This semester we have talked about what seems like every aspect of social media. From social media networks to SEO and edgeranking, we’ve performed and analyzed the majority of the social media practices on the Internet. As this semester comes to a close there are still some questions that linger…
How does social media impact journalism? What is social media’s relation with public relations? Is it public relations? How much of an impact does social media have on your job? I’ve thought about these questions throughout the semester and luckily this week’s readings provided some insight.
In my opinion social media and journalism now go hand-in-hand. Print is merely extinct and the majority of journalism can be found on the Internet. News companies have leveraged Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other mediums to post their stories and interact with the public. Perhaps the greatest way social media impacts the news is by giving journalists leads.
As an undergraduate I studied journalism. I remember going into the newsroom and pitching stories to my news director. The majority of my story ideas came from the Internet and my news director would always ask me how I could make my pitch a more personal story for viewers. Social media allows this to happen. Journalists can see what’s trending, ask the public if they’ve been affected by something, and find sources.
What about credibility? News means nothing if it is not reliable. Reuter’s is a great example of a news source having a guide in place for their reporters. In it they stress having a checks and balance system (make sure sources are credible) and encourage journalists to rely on their supervisors and peers to help maintain credibility. I encourage all news companies to set the same standard when it comes to social media and reporting.
On to social media and PR…
Social media is a catalyst for public relations. Social media was created with the intent of sharing content and connecting with people…the primus of public relations. I would encourage PR teams to utilize social media because “by sharing information, both PR and social are able to grow their networks and surpass client expectations.” Social media gives people a platform of millions and millions of people, and in my opinion gives people visibility that surpasses what print and feature article can provide. While most PR teams know this and utilize social media today, it is never a bad for them to get a reminder how important these platforms are for their clients success.
While social media can help accomplish your job more effectively I can’t stress how important it is to be mindful of what is said on these outlets. People watch each other on social media and if they don’t like what they see it can negatively impact your career. My advice: be smart and don’t share anything on social media you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see. Practice proper edict and your job and reputation won’t be in jeopardy.
In summation, everything public relies on social media to help tell a story, let the right people know the information, and get the job done. Like other aspects of life it is important to set goals that help you define success. Knowing expectations will help you utilize social media appropriately and keep you on the right track.
What are some insights you have in regards to what was discussed above? Do you think every company should be utilizing social media in some fashion? I would love to hear your thoughts.