social journalism computer keyboardHow do journalists and content publishers use social media and how do they feel about social media as it relates to public relations? These are the questions Cision answers in its 2013 Social Journalism Study. In 2013, there are five distinct groups of social journalists and each uses social media differently to create content.

Architects

The second largest group of social journalists (25% in 2013, up from 11% in 2012) are referred to as architects and are the most active social media users. Journalists and content publishers who write and publish content online, including reviews, columns, and editorial content, are most likely to be in this group. They’re also most likely to be freelancers or employees at small organizations. Architects:

  • Use social media for four or more hours per day (34%)
  • Use social media for no more than two hours per day (34%)
  • Rely on public relations professionals as their main source of information when sourcing a story (55%)
  • Are the biggest proponents of social media, particularly as a way to increase productivity (72%)
  • Believe that public relations professionals are a reliable source for stories (51%)
  • Believe that online sources are their most important sources for stories (55%)
  • Use social media tools for publishing and promoting (99%)
  • Are most likely to use blogs (97%), social networking sites (96%), Twitter and microblogs (99%), audio-visual sharing sites (90%) and content communities and crowdsourcing sites (90%).

Promoters

Promoters are avid social media users who use social media primarily to promote themselves and their work. This is the fourth largