INSTA-ntaneous Journalism

Social Media can be one of the best tools to not only gather, but spread information about any topic instantaneously. Celebrities use their profiles to update their fans on upcoming events, their lives, their endorsements, etc. Moreover, journalists and photojournalists can use social media platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest to display breaking pictures and stories in real time. For example, Nicola Dowling was able to get to a local crime scene, gather information, and snap pictures with her phone quicker than any other news station was able to send someone down for coverage (Briggs ch. 5). She was able to do this thanks to mobile technology and was able to break national news from her phone, “Mobile reporters can report in any medium, from anywhere, anytime,” (Briggs ch. 5).  Now imagine the power professional photographers, brands, and others can do at the tip of their fingers.  

As Briggs describes, mobile phones are the equivalent to a Swiss army knife due to how much they are capable of (Briggs ch. 6). The benefits of social media include, but are in no way limited to, capturing broadcasting, viewing, sharing etc. any and all information. Platforms and profiles are great ways to stay connected to existing followers and well as network and reach potential new followers in similar fields. As the mode of access and viewing information changes, so should the way it’s being shared. As we have learned, and our class has been completing, live blogging is a new wave of updating a crowd and reporting in real time. That being said, mobile reporting will not be replacing in depth journalism stories in the near future.

A con to this type of communication is that information that is shared in small chunks or on location may be more efficient and beneficial to the audience if the information is first gathered, sifted through, and then released (Briggs ch. 6). Sometimes, this line can become confusing. Original content and plagiarism becomes another major issue when dealing with mass communication. One reason is because it can be taken and “reposted” by another person who claims ownership, another is that objects can be easily, and convincingly, added or removed. These images have just as high a chance to go viral as the original image, so which do you trust?

            That being said, social media platforms are overall a great innovation. Users of Instagram and Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc. know the distinct difference between all those listed. While they seem similar in function, their purposes are entirely different, at least if you know how to properly use the cites. For example, Facebook is mainly targeted at older generations, and is used for sharing articles as well as a place to upload mass pictures and albums – a place to store your photographs, interests, etc. Instagram is an artistic platform where people can discover new interests with ease, as well as others with the same interest. It is mostly targeted toward younger generations –essentially a highlight reel. Pinterest can be summed up into an online dream board, if you will. In the future, there is bound to be more apps and websites created with their individual purposes that will further fuel journalisms need to adapt.


Reuters: Behind the Screen

Reuters. Never heard of them? Well this post is about to give you the rundown you want to know about this 21st Century news room.

Gina Cherelus and Barbara Goldberg will be speaking on Seton Hall University. They’ll be discussing what they’ve learned from working in the journalism industry.

*Shameless plug: if you are currently studying journalism, public relations or communications feel free to stop by Room 105 nursing*

They use Reuters NY and social media, such as Twitter, to promote new stories and information to their audience.

What is Reuters you may ask? Reuters was established in 1851 by founder Paul Julius Reuter. The news organization is a division of Thomas Reuters, and was acquired by the Thomas Corporation in 2008. They are an international organization, which receives and delivers top information and news around the world. News topics span across various subjects like business, politics, sports, entertainment, technology and much more.

You may be wondering who our speakers are? We have that answer too!

Gina Cherelus is a Reuters reporter, who specializes in U.S. General News. Her work and articles have been printed in very well credited publications such as ELLE Magazine, The Miami Herald, Forbes, etc. She received her degree at Florida A&M University for broadcast journalism. She has put this degree to great use by reporting on the #MeToo movement and Parkland, Fla. shooting.

Barbara Goldberg is currently a National Correspondent at Reuters. Before writing for Thomas Reuters she was a freelance writer at ABC News and Slate. She attended St. Lawrence University where she received her B.A. in English.

            More than their columns, our speakers will be discussing how they use their Twitter board for different functions and how it can help you!

            There will be time to ask questions you are dying to have answered. These will be mine – don’t steal them though!

  1. What has been the most difficult part about using Reuters social media to promote stories?
  2. How often do you use social media to crowdsource for stories, and how do you decide what material/content is useable?
  3. How does using Twitter for PR differ from using social media for journalism? Are there any differences?
  4. What has been your favorite personal experience while chasing a story, whether it was part of the job or an interesting memory?
  5. Have you ever found yourself in legal issues regarding a story or tweet? How was the situation handled?

How Microblogging is Changing the Game

            This social media in journalism course has taught our class how to professional, appropriately, and efficiently connect with an audience, as well as tell a story. This week’s reading/online article dives deeper into the “how” aspect of blogging. Meaning, how has the industry changed, how can journalists stay up to date with trends, and much more.

