How newspapers use Twitter–and why you should to

We now know that news organizations of all types rely on Twitter as a source for news. They use it to listen because it is the quickest way to find out what is happening from the people closest to what is happening. So, you should to.

But news outlets also use Twitter to tell their followers (and through them, their networks) what they are covering. This report from Nieman Lab (Harvard’s journalism lab) shows how news orgs are using Twitter as a glorified RSS feed.

When they cover a story, they tweet about it. Why? Because it is fastest way to let the world know that something that may be of interest to the followers is on their websites, newspages or TV screens.

They do, so should you. Best practice today in crisis communication is to use your website (for major incidents, an incident specific website preferably on a management platform meant for that) to post the latest information about the event and your response. Then tweet. 140 characters to say something on your site is worth checking out. It’s the best way to let the news organization know you have something for them. Consider it a media advisory in that capacity. But it also lets the followers and their followers and their followers know that you are talking to them directly, that you are the best source for info about the event, that you are the most reliable and credible (and fastest) source of information about an event that they care about.

2 thoughts on “How newspapers use Twitter–and why you should to”

  1. I think there’s a subtle point missed by the folks at the Nieman Lab that could have strengthened what is an otherwise excellent report. Media entities are more than just organizational social media accounts. Reporters (at least in the Philly area) regularly converse with members of the public via Twitter, both on stories that are being written and stories that have already been published. While @WashPost might just be an RSS feed (and I’m not so sure that’s wrong), @JoeReporter is regularly utilizing the network for conversations and feedback.

    Thanks for finding this great article, Gerald!

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