May 30, 2019
/ by Rocky Parker
See the original post on Beyond Bylines.
Journalists are overworked and overwhelmed.
In Cision’s 2019 State of the Media Report, 20% of the 1,999 respondents said “staffing and resources” were the biggest challenge to their job in the last year. And over one third said they are writing more than seven articles each week.
On top of the growing demand for content output, journalists are expected to be always listening and always engaging. Monitoring the latest news and user-generated content, as well as promoting their own stories on social media, can take up a significant amount of time in a journalist’s day.
Unsurprisingly, time management becomes a challenge and burnout is a possibility.
But social media is a critical part of the job. According to an ING study, 72% of journalists consider social media an important piece of their daily work.
So how do you find balance between staying abreast of the latest news, engaging with your audience, and getting everything else done?
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and we want to help you recognize some signs of social media burnout and provide you with a few tools to manage it.
When you’re checking social media platforms daily for your job, how can you tell when you’ve reached your mental limit?
While in no way an exhaustive list, here are a few common signs of burnout:
There are many strategies for limiting your social media use and structuring your day to boost efficiency and productivity. These are a few of my favorites.
Try only visiting social media sites during a specific window of time. For example, give yourself an hour each morning to check messages, mentions, replies, etc. Outside that window? Close the apps or sites to avoid temptation.
Time-tracking tools like StayFocusd for Chrome and the Cold Turkey app can help you boost productivity in other areas and even enjoy some quality free time.
You also could consider having a weekly day to unplug.
If you don’t see the blinking light on your phone, the temptation to check your apps is minimized.
Need to focus on writing your next article? Try closing Outlook or Gmail to avoid being distracted by notifications for new emails.
If your phone is always within an arm's reach, place it on mute or use the Do Not Disturb feature.
Many journalists and content creators already are familiar with TweetDeck, but it’s still worth mentioning here.
By filtering out posts that aren’t relevant to your work, you can narrow your focus, avoiding distractions from the rest of the platform.
Subscribing to relevant newsletters, a slower mode of listening, is another option to focus on news relevant to you.
And if you haven’t already signed up for PR Newswire for Journalists, you can do so at https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/. We can help you create a targeted newsfeed that will send you the releases that match your coverage needs on the schedule that works best for you.
That’s my only sales pitch, I promise.
Do you have teammates that can help with social media tasks? While you don’t want to distract from their own responsibilities and projects, if spreading the workload around is an option, it may be something to consider.
Even though I subscribe to the JOMO (joy of missing out) mentality, I understand that many people have FOMO (fear of missing out) and might be checking every social media platform throughout their day because of it.
But when you evaluate the time spent on these platforms, are you gaining useful insights from all of them? Consider which platform your target audience is engaging with most; this might be the most useful one for you - the others are just noise.
In this climate of the never-ending news cycle, it’s easy to get caught up in the constant flow of information on social media.
But because journalists are having to complete more work with fewer resources, it’s important to realize your limits and create a more sustainable system to help you manage.
Kim Renfro, an entertainment reporter for Insider, had this to say after the company tested a Twitter-free week in February: “I missed it, but I think it was a good reset button for me to think more critically about what I’m doing with my time on there during the day."
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