New Media, Old Media: What Are Your Readers Looking For?
By Sally Falkow, social media coach & president of PRESSfeed
The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism has a
new report out about the news content in old media
and new media, and how blogs and social media news
agendas relate to, or differ from, traditional media
sources. The findings are very interesting.
What used to be a one-way broadcast of news has
become an increasingly social medium. Half of
Americans rely on friends and people they know for
news. 44 percent of online users get news from a
Although most original reporting still comes from
traditional news sources, technology—like blogs and
social networks—have opened the floodgates of
discussion and opinion about the news. People are
influencing the impact of the news in ways that were
The Pew study looked at the types of news stories
consumers share and discuss the most, and the issues
they have less interest in.
Not surprisingly, they discovered that each social
community has its own culture, personality, and
function. The study analyzed a year of data–top news
stories discussed and linked to on blogs and social
media pages; seven months’ worth on Twitter; and a
year of the most viewed, news-related videos on
Emerging News Trends
• The stories that gain traction in social media are
substantially different from those that lead in the
mainstream media. Gosh! Could this be a clue as to
why mainstream media circulation and viewership is
declining? Are they perhaps not tuned in to our
tastes and interests?
PR 101 Still Applies
• There are also big differences between what gets
noticed and shared in blogs, Twitter, and YouTube.
Just as with other media channels, each of the
social media channels has its own community and
their interests differ.
• News consumers don’t stay long on any website–make
your news brief and appealing to the particular
audience of that platform.
• Blogs shared the same lead story with traditional
media in just 13 out of the 49 weeks studied.
• Stories that gain traction in social media do so
quickly, often within hours of initial reports, and
leave quickly as well.
• Blogs are still heavily reliant on mainstream
sources for their content.
• Twitter, on the other hand, is not. A majority of
Twitter news is linked to online sources.
• News videos on YouTube that got the most views and
sharing had a strong visual appeal.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Do your homework. Read the blogs. Don’t pitch
stories that are wrong for that blog or website. Use
video to get more interest–but make sure they are
visually appealing and tell a story.
Don’t make the mistake of viewing ’social media’ as
one, homogeneous platform, and put the same content
on all channels. It did not work in old media, and
it won’t work in new media. It might save time, but
it does not get results. Find out who the audience
is for a particular channel, and create content
specifically for them.
To properly service journalists, bloggers, and
social media conversationalists, you need to provide
multiple types of content on your online newsroom.
Don’t assume that you know what they want. Let them
pick the content they prefer, and make it easy for
them to take it and use it.
---Source: Sally Falkow has been in
PR for 30 years and has been accredited by the
Public Relations Society of America. She has trained
over 300 PR professionals from Fortune 100
companies, small businesses, and individual
entrepreneurs. Follow her on