Appendix A: Survey Message
Appendix B: Journalists’ Comments
Appendix C: Journalists’ Groups on Linkedin
Appendix D: New Journalists’ Group
Appendix E: About Newswise
Newswise conducted a study to measure how journalists are using Linkedin, a social media network designed for professionals, and determined that Linkedin is the best social network for a Newswise service for journalists. The study probed journalists’ receptivity to joining a Newswise group by reviewing their level of participation, attitude toward Linkedin and response to journalists’ groups.
Newswise built on it’s long-term relationships to engage journalists in the study, and directly searched for each individual on Linkedin to assess quantitative data used to evaluate level of participation. The study indicated that the general attitude of journalists toward social media is not very positive, and likely stems from experiencing low value. However, the journalists who were more active participants in Linkedin had more positive attitudes and willingness to participate in a Newswise group.
Participation of each journalist on Linkedin was assessed on three key parameters: evaluating the completeness of each profile, the number of connections, and the number of group memberships. A control group of public relations professionals was investigated and compared to the journalists. Quantitative data were assembled on the three parameters to deduce the correlation of each with attitudes toward both Linkedin and social media in general. The findings showed that profile completeness, number of connections, and group memberships all correlated positively with attitude toward social media and Linkedin. Positive or negative response to Linkedin had a very strong correlation to journalists’ responsiveness to invitations to connect. Those journalists with more connections and participation levels tended to participate in more groups and express more interest in participating in a Newswise group for journalists.
The study concluded that engagement and attitude go hand-in-hand when assessing social media interest. Journalists engagement on Linkedin is low, but higher levels of engagement predicted a more positive attitude. Most journalists seem not to know how, or were unmotivated, to effectively use the tools offered by Linkedin. A common criticism is wasted time because the value of Linkedin is not immediately apparent. Simply “connecting” does not provide sufficient value. It requires a high threshold of exploration, participation and action to generate benefit.
The ecosystem of journalism is changing with developments on the Internet, and the current unstable environment may require journalists to change in order to survive as important players in the news business. Linkedin provides a unique new opportunity and channel to relate to the news media. There is an inherent benefit within Linkedin groups, and as the journalism ecosystem changes, pressure for collaboration will increase. Linkedin is the best social media network for this type of collaboration, because it is designed for and perceived as professional networking.
Newswise concludes that there is sufficient interest, opportunity and need to create a journalism group on Linkedin. Enhancing participation and networking will allow for an opportunity to create a collaborative community integrating the entire journalism landscape to promote enterprise journalism and entrepreneurial efforts.
The goal of this study is to measure how reporters are using Linkedin, especially their level of commitment to participating in Linkedin, their attitude toward Linkedin, and their receptivity to participating in a Linkedin group sponsored by Newswise. This study is designed to determine if Linkedin is the best social network for a Newswise service for journalists. This expands on an earlier study in which we reported that seventy percent of reporters have profiles on Linkedin, but most are inactive there.
Linkedin provides three significant levels of functionality to foster networking for all users. First, the individual profile allows journalists to present their professional capabilities in a significantly more powerful way than the typical paper resume. This profile allows journalists to be found through a rich variety of search parameters. It also fosters recommendations by professional peers and links to their websites, social media channels, such as Twitter, and their body of work. Journalists can also use Linkedin to find other professionals, including sources, editors, and colleagues.
Second, Linkedin creates a mechanism for journalists to “connect” and fosters connections between people who know one another by inviting a connection. The invitee must respond, or accept, to complete the connection. The connection creates a channel for communication, which is more powerful than simply having contact information. It provides the opportunity for an expanded relationship and the retention of connection through users’ migrating jobs or contact information.
The third functionality of Linkedin is subsumed within the concept of groups. Groups foster the gathering of communities of shared interest to participate in discussions. Groups also provide job announcements and promotional announcements.
In this study we also investigated journalists’ level of involvement or exploration of Linkedin by three parameters based on quantitative data in their profiles:
completeness of reporters’ profiles,
their number of connections, and
their number of group memberships.
These provide quantitative and objective assessment of the reporters’ commitment to exploring this social network.
