The Beaufort Gazette & Island Packet editor uses social media to cull tips & story ideas
Q: How do you use social media at your job? Which platforms do you like best? Why?
“I am an editor … and the ultimate lurker – I seldom post on social media, but I’m often watching to see what’s going on, culling tips and story ideas for my staff. I spend most of my time keeping an eye out for Facebook and Twitter, but I also like to look in on the forums at LinkedIn and occasionally find something worth passing along on Pinterest. My use of these tools has become a bit more sophisticated in the past year or so – I’m creating more lists and interests so that I can cancel out the noise and monitor the most fruitful online ground.
On a wider scale, most of our reporters now have Twitter accounts that are linked to their blogs. They use them to share breaking news, promote stories we’ve already written and engage our audience, although I would have to say at this point we’re better at the first two than the third.
The usual suspects – Facebook and Twitter – are my favorites because they hold the most utility for us at present. But we’re also dabbling in Tumblr and Storify as a way to curate bigger stories, particularly those likely to attract lots of comments. The editors also make heavy use of TweetDeck, so that we can tweet on reporters’ behalf when they don’t have immediate Internet access or when we receive reports relevant to their beats, usually off news releases, before they do.
Storify has been particularly useful. Our sports department used it to replace the live blog it has previously used during tournament action at our biggest event of the year, the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island. It allowed us to pull from multiple sources and to do so much more quickly than our old methods. The upshot is that we were able to post in-round updates that were much more contextually rich than in years past.”
Jeff Kidd, editor
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