How journalists are using social media

Mutually beneficial relationships between PR professionals and the media is a two-way street of understanding. Indicated by the 2023 Global State of the Media Report by Cision, the most vital component to maintain and build fruitful partnerships with journalists starts with knowing exactly what the journalist’s core priorities are. The report uncovers how vital it is for journalists, that communications professionals disseminate accurate, authentic and meaningful stories for targeted audiences.

Social media icons on sticks

Social media as a tool for journalists

In the modern age, journalists are using social media as an integral part of their work. In practice, the media utilise social platforms as a tool for journalism, from content promotion and audience engagement to monitoring trends, news, keywords and competing media sources. Journalists are harnessing social media platforms to transform their role, with 96% of journalists utilising social media for work purposes, it has clearly become an essential tool in their everyday lives.

One of the key reasons journalists are active on social media is to publicise and promote their content, a motivation cited by 70% of journalists, demonstrating how social media helps them reach a wider audience and make their efforts more visible. Furthermore, 66% of journalists use social media as a source of knowledge, allowing them to keep up with the most recent trends and news.

Interacting with their audience is another key aspect of journalists’ social usage, with 62% using social media to engage with their followers. This direct interaction fosters a sense of community and enables journalists to connect with their readers on a more personal level.

The changing landscape of social media

The changing landscape of social media is evident in journalists’ platform preferences, with LinkedIn being the platform journalists plan to increase their usage most in the coming year, followed by Instagram. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook, which were formerly top dogs, are platforms journalists plan to decrease their usage of.

Then there’s the launch of Threads, the most rapidly downloaded app in history! Launched by Meta as a direct competitor to Twitter, it remains to be seen in these early days just how journalists will harness this new platform, but it will no doubt be a key addition in the ever changing landscape of social media.

Unsocial brands

Using social media as a communications professional

Communications professionals should not only think about social media as a way to engage with and learn more about journalists, but also as a platform to pull data and arm them with valuable insight when it comes to pitching a story. PR professionals need to consider the everchanging nature of social media, each platform’s unique algorithm, and the shifts to use for journalism.

But tread carefully when approaching a journalist. Only 4% of all journalists want to receive pitches via social media, and 19% will actually block a comms professional for reaching out unsolicited. Ensure you are always concise, clear and correct in your communications with journalists – utilise social media to your advantage to enhance your media relations strategy (not to replace it!).

In the fast-moving world of social media, you have to stay on top of the game! Here at ADPR, we are experts in knowing what exactly works for social media in all its forms for your business. If you’d like some additional support, you can download our FREE Social Media Content Plan for ideas to get you started on a successful social plan!