I first found out about yesterday’s attacks in my hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Twitter. And I clicked on stories from multiple news organizations in my feed to get additional information. I searched #Chattanooga.
Americans are increasingly getting their news on Twitter and Facebook, according to a new report released this week from Pew Research. Sixty-three percent of Twitter users go to the platform for news, while only 52 percent said they were doing so in 2013. On Facebook, 63 percent of users now go to the platform for news, up from 47 percent in 2013.
As a public relations professional, I have to ask what this shift in the media landscape means for my clients. I think it fundamentally means two things:
- Companies can and should be their own media companies. If organizations are putting out content that is useful and engaging, people will read it. We just launched a new blog and Twitter feed for our client, Marlin, and I think/hope it will become a meaningful resource for small business owners across the United States.
- Traditional media still has inherent credibility, but people may be reading a story from The New York Times in a Twitter feed instead of in the actual paper. When we secure good hits for our clients in traditional media, we strategically amplify those hits on social and digital channels. We launched a program this year called Wilbert Amplify focused on pushing traditional hits onto social channels; after all that’s where Americans now get their news.