Newswise hypothesizes, based on this and a previous study, that journalists are mostly negative, or reserved, about Linkedin because they have not experienced sufficient value. In this current study we are especially exploring whether journalists’ limited participation in groups diminishes social media value. We asked if they are open to groups and if they think other journalists are open to joining groups and “creating community”.
Our previous study examined journalists’ presence on Linkedin and their attitudes toward social media and Linkedin, a tool for creating community and fostering collaboration. Are journalists open to that opportunity, and do they participate or exclude themselves?
Reporters represent a unique public sector. You might expect them to be curious about a cultural phenomenon, such as social networking. While they might not embrace it, they would explore it. The culture as a whole has embraced social media, especially social networking. Facebook and Linkedin are the leading social networks, and a simple way of distinguishing them is that Facebook is more appropriate for personal networking, and Linkedin is designed for professional networking.
Amy Gahran, journalist blogger and social media advocate, writes, “…in recent years, journalists and news organizations often have been among the loudest, most strident voices warning of the growth of a dangerous echo chamber that would undermine society and democracy. Much of this is no doubt motivated by genuine concern—but at least part of this is also certainly a backlash against their declining power as gatekeepers. People rarely surrender power without a fight or protest.” Social media is not the enemy Gahran argues, and “it’s probably more important than ever for journalists and news organizations to embrace engagement through social media.”
Engagement is required to find value on Linkedin. Simply creating a profile and connecting is not a very powerful endpoint on Linkedin. Other purposes might be to find a job, market services, find sources, create community, collaborate, establish thought leadership, or grow a support system. Journalists are exploring social networking sites, and understanding their attitudes and participation in this new technology may help the profession move forward. Having goals is not sufficient if the social network does not support those goals. Structure, function, personality, commitment, and culture should align with the goals.
An essential distinction of this study is that Newswise has a long-term, special relationship with the journalists who were surveyed. These 1000 journalists are among the 20,000+ subscribers to the Newswise wires, including the Daily Wire. We engaged them in a direct and personal email exchange around concepts rather than a typical survey check list. This created a much more in-depth analysis of these reporters’ attitudes and behaviors than simple check-list or multiple-choice responses. Sometimes several messages were exchanged to gather a more thorough attitudinal response. See the email survey in Appendix A and some responses in Appendix B and in the previous study.
Newswise also directly searched for these 1000 journalists on Linkedin. From their profiles, we assessed profile completeness, number of connections, and number of groups joined. We correlated these quantitative data with a qualitative assessment of their attitude toward Linkedin and social media and their receptivity to joining a new group.
Some reviewers have suggested this is a small sample size, but it is sufficient to answer these questions. The data and results are clear and consistent.
The simplest way journalists participate on Linkedin is to create a profile. This profile is a marketing document, like a resume, a yellow pages advertisement and has some qualities of a personal website.
It can include:
c. location (city, state, country)
d. professional sector
e. profile photo
f. current position
g. career history
j. number of connections
k. links to websites (personal and professional), blogs, twitter, Facebook
l. public profile url
m. career summary
o. honors and awards, and
p. list of group memberships
We assessed completeness of profile based on counting items f, g, h, i, k, l, m, and n from the above list (those in italics). This yields a maximum score of eight (8) for a complete profile.
Attitude toward Social Media and Linkedin
The Linkedin responders did not report a very positive attitude toward either social media in general, or Linkedin, specifically. We made a subjective analysis of their attitudes based on what they wrote in email replies. Examples of their responses can be reviewed in the previous study.
Engagement on Linkedin
Have journalists made sufficient effort to find the essential value on Linkedin? We assessed their level of engagement not by what they said, but by their quantitative levels of profile completeness, number of connections, and number of group memberships.
We also investigated the engagement of a group of 100 public relations professionals as a comparison group to the journalists.
Of the 1000 surveyed journalists, 170 replied (17%). One-hundred-twenty-nine (75%) of the 170 responders were Linkedin members. This group is subsequently referred to as “Linkedin responders.” Only 19 (15%) of the Linkedin responders said they had found Linkedin useful. Thirty-seven (29%) who responded did not reply to this question. The majority, 73 (57%), had not figured out how to make Linkedin useful. Many of these indicated that they had not made much effort on Linkedin because the benefits were not clear or attractive. Sample responses reflecting the journalists’ attitudes toward Linkedin and social media are shown in Appendix B of the previous study (link to this using anchor tag).
