How to manage media relations in social media
Journalists in Switzerland are relying increasingly on social media, especially in their search for trends and hot topics. Thus, corporate media relations without an online presence has now become obsolete. However, social media do not replace personal contact.
Swiss media professionals have been using various social networks for quite some time. Swiss journalists increasingly rely on social media in their research, from finding topics to verifying theses and statements. Twitter is still the most important platform, but LinkedIn and Instagram are also becoming more popular for them.
Last month, Manuela from Communicators' finance team attended the training course "Media Relations in Social Media" at the MAZ, the Swiss School of Journalism. The course provided insights into how Swiss journalists are using social media. This is quite useful information as it may help communication professionals to spice up their media work in social media channels. Here are some examples:
Online monitoring for topic identification
Just like companies, journalists identify trend topics through extensive monitoring. Thus, well-prepared content with links in the Twitter or LinkedIn feed increase competence and credibility. Moreover, it attracts attention.
Online community and dialogue:
However, the attractiveness of online posts goes beyond pure content. The organisation's network is also important. Is the content shared, commented on, liked? How does the dialogue sound, what is its quality and how is it moderated? Journalists notice and evaluate this type of information. Content to which the audience pays attention to and which triggers a debate indicates relevance and increases the likelihood that media will pick it up.
No media conferences or events without added value
The large number of online sources and the increasing time pressure of journalists make media conferences generally unpopular. Events only make sense if there is a clear added value through physical presence – online coverage (streaming, Facebook Live, etc.) should always be considered.
Thinking in new formats
Media professionals like to test innovative formats as long as they feel that they are beneficial to their needs. New formats provide an opportunity for communication professionals to raise their profile. These may include webinars, video chats, virtual tours and other news forms of communication.
Strengthening dialogue with media professionals online and offline
The uncomplicated and fast online dialogue opens up new possibilities for cultivating relationships with journalists. However, it does not replace face-to-face meetings. Thus, the two channels – personal and online – should be combined.