            In Chapter 4 of Mark Briggs’ Journalism Next, he mentions that microblogging, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn (or really anywhere you can update a crowd on events or what happening with/ around you) had become a helpful tool in the world of journalism. It gives writers a face and a profile so they no longer have to hide behind their byline. It is also a quick way to update your audience because social media can be accessed via a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Briggs says that, “It’s the ability to maintain a constant connection with others without a direct communication tool like a phone or email, which is one-to-one. Ambient awareness allows for one-to-many communication,” (Briggs 95).

            Now that we know microblogging is fantastic to crowdsource, connecting, and sharing work, let’s dive into how algorithms play a part. Algorithms help microblogs along, and in the shortened version of the article’s explanation, algorithms are a code, or advanced math problem, which sorts through what social media users will enjoy most, how long they look at and read a post, and whether or not they are likely to repost it. This can be helpful if your content is being seen. However, this article emphasizes that newspapers and marketing strategies are becoming washed out by the Facebook algorithm, and why it’s a con rather than a pro.

Imagine going onto a random website and seeing an ad for the shoes you were just looking at on a different web browser. Have you ever been totally freaked out in a “someone is watching me” kinda way? Welp, that the algorithms hard are work. They gather information about you based on where you clicked and what you look at. From there, these websites can filter through content and push the ones they think you’ll most likely enjoy. They also sell this information, otherwise known as “cookies” to other websites.

So, here’s how to keep the algorithms working in your favor. Keep your content user-friendly. Forge and Smith says you should keep in mind that if you want to reach a bigger, or more specific crowd, create valuable content that your reader will use. Also, the power of the hashtag should never be underestimated! Finally, share your profiles across all social media platforms you have.

I hope this article was of help in your next blogging or microblogging experience!

Twitter. Terrible or Terrific?

Twitter is an amazing tool for journalists and PR professionals, whether it is networking with other people in the same field, pitching a campaign, or scoping out the latest news. However, is Twitter REALLY needed or even used correctly by professionals?

            Forbes makes a compelling argument that, while Twitter is helpful in a multitude of situations, such as polling, interaction with publics and all the previous points made before, people can be focused on the wrong things. Let me explain, Forbes uses the example that, sure, Kim Kardashian has 18.4 million followers but only 29% of her audience was active and authentic accounts. Therefore, the quality of your followers is even more important than the quantity. Also, if you are looking for information from your audience quality is even more important as it pertains to a targeted market, not just anyone. Gaining followers is still important nonetheless. Great tips the article gives are to advertise, run contests, guest blogging, video tutorials and add widgets to your LinkedIn page.

            CBC writes an article more strongly opinionated than Forbes fact v. fantasy. It’s important to note that Twitter is not the voice of the people, as the headline reads. It describes journalists becoming blindly. To be fair, this isn’t always a bad thing as journalist look into the thoughts of ordinary people in order to write their stories in a more approachable, relatable style. But as the article points out, it becomes dangerous when tweets become the story, instead of aiding it. Heidi Tworek, a history professor at the University of British Colombia, says that this is getting, “into dangerous territory, because there are so many users who are not ‘real’ people at all. Flashback to Kim Kardashian and her fake account followers.

            Columbia Journalism Review takes it a step further by asking, “Can you still be an effective journalist if you ignore Twitter?” Well, that depends. Do you write about the media? Is your target audience found on Twitter? Are you writing about pop culture? If so, then Twitter can be one of the most useful tools for you when fishing for information or trends. It also allows your followers to contact and give you feedback directly. But this isn’t necessary for all journalists, and that’s up for you to decide.

            In my personal opinion, Twitter should not be trusted for hard-hitting information, and should never be the core of a story. However, using Twitter to gauge a target audience or shape your story wouldn’t hurt anyone. That being said, Twitter will not end a journalist’s career if they’re profile picture is still an egg and they have never actually logged into their account!

Carnival Crowdsourcing

Welp, it helps to have sorority sisters who can help you crowdsource! Reaching out to your audience truly helps build your network. After putting feelers out about this assignment, I received more follows and feedback than when I first started!

            Crowdsourcing for information, a story or a pitch can be extremely helpful. However, it can also be difficult to convince people that responding to your surveys is worthwhile. Last week I asked my Twitter (@KellysThoughts_) and Instagram (Shusocial_Kelly) followers about the various events happening at Seton Hall this upcoming spring. Thankfully, I received helpful feedback.

            The topic that received that most comments were the annual SHU Carnival. Many people seemed excited to engage about what their favorite part of “SHUchella” is. From food to entertainment and rides there is no doubt that the spring carnival is the most well-attended event that SAB (Student Activities Board) buts on for students, both undergraduate and graduate. During this day, pictures from the carnival fill up social media platforms, and for good reason!