Newswise staff searched for the 1000 journalists and found 701 (70%) on Linkedin. Newswise could not definitively identify 299 (30%) of those searched by name. (Some of those not found might, in fact, be on Linkedin but could not be distinguished by name. However, 70%, at least, have profiles on Linkedin and this is significantly higher than the general public.
Completeness of journalists’ profiles on Linkedin
The responders on Linkedin averaged a completeness quotient of 4.5 compared to a complete profile of eight (8). Journalists with a positive attitude toward Linkedin had more complete profiles (6.0 average, median 6) than journalists with negative attitude (3.9 average, median 4). In other words, profile completeness correlates positively with attitude toward Linkedin. See Figure 1.
Figure 1: Correlation of attitude to Linkedin to profile completion
Similarly, profile completeness also correlates positively with journalists’ attitude toward social media. See Figure 2. Journalists with a positive attitude toward social media had more complete profiles (5.4 average, median 6) than journalists with a negative attitude (3.2 average, median 3).
Figure 2: Correlation of attitude to social media to profile completion
Connectedness of journalists on Linkedin
Similarly, the number of connections reflects journalists’ level of engagement with Linkedin and their attitude. The Linkedin responders averaged 185 (median 153) connections. Reporters with a positive attitude toward Linkedin have more connections (317 average, median 297) than journalists with a negative attitude (138 average, median 99). In other words, the number of connections correlates positively with attitude toward Linkedin. See Figure 3. Journalists with more connections have a tendency for a more positive attitude toward Linkedin.
Figure 3: Correlation of attitude to Linkedin to number of connections
Similarly, number of connections also correlates with journalists’ attitude toward social media. See Figure 4. Reporters with a positive attitude toward social media have more connections (224 average, median 212) than reporters with a negative attitude (129 average, median 74).
Figure 4: Correlation of attitude to social media to number of connections
Connectedness vs. Completeness
The completeness of profile also correlates positively with the number of connections. See Figure 5. Journalists with more complete profiles had more connections.
Figure 5: Profile completeness correlates to number of connections
Connecting to Newswise
The Linkedin responders were especially responsive to the Newswise surveyor’s request to connect; of the 129 Linkedin responders to the survey, 87 (67%) connected. In addition, a significant number of those who did not reply via email to the survey nevertheless connected with Newswise. Of 1000 surveyed, 309 (44%) of the 701 with Linkedin profiles connected personally to the surveyor.
A higher proportion (78%) of those who were positive toward social media connected to Newswise than the proportion (61%) with negative sentiments toward social media. Those who gave no indication of attitude toward social media were intermediate (66%) in their proportion connecting to Newswise.
Positive or negative response to Linkedin has an even stronger correlation to journalists’ responsiveness to an invitation to connect. Eighty-nine percent of those with a positive attitude toward Linkedin connected to the Newswise surveyor, whereas 58% of those with a negative attitude connected. Those who gave no indication of attitude toward Linkedin were intermediate (78%) in connecting to the Newswise surveyor.
All parameters related to investment in Linkedin participation correlate with their response to the invitation to connect to the Newswise surveyor.
|Profile Completion||Connections||Group Memberships|
Clearly, those more engaged with Linkedin were more responsive to an invitation to connect.
It would have been interesting to determine if length of participation on Linkedin correlated with engagement, but the data were not available.
Journalists Participation in Linkedin Groups:
The 129 Linkedin responders participated in an average of 6.6 groups (median 3). Journalists with more connections tended to participate in more groups, or the number of group memberships correlates positively with the number of connections. See Figure 6.
Figure 6: Correlation of number of groups to number of connections
Similarly, journalists with more complete profiles tended to participate in more groups, or the number of group memberships correlates positively with profile completion. See Figure 7.
Figure 7: Correlation of number of groups to profile completion
Similarly, group participation correlated with attitude toward social media and Linkedin. Journalists with a positive attitude toward Linkedin participated in more groups (12.4 average, median 8) than those with a negative attitude (3.8 average, median 2). Journalists with a positive attitude toward social media participated in more groups (8.0 average, median 4) than those with a negative attitude (3.0 average, median 1).
