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The Complete Integration of Social and Media Relations?

Several studies have been released showing how journalists are integrating social media forms into their news reporting, including Vocus’s 2014 State of the Media Report. Last week, a panel of Washington, DC broadcast reporters indicated the integration between traditional reporters and social media channels may be complete.

Reporters Media Relations

A media relations workshop hosted by the Greater Washington Board of Trade featured several local reporters, including WTOP Radio’s Hillary Howard, NBC-4’s Adam Tuss, WNEW’s Matt DeSignore and CBS-9’s Mike Hydeck. The reporters said traditional pitch methods of phone calls and email were not as effective as social outreach.

Of all the journalists, NBC Transportation Reporter Adam Tuss was most bullish on social media. He stated that if you don’t use social media in your media relations then your PR program is dead. The other reporters agreed. Learning about a story on Twitter or another social channel, and having other users validate it is much more valuable than a news pitch.

“Social media reporting is part of a journalist’s job description now,” said Mike Hydeck, who is the morning anchor for WUSA-9.

Afternoon WTOP Anchor Hillary Howard said getting a live video feed means more than a proposed press conference or interview. She suggested livecams are becoming a critical part of the news cycle. Adam Tuss supported the argument, saying a live feed from a smartphone often offers coverage of a situation faster than a traditional camera crew.

All of the reporters agreed relationship building remains a critical part of media relations. They preferred meeting someone face to face. None of the reporters felt voice mail or phone calls matter anymore.

“I haven’t checked my voice mail in five years,” said Hillary Howard.

“We don’t use business cards anymore. We use technology… and Twitter,” added Adam Tuss.

A key non social media recommendation was the use of exclusive events and information. All of media outlets want stories that are unique to them. “We’ll bite on special access everytime. Make it unique and only us,” said WNEW Reporter Matt DelSignore.

All in all, it was clear that social media has transformed media relations to the point that reporters have completely changed the way they gather and respond to news. Are you using Twitter and other social tools in your media relations effort?

Want to stay ahead of the fast-evolving PR industry? Get your free State of the Media 2014 guide now!

About Geoff Livingston

Geoff is president and founder of Tenacity5 Media, a digital marketing agency that provides content marketing and social media services. A former journalist, Geoff continues to write, and has authored five books. Follow him @geoffliving.

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