Social media opens up a world of possibilities for journalists to create their own followings and engage with users.
You can show the behind-the-scenes of your daily work or provide exclusive content for your most loyal followers. It can be beneficial to show that the hard-working journalist is just another human at the end of the day. An added benefit of going this extra mile is that your audience starts to become familiar with the news brand you work for.
But, different platforms offer different capabilities. Want to get your creative juices flowing? Here we round up some inspiring journalists and content creators to help you get the ball moving.
Anna Holligan, BBC News
The standard piece-to-camera tests any reporter's ability to deliver a clear and punchy script. Anna Holligan is a foreign correspondent for BBC News based in Hague, The Netherlands. But the experienced reporter has become so adept at her job, she decided to turn the difficulty up a notch on her Twitter video series Dutch news from the cycle path.
Here, she can nail a news briefing while two-way filming herself and cycling through the Dutch city. Check out the amazing feat of multi-tasking below.
The numbers are impressive too. A single video can fetch around 100k impressions, 30k views and 7k engagements on Twitter.
How does this work again?— anna holligan 🎙 (@annaholligan) September 2, 2021
My great pleasure to bring you a new season of…
Dutch news from the cycle path
Megan Healy, Fox 5 San Diego
One piece of equipment any TV presenter or anchor will know well is the teleprompter - AKA the autocue - which displays text for an anchor or TV presenter to read off.
This is bread and butter for Megan Healy, an award-winning reporter for Fox 5 San Diego where she also fills in for the weather reports.
Using TikTok and Instagram Reels, she puts out 'prompter challenge' videos to let her audience try their hand at her day job. Healy normally just puts out a video of a typical news script she would deliver, and audiences can use that video to show their best attempts.
They get shared far and wide and can even find their way onto completely different platforms like YouTube. An effective audience engagement strategy. Harder than it looks, right?
Johnny Harris, YouTuber
Anyone who has spent any time drifting through YouTube knows that the social video platform attracts a certain kind of content creator personality. Light, fun, snappy, insightful; these are all necessary qualities to stand out in such a crowded space.
Not many journalists are focusing on YouTube. But one who is certainly nailing it is Johnny Harris, a filmmaker, journalist and senior producer who has worked for Vox Media, where he has produced complex documentaries led by engaging graphics and cinematographic visuals.
He spends most of his time now on his YouTube channel, where he cultivates so many of these creative traits. He has done reflective takes on his career in journalism, and a whole lot more unpicking complex topics with humour, wit and intelligence all in abundance. He has 1.7m subscribers for a reason, well worth subscribing to for inspiration alone.
Romeo Agresti, Goal.com
Type the word "journalist" into Facebook search and you will see many reporters with their own pages set up to keep followers in the loop with their latest stories. Pumping out links to their bylines seems to be their end goal though.
This is a missed opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with your audience. Look at Romeo Agresti, the Juventus correspondent for sports publication Goal.com, reporting on Juventus football club.
Agresti also has a popular Instagram and YouTube presence but on Facebook, he shares sneak peek-style videos on the beat he covers. Obviously, the biggest story this summer has been Cristiano Ronaldo's departure from Juventus and a simple video of Ronaldo boarding a plane can wrack up thousands of likes.
The point is, if you have an exciting beat, show the world the tantalising access that you have. This is engaging content for passionate followers.
Jamie Brindle, Brindlescotch
There is an untold number of headaches that freelancers will relate to. Whatever industry you work in, if you are freelance, you will understand what it is like to chase payments or find a sweet spot of pricing.
Jamie Brindle hits the nail on the head with his Instagram Reels videos. He is the founder of Brindlescotch, a B2B content production company, but has built up a strong following online through freelancing advice videos.
In true TikTok trending style, he plays the role of a rookie and pro freelancer. On a given topic, he acts out advice being handed down from one to the other on topics like networking, raising your rate, going full-time and so on.
What is really clever about these videos is that they make full use of the "looping" aspect of Reels and TikTok videos, so the conversation between the two characters is edited in a way that keeps the video rolling naturally over and over again (watch logged in for best results). Journalists can be inspired by the editing skills here to make this work, but also by playing into a niche and having a good sense of platform trends.
He also collaborates with a lot of other content creators, from podcasters to YouTubers, to help spread his presence.
Who do we need to add to the list? Get in touch and let us know.
Free daily newsletter
- WaPo and Social Spider use email to showcase the best - not just the latest - news stories
- Innovative US local newsroom strategies: SMS tactics with San Francisco Chronicle and L.A. Taco
- Indifference, not hostility, is the main barrier to building trust in news
- Five essential tips for delivering online training
- Innovative US local newsroom strategies: Carl Hunnell, city editor of Richland Source