Journalists’ Speculation about Journalists Joining Groups and Creating Community
Twenty-five (62%) of those who responded to the question think journalists are interested, while 15 (38%) think journalists are not interested in “connecting or creating community.” Journalists’ speculation about the tendency of their colleagues to join or not to join groups also positively correlates with their own level of engagement. The journalists who believe other journalists are interested in groups had more complete profiles, had more connections and were members of more groups.
|Profile Completion||Connections||Group Memberships|
Some of the comments:
“creating community”: sorry, but it’s a buzz word
used to go to the neighborhood bar
Journalists’ Attitudes about a Newswise Linkedin Group
Sixty-eight (76%) of those who responded to the question expressed positive inclination toward a group for journalists, while 22 (24%) were negative about joining such a group. Here are some excerpts of their comments divided into positive and negative:
“it has to make me more productive, not less”
“It would help to have some sort of professional service. One thing that comes out of the webmd group is occasionally people have too much work and send something someone else’s way”
“…some kind of professional service that would help me long term but also with my day to day work would get my attention”
“…forming journalist groups to follow specific interests or topics would be quite useful. I’d join one”
“I’d love a way to interact with other science writers”
“I’d sign up”
“I’m a big believer in community, but I find many of these activities suck up time that I don’t have”
“I rarely use them unless I need specific help on something, such as the name of a new editor or people to interview for a new book (which I use Newswise for, too). I’m afraid of getting seduced into wasting time”
“…uh, why? Serious question! I’ve been a freelancer for going on 30 years and have never seen a big upside to community”
“…too busy to spend much time gassing with the fellas”
“…these “communities” don’t really interest me”
“…already receive enough spammy pitches”
“…plenty of that at trade shows and industry events”
Those with a positive attitude toward a Newswise group were members of more groups (7.8 average, median 4) than those with a negative attitude (6.0 average, median 3).
Those with a positive response to the idea of a Newswise group for journalists tended to have more complete profiles (4.7 average, median 5) than those who were negative (4.3 average, media 5). This is the weakest correlation of the study.
Those with a positive response to the idea of a Newswise group for journalists tended to have more connections (185 average, median 144) compared to those who were negative (158 average, median 105).
Twenty-five of the 69 who expressed interest in a group offered suggestions for what might make a group more attractive to journalists. Some of their suggestions were:
“some sort of easy way of finding subject matter experts”
“an area where journalists can trade sources and information”
“journalists might want to connect for learning purposes, i.e., learning about blogging, maximizing blogging, web writing, etc.”
“need specialized conversation areas”
PR control group
To compare journalists’ engagement to another professional group, we studied a control group of 100 PR professionals, counting the number of their connections and group memberships. The PR group had significantly higher levels of engagement in Linkedin, especially in group membership.
This study expands on an earlier study in which we reported 70% of surveyed journalists have Linkedin profiles, but few are active there, and most report it is not useful. Journalists have tried Linkedin at a higher rate than the general public. However, in this study we report that journalists’ engagement on Linkedin is low. The more engaged journalists expressed more positive attitudes about Linkedin and social media.
Linkedin provides an opportunity for networking. A Linkedin profile compares to an online yellow page listing. It is a marketing document and strategy. Journalists seem not to know how or are unmotivated to effectively use these tools.
The first two networking tools—the searchable profile and the ability to connect—provide a simple network and email between individual connections. However, for the most part, these connections do not foster community, significant communication, or outcome. Not much happens between connections; users can create many connections, anticipating some purpose or goal. Nothing happens. Basically, connecting provides an alternative to email and not a very convenient alternative. For example, there is no “Home” page as on Facebook with updates from connections. Similarly there are no photos.
The most common criticism of social media and Linkedin is wasted time. This is an expression of unperceived value. Every thing takes time. Some activities generate value. Others do not or the value is not detected, and that is when time is “wasted.”
What’s the meaning of these data? Journalists have not found value on Linkedin and they have not embraced engagement. Their attitude toward Linkedin is more negative than their attitude toward social media as a whole. Journalists have incomplete profiles and relatively few connections. They are mostly not proactive and in some cases not even responsive to invitations to connect.
The correlations we found do not suggest cause and effect relationships. Engagement and attitude probably go hand-in-hand. More participation results in more connections and more complete profiles. More participation generates more possibility for value. The more complete profiles may be a result of the positive attitude or might generate results that create a more positive attitude. But even those journalists with a positive attitude toward Linkedin report only modest value.
