Recent tweet by well-known Columnist Mr. Madhavan Narayanan from Hindustan Times made me think about “How journalist use Social Media” which prompted me to search more on this topic. Well the tweet was address to PR folks requesting to send web links along with press releases. Here is the tweet

Tweet screenshot

The tweet less than 140 characters highlights two of the most important issues which journalists wants the PR industry to focus on when engaging with journalists viz

  • Journalists are more comfortable to communicate with many PR professionals through social media
  • Journalists have evolved and prefer de structured content, instead of regular spin stories

Unless PR begins to incorporate social media in their daily communication activities with journalists, it would be difficult for them to engage with journalists during crisis.

As per Weber Shandwick survey 88% journalists in India spend over 4 hours per day on social media for news gathering. Check more on survey: Weber Shandwick survey

With rise in usage of social media amongst journalists, newsrooms have become shirker, as most journalist spend time on field and connect using various social media devices to newsroom. Social media has become a boon for journalists to directly connect with influencers without help from public relation professionals.

Social media has helped journalists to directly engage with content curators who guide them for researched information, this reduced work load for them. Most journalists spend more time on twitter to converse with spokespersons as it has both public and DM for interaction.

So coming to the most important objective, what exactly do journalists use social media for?

  • Social media helps journalists to assess their thoughts and invite interaction with connections before venturing to write complete research story. Essentially helps to test the concept with selected few readers
  • Research on topics and ease to crowd-source response from target audience
  • Find new topics / story ideas in real time, based on engagement
  • Connect with spokespersons directly to get their views
  • Research about profiles and read past reviews about spokespersons
  • Share stories to connections and invite feedback

Social media is used by journalists not only for promotions but more for conversation with stakeholders.

The study by Weber Shandwick has thrown enough insights on journalists’ usage patterns in social media platforms. It also highlights the reasons why public relation professionals should actively engage on social media if they need to stay relevant when it comes to engagement with journalists.

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