video by a consumer and 13% prefer third-party video. Only 3% said a corporate branded video, so go light on syrupy saturation with corporate-ease.

Implications for you if you want to connect with journalists:

  • Familiarize yourself with Twitter and use it regularly. This is an audience that is consuming content on Twitter and re-sharing it. Follow a few reporters (see my ten tips for connecting with journalists through Twitter) and try to engage through this social media platform.
  • Focus on creating and distributing content that is shareable. Include photos, link to bigger trends when appropriate, and note connections to audiences that make you and your business or organization relevant. Respond to current events and trends when it’s timely.
  • Make it easy to share your video. Establish a YouTube channel, make sure links to it are obvious from your website and social media, and produce short videos (minus the heavy syrup) that convey key messages and are authentic.

READERS: What are you doing to connect with journalists through social media?

Ami Neiberger-Miller is a public relations strategist and writer. She is the founder of Steppingstone LLC, an independent public relations practice near Washington, D.C. that provides public relations counsel, social media engagement, writing services, and creative design for publications and websites. She blogs frequently about media relations, social media and work-family balance. She also reviews books on her blog. Follow her on Twitter @AmazingPRMaven.

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