Newswise believes this minimal engagement, is one of two major reasons why most journalists have a negative response to Linkedin and do not consider it useful. It’s not simply a matter of goals and implementing, but what is possible. A profile has value; it allows people in a mobile and evolving environment to remain connected. Profiles also promote transparency, for example, easy differentiation of journalists from non-journalists.
Connecting to Newswise
Similarly, response to an invitation to connect on Linkedin is an assessment of participation. The positive response to an invitation depends on several factors, including the relationship history, the individual’s threshold for acceptance of connections, monitoring Linkedin for invitations, and attitude toward Linkedin. We found that the more engaged journalists were more receptive to connecting.
The high level of connecting with the Newswise surveyor indicates a positive relationship between journalists and Newswise. It also expresses the person’s relationship with Linkedin, especially their trust and commitment that there is some value in networking there.
Journalists and Groups on Linkedin
How much and what kind of engagement on Linkedin delivers value? What are the potential benefits? Linkedin requires a high threshold of exploration, participation, and action to generate benefit. Breaking the code requires commitment and faith, because benefits do not gush forth after initial participation. The value of Linkedin and how to capture that value has not been effectively communicated to journalists and, in fact, may require journalists to shift their values.
Newswise suggests that the most important potential value of Linkedin derives from group participation and not just from group membership. The second reason for journalists’ negative assessment of Linkedin is that they have not discovered the value from participating in groups. Journalists’ participation in Linkedin groups is low. For example, compared to a control group of PR professionals, journalist averaged significantly lower (average 7 vs. 12) group membership and connections (average 185 vs. 223)
Journalists’ Attitude toward Community
A significant segment of journalists express a negative stance toward groups. They have high expectations of group benefit coupled with suspicion of groups. Many are critical of “community” in airy-fairy-psycho-babble terms rather than something valued or fundamental to human nature. They are especially averse to being solicited. Because of their relative antipathy toward groups, they are less likely to reap early benefit from Linkedin or from groups.
Journalists tend not to be joiners, collaborators, or connectors. They are competitors.
There are some models for groups, such as the National Press Club in Washington, DC, but this is largely a sharing of real estate. The most commonly mentioned model of community gatherings is in a pub.
Similarly, journalists, as a group, do not particularly want to engage with their readers. Those who have developed a successful social media footprint, such as David Pogue of the New York Times or Dr. Ben Goldacre, of the UK’s Guardian, stand out from the crowd.
Surprisingly, despite the preponderance of a negative cloud hovering around social media, Linkedin, and community, the Linkedin responders viewed the idea of a group for journalists sponsored by Newswise in a positive frame. Seventy-six percent of Linkedin responders expressed openness or positive response to a Newswise group. This compares to 62% who speculated that other journalists were open to a group. This suggests that journalists are more open to a group than they believe their peers are. What might explain this disparity? Even though this is a small difference, does it say something about the culture of journalism? Three possible interpretations are:
a. this group of self-selected responders are more open to groups than their peers,
b. journalists are more open to groups than they believe, i.e. they have an inaccurate negative assessment of how journalists connect,
c. when speaking of other journalists they are “projecting” their own judgment of community; i.e. they are more negative about groups than they report themselves to be.
This is a purely quantitative assessment of journalists’ participation in groups, and, of course, the qualitative assessment is much more important.
The journalist ecosystem is in a period of dramatic evolution. Part of the change is driven by the technological shift from paper-based printing and delivery to online information and digital delivery to all kinds of devices, including mobile devices. Some journalists seem to be late appliers and technophobes. The more significant issue is the disruption in business models for journalism and the delayed development of new models. Individual journalists are mostly excluded from participating in the development of these entrepreneurial business models. They seem not to be empowered to develop new business models. Many have been downsized and outsourced. Freelancing, often a middling state between jobs, is not really a viable or sustainable business model for most.
How do journalists define or limit their role in communities? Do they manage ethical and professional issues, such as bias, conflicts of interest, gate-keeping, and competition by remaining on the outside of groups? On the other hand does journalism elicit a particular personality or character type who is a non-joiner, iconoclast, outsider, or curmudgeon?
