Blog post by PR Account Executive intern, Chandni Unka. After listening in on a webinar by Cision UK about how journalists use social media and reading their research findings, I was particularly interested in the predictions for social media in the future.
One of the first predictions is:
“Time spent on using social media is not going to increase significantly but how journalists use it will change as it gets more embedded in their work”.
The research given by Cision UK shows that journalists’ use of social media over the past three years slowed down. The percentage of journalists using social media for more than 4 hours a day has actually declined. This could be due to a level of saturation; for many journalists there are no gains from being constantly tied to social media, instead using it as and when they need it.
Another prediction is that as journalists become more efficient in their use of social media, their workload won’t be reduced – but instead social media will help them to do more. Workloads won’t necessarily be reduced due to more followers – but social media will help them to do more. The report from Cision states;
“Over half of UK journalists cannot carry out their work without social media”
Journalists are already relying on social media in order to carry out work, so we can expect that the amount of people that will not be able to work without social media will continue to increase.
Journalists will continue to rely on mainstream social media platforms but will also start to use more niche channels selectively. A lot of companies have recently taken to the use of social media, most commonly Twitter but there are other platforms that could be exploited. Many journalists feel that their work has changed considerably due to social media and that they couldn’t possibly carry out their work without it.
Cision is also predicting that journalists will continue to rely on emails as their main source of communication with PR professionals and phone contact will become even less common. Emails have remained a top choice of contact for PR professionals, with telephone coming in second. However according to Cision, phone communication is likely to decrease.
The webinar by Cision gave a useful insight into how journalists use social media and how this might develop. In our experience, although email communication is effective and social media can supplement a relationship, regular conversations over the phone and face to face meetings are vital. The benefit of communicating without a screen in the way can be priceless.