Social Media’s Impact on the Newsroom

At a Legal Marketing Association (LMA) event, I was reminded how large a role social media continues to play in law firm public relations.  The event, “The ‘New’ Newsroom: How Social Media Has Impacted the Ways Newsrooms Operate,” pointed to many interesting trends of how social media has really shaken things up in the newsroom.  A panel of professionals from Reuters, CNN, Associated Press and Los Angeles Times discussed how social media has impacted their work and what methods are appropriate, and work best for pitching via social media.

Each media outlet had its own opinion on which social media site was most effective for them in terms of gathering news. Each stated that they do follow certain companies on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to stay abreast of hot topics and breaking news.

A couple of interesting thoughts that the panel shared:


  • The Associated Press frequently uses LinkedIn to conduct research on someone prior to an interview or confirm information after an interview.  Therefore, it’s very important to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and reflects your current expertise if you are going to be speaking with members of the media.


  • Los Angeles Times follows niche blogs for story ideas and frequently conducts Google searches to identify new blogs that they can follow.  If you have a company blog that is kept up-to-date and could potentially be a resource to a reporter, simply send the link to the reporter.  They will review and bookmark it for future use if they need commentary on a topic, story idea, etc.


  • CNN noted that you should consider your level of privacy settings.  If you have a professional profile and the reporter can’t view your profile unless first being accepted, you are no use to them and they will look for someone else that they can get through to.


  • Due to company policy, the Associated Press can’t follow or “like” anything on social media, but they do keep an eye on what’s going on through their followers.


  • Reuters likes to receive snail mail!  Sending a hard copy press release can be a way to get their attention.


  • Media outlets will quote a “Tweet” in their story, if the source can be verified.  We advise clients not to say anything they wouldn’t want to see in print.  In this case, never tweet anything that you wouldn’t want to see in print!


How are you utilizing social media to create more visibility for yourself and your firm?


-By Berbay Account Manager Erica Hess


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