The Buttry Diary- When should journalists use branded social media accounts? Or individual accounts?

March 8, 2012

Steve Buttry addresses concerns on how journalists should handle crowdsourcing through personal and newsroom social media accounts.

According to Buttry, crowdsourcing or community engagement can be done through branded newsroom and personal social media accounts. Although a branded account may carry a larger audience, sometimes journalists are able to generate a more powerful response from their personal accounts due to previously established relationships in the community. The audience is also more likely to respond to an individual over a brand name.

Crowdsourcing tips:

  • Tweet crowdsourcing requests on personal account and retweet it on the branded account to generate responses from both sides
  • Post a request on Facebook from the newsroom page, share the post from a personal account and comment
  • Encourage staff members to build strong relationships with followers
  • Drive traffic to newsroom pages through links and tweets

Reporters who establish good rapport with the community and outside sources will have a loyal group of followers. Relationships are with the reporters, not the brand. When a reporter leaves, fans and supporters go with them and newsrooms may lose some of its following. Journalists should engage in social media to benefit news organizations and employers should look for reporters who have a strong social media presence and can pull in a loyal audience.

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