Traditional roles of PR and journalism are changing – there has been a huge increase in digital PR agencies, meaning these PR pros are looking for more likes and followers over coverage in the press which is affecting journalism negatively. However social networking has advantaged journalism in other ways. Here’s a short list on the biggest benefits social media has had on the two industries:
The Citizen Journalists – Seconds after tragic events such as the Boston bombings and Lee Rigby’s attack, bystanders quickly pulled out their smart phones to take photos, videos and compose tweets on what they saw. These first-hand accounts are used by reporters to put together breaking news stories.
Access to the public in real-time – PR pros no longer have to rely on press coverage to get their message across; they can now simply post a status or tweet via social networking platforms and the message will be received in seconds.
Access to journalists – Through multiple platforms of social media and blogs, the PR pro can measure the authority, influence and background of a journalist, making sure they are contacting the right person, and structuring their pitches around the journalist’s area of interest. And with journalist’s phone ringing off the hook and their email inboxes full to bursting; PR pros are beginning to pitch to journalists via social media. Such immediate and concise pitches are said to be useful to time conscious journalists.
Sharing – Although the rise is social media has effected journalism negatively in some aspects – with almost all major news organisations now having their own Twitter and Facebook accounts, followers can share and retweet stories, allowing it to reach a much wider audience and generating more traffic to their websites.
However – Social media isn’t everything- with the explosion of social networking over the past 10 years you could be led to believe that social media drives everything and will eventually take over the world. With this, you may also believe that the days of traditional journalism are also over – you would be wrong – it is traditional PR and journalism that drives the conversation online.