WHAT BUSINESSES SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA

WHAT BUSINESSES SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA

IF YOU want to get a journalist’s attention, take it to social media.

A new survey has found that the pressure to break news first has made social media a must in the competitive world of news gathering, but public relations firm BBS Communications says this also means businesses could unknowingly be in the firing line as a result.

The 2014 BBS Media Survey found that most Australian journalists are highly engaged with social media to source story ideas and promote their own content, while also regarding it as one of their main competitors.

Almost three-quarters of journalists say their bosses monitor their online traction, with more than 90 per cent labelling it as either their “number one priority” or “somewhat important”.

Journalists use Facebook (71.1 per cent), Twitter (67.4 per cent), LinkedIn (32.56 per cent) and YouTube (23.9 per cent) to source news and story ideas, and to promote their own content.

BBS Communications director Matthew Hart says the findings demonstrate how organisations can use social media platforms to better engage with journalists and secure media coverage.

“Organisations also need to be conscious of their own social media activity,” he says.

“Even if an organisation doesn’t have a social media presence, staff, customers and clients may still be talking about it online in a way that might grab journalists’ attention.

“Whether it’s an unsavoury comment from a customer or a rant from a staff member, if you can see it, so can a journalist.

“More than 70 per cent of journalists said great visual content, such as pictures, video and infographics, is essential for a successful online story.

“With this in mind, an organisation’s social media channels are a great way to pitch visually-strong online story ideas to journalists.”

More than a third of journalists receive more than 20 story ideas a day, and almost half work on five or more stories a day.

Journalists also say they are the busiest they’ve ever been, but have less resources with “streamlined” and “consolidated” newsrooms.

Journalists rate stories on refugees and asylum seekers, climate change and the economy as the three biggest issues grabbing headlines in 2014.

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