            Instagram seemed to be the best way to reach my followers, as this is where they spend most of their downtime. Between posting “question” stories and pictures to their timeline, it was easy for my audience to quickly respond with their opinions and thoughts.

            The results I found were somewhat expected and, yet, also surprising. I was well aware that SHUchella was popular and received a high attendance rate, but was shocked to find how excited my followers were to respond with their suggestions and favorite things about past carnivals. Casey Bischoff, 20, said she loved the free food that was available, such as cotton candy –a carnival staple! The rides seemed to draw in more people than booths did with an emphasis on the Ferris wheel. A suggestion that was thrown out was to have a concert of some sort. Seton Hall has had plenty of concerts in the past, and it would be awesome for them to have a sunset concert that some student could even watch while they are on rides. That would be an unforgettable memory!

            After receiving this information, I decided to do some more digging. I looked up what the best carnival rides are in order to see what Seton Hall should rent for the 2019 spring event. I typed in Jenkinson’s Boardwalk (a beach attraction in New Jersey) because it would get people interested in coming if their childhood rides came to their college campus! It seemed that I was corrected as Nick Curran, 22, had the same rides to offer to mention, “some rides that could be fun to see (and ride) are a carousel, bumper cars, Moby Dick, Super Himalaya, and obviously Pirate’s Plunge.”  Can’t argue with that last ride, talk about branding! 24, 2014 Seton Hall

Blogging and Building and Branding, oh my!

In today’s society, branding is crucial for building a reputation, as well as an image, for yourself, your blog, or your company. However, sometimes this can be hard to do, and many times it’s hard to know where to even begin. Luckily the following articles laid out a guide to how to build your brand.

            Problogger gives helpful tips such as giving bloggers your product in order for them to review and increase the size of the audience seeing your product. It’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t go crazy giving away your product if it’s expensive. Therefore, “if you target key bloggers with your giveaways, you’ll keep cost down and get better results.” Another helpful tip is to ask for feedback! According to this article, bloggers are more likely to promote your product or service if they feel their opinion is valued. I have found that this to be extremely important to reach out and ask for help when needed. Perspective can help growth, whether it be personally or for a company.

            Something to be kept in mind, as stated by Seo Chat, is that while reaching out is a key to success, it’s easier said than done. That does not mean it never happens! You just have to persevere and continue to put out feelers and reaching out to bloggers. Why is it so important though? Bloggers add their own personal spin on coverage of a person, place, or thing. This makes it more interesting to read and draws in readers. A great quote from this article mentions that, “the more casual and comparatively unfiltered voice of the blogger creates the image of a business as being composed of real people like you.” After reading this it sounds like common sense, but sometimes the simplest concepts can be overlooked.

            Finally, your product can be amazing, but if you don’t have “killer content” to back it up, you won’t see results. .ME says there are key ways to create this amazing content, and all of them are simple. I recommend checking out this article for helpful advice. One thing to note is to engage your audience on your website or blog. Add a comment section and ask followers for feedback. Once again, we come full circle to we FEEDBACK. This also helps draw consumers in because it shows your target audience that you care about their opinions.


Social media can be used as both a tool and a weapon. When United Airlines forced a passenger off of an overbooked flight, they were flooded with complaints and backlash. The organization also failed to take action in an appropriate amount of time, and, when they did, were less than sincere. Luckily, the two articles on deck today have valuable insight on how companies can successfully combat PR mishaps.
Earned Media Rising maps out how a public relations crisis can be quickly turned into successful crisis management, as well as branding. In order to forgo and even worse sentencing from an angry audience on social media, timing is key. A company must act quickly to get their apology, and any message they wish to send, into circulation. Next, unlike United Airlines leadership, an apology must be sincere. The article also mentions not shying away from a conversation about the topic on social media. Instead of trying to stomp out the burning embers of a public relations fail, it would be wise for a company to jump in on the conversation and interact directly with their external stakeholders. It is always important to own up to mistakes made; it will help a company seem transparent with their audience, which is another key to success!
What can be viewed as a solution to the previous article, Huffington Post writes an article that incorporates public relations, news, and various industry happenings! What they call “real-time social media creative marketing and PR” could be the new wave of the future. It’s a way to allow companies to stay on top of the trends in their industry 24/7, whether it be headlines or the most recent conversations. For example, ‘Bridge’ was created by GolinHarris created an award-winning holistic engagement. It’s like a newsroom, but for PR which plans content, marketing, and strategies for companies.
I have many classes dealing in crisis management and these articles further my belief that it will always be needed! Hiccups are bound to be made, and they will always need fixing. I believe it’s important to jump right into the problem as soon as possible. This can actually help minimize consequences drastically. Also, having centers where PR specialists, journalists, etc. can keep track of ever-changing industries directly related to their company is a brilliant way to strategize and plan for general projects or communication plans.