How Journalists Use Social Media – Secrets Revealed

As a PR practitioner, I have a pretty good understanding of how folks in my craft use social media to generate ‘buzz’, to create interest in a new idea, but ever wondered if and exactly how journalists use social media?  Well… allow me to share these insights with you.

Understanding how journalists use social media to research articles can be key to your PR strategy, ensuring your efforts are targeted in the right places.  If you know where journos get their information from, you can make sure that your information is there first, can mean that they pick your story or pitch up before they look at something else.

Some interesting research into just how they do this has shed some useful light on how social media marketers and PR folk can best utilise the various social channels.

On average journalists use three different social media channels for each article they research. They find corporate blogs the most useful, while Wikipedia and Twitter were the second and third preferred channels, according to a new survey from global PR specialist Text100

Twitter and YouTube ranked as being of greater use than LinkedIn and Facebook, highlighting the importance for brands in building compelling content.

The study noted that while journalists welcomed contact from PR professionals through social media, their receptiveness varies from channel to channel. While 85% welcomed contact through their Twitter profiles and 84% are happy to approached via LinkedIn, only  42% of media welcome contact via Facebook.  It seems the use of Facebook is still overwhelmingly for social purposes.  To view the infographic in full, click here

Interestingly, the press release is still seen as more useful information source than any social media channel, so by all means don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and eliminate press releases altogether.  They are still important.

Generating media coverage for your clients can sometimes feel like a military campaign. If you want to hit your targets, you need an entire arsenal of ammunition at your dispoal – and press releases still have their place in the kit bag, but don’t overlook social media as to deploy with great effect.  It is a light, flexible and powerful weapon to use in order to a way to reach and influence journalists.

Yours in PR



  1. Joe C, NY, USA Said:

    Journalists using Wikipedia. Frightening. I hope I don’t need to explain why.

  2. Claire Heaney Said:

    My 12-year-old daughter uses Wikipedia for research and have been trying to educate her that there are other options. However, as a journalist of 30 years experience I have never even considered using Wikipedia for research.

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