If so, in this time of upheaval in journalism institutions and economy, might they be encouraged or forced to change in order to survive professionally? When PR professionals lose their job, they start a company and market themselves as consultants. When journalists lose their job they typically call themselves freelancers. Might journalists learn something about using social media to take a more active and collaborative role in the currently developing business model for journalism?
While journalists are not enthusiastic about or loyal to Linkedin, we would be missing a major opportunity to dismiss the fact that they are there. The possibility of finding journalists, reviewing their professional resume, sending them messages, and inviting them to “connect” provides a unique and new channel to relate to the news media. Is it possible to design a group that benefits journalists? What do they need? What is necessary for a successful group? Size, cohesion, functionality, collaboration, common interest, and shared culture are important for discussions and for community to blossom.
The largest potential value is from participating in groups and not just any group, but groups that are well-conceived, implemented, moderated, and led. Something unique and mysterious is possible in groups. People can meet, align on interest, become acquainted, develop trust, be creative, and establish community and working relationships.
As the journalism ecosystem evolves there will be more pressure on journalists to collaborate. Social media makes that possible. Group discussion enhances participation and networking. The power of Linkedin is in the professional groups. Linkedin is the best place for professional groups because of its culture and platform. While Facebook has significant functionality to enhance social networking, it is predominantly viewed as a personal networking environment, whereas Linkedin is designed for professional networking.
Newswise concludes that there is sufficient interest, opportunity, and need to create a journalism group on Linkedin. The most important value to be derived from Linkedin comes from participating in groups and especially in well-conceived and managed groups. The opportunity to create a collaborative community integrating the entire journalism landscape—among journalists and sources, freelancers, staffers and editors—to promote enterprise journalism, entrepreneurial efforts, and other forms of collaboration calls for a new model. It will be necessary to somehow manage the natural competition between journalists in order to develop collaborations. Newswise has experience in managing successful professional groups.
The vision for this group, and the scheduled opening is described in more detail in this linked document (will later imbed link. See: Appendix D and desktop:1- new media strategy:Newswise New Media Plan).
While journalists seem less inclined to network and collaborate, the current dynamic, unstable, threatening, and opportunistic environment create a need, and social media provides an opportunity for journalists to collaborate to improve their careers and economic standing. Linkedin social networking resembles, in many ways, the situation Newswise discovered 20 years ago, when we created the first online service for journalists. At that time few communicators were online and there were few virtual watering holes. The one exception was CompuServe’s Journalism Forum, and social networking has finally recapitulated the circumstances first seen there.
This was sent to 1000 journalists who subscribe to the Newswise Daily Wire starting on 1-13-2011 and completed on 2-28-2011.
Subject header = Newswise Question
How are you doing, and happy 2011.
I’d like to ask you a specific question about an area we’re interested in pursuing. Are you on Linkedin, and if so, what is your profile url there? ________ (Mine is: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rogerjohnson1newswise)
We’re considering creating a group for journalists and providing a service there. From preliminary investigation, it looks like most of the journalists I know are on Linkedin, but most have not yet figured out how to make it effective or benefit their career. I don’t have an answer for that yet either. What do you think?
I’ve started several groups on Linkedin and Facebook, and they can be useful for specific purposes, and they can be good for connecting with people and creating community. I’m not sure journalists, in general, are much into connecting and creating community. What about you?
I think something more would be necessary, such as some kind of professional service. What do you think?
Attitudes toward Linkedin
“I have primarily been using Linkedin to find and reach people, much as I use social media, such as Facebook. Your email has started me thinking about the potential to make better use of it as a way of lifting my own profile, essentially as a marketing tool for my freelance writing, in addition to gathering useful contacts.”
“I am glad that you wrote, because it made me think about checking into Linked-In a lot more and trying to explore ways to use it in my job as a website editor and journalist. I’m such a novice, however, that I really don’t have any good ideas about how to do this.”
“I use Linkedin not so much for socializing as for information and connecting. It’s been handy for reaching out to people I know—they sometimes respond faster to a Linkedin message than a regular email. But I don’t presume that the most valuable people on my contacts list particularly want to hear from me—they’re too busy, and I’m not going to waste social capital reaching out to shoot the breeze without a reason.”
“Journalists have not yet figured out how Linkedin can benefit our careers. However, I must say I had a 30-minute coaching session with a noted writer and she gave me some great tips on enhancing my LI profile. I think such advice should be shared with others.”
“I am on Linkedin and use Facebook and Twitter to post my work and relevant journo/story links.”
“I think you’ve hit on some very valid points there. Facebook is for friends and family. Twitter is good for connecting - but I’ve not connected with journalists or gotten any journalism work out of it. It also seems to require a hell of a lot of time and effort to keep connections. And Linkedin, well Linkedin just kind of sits there, if you know what I mean.”
“Yes, I love Linked In! (I am not sure how to send you my url, but I just sent you an invitation to link to me.) I find it really useful for my career in many ways. I’ve reconnected with people who offered me jobs, for one thing. And when I am looking to pitch to a publication where I don’t know anyone, I type in the publication name and see which of my contacts have contacts there. Then I can ask them to recommend an editor and often can use their name as an entree.”
“I think of it as insurance in case I ever need to look for more work - Linkedin seems like it would be the easiest way to get in touch with contacts in my field.”
“Thus far, I have not found Linkedin of use.”
Attitudes Toward Social Media
“I am a huge fan of social media, including Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter. All used professionally. Certainly interested in being a part of any group you are putting together.”
“…social media surely helps journalists display their specialties so editors demanding these skills can find us.”
“Although I am too old and tired to get involved in anything with the word “social” in its name, I do see a value in being able to communicate with other journos on subjects that involve us mutually (presumably in more than 140 characters).”
“I am a huge fan of social media, including Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter. All used professionally. Certainly interested in being a part of any group you are putting together.”
Linkedin makes some effort to entice journalists, and there are a few journalists’ groups on Linkedin. They tend to be focused on beat topics or alumni groups.
A ComputerWorld article explains the value of groups on Linkedin.
While Facebook and Google+ may grab most of the headlines these days, social networking pioneer Linkedin has been quietly establishing itself as the place for professionals to meet, converse and exchange information.
That’s largely driven by Linkedin groups, communities formed around shared interests, goals or work experiences. Participating in a Linkedin group can help you keep up to date with industry trends, make valuable contacts and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.
When choosing Linkedin groups to participate in, Linkedin experts advise, it pays to have a solid strategy, spend some time “lurking” in these groups to see what they’re all about, and follow some fairly straightforward best-practice guidelines.
First, identify what you hope to gain from participation in a group.
Some Journalists’ groups on Linkedin
(no recommendations implied)
Journalist and Journalism
Linkedin for Journalists
National Association of Science Writers
Online reporters and editors
Science & Technology Media Network
Society of Professional Journalists
Journalists and Bloggers covering finance and economics
World Editors Forum
You can find others by searching Groups for “journalism” etc., but they tend to be alumni groups, such as Newhouse Alumni Network or USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism or previous employers.
With the completion of this study, Newswise announces the opening of “World Press Gallery”, a new Linkedin group fostering collaboration among journalists, including entrepreneural ventures, enterprise journalism, and new business models. World Press Gallery is a temporary name until the group selects a better one.
Groups are where the action is on Linkedin. Simply completing a profile and connecting to professional colleagues stimulates little or no consequence on Linkedin. Having a profile makes you findable, and there is value in being able to find people for research or connecting purposes.
But the action, the capability for participating, engaging, making new contacts, and networking happens within groups. Groups create a system to connect or discover and create new connections on Linkedin, in contrast to the personal/direct connections with people one already knows.
Newswise’s goal in creating World Press Gallery is to enhance the opportunity for collaboration among the various sectors of the media ecosystem.
Newswise is based on state-of-the-art technology for delivering news to journalists who subscribe (free) to the service. Newswise seeks to foster the best relationship with journalists by providing highly credible content and giving journalists tools to manage information. Newswise allows journalists choice in the method and timing of delivery and the choice of content. Newswise also offers a suite of tools, including calendars, and several methods for finding experts to help journalists gather information for news.
Newswise just introduced Expert_Pitch, a new method for quickly finding experts for major, national and international breaking news stories and events.
News contributors are innovative, influential organizations world-wide, including top medical schools, universities, research institutions, public relations firms, government agencies, non-profit organizations, associations and advocacy groups. Anyone interested in knowledge-based news can register for Newswise and subscribe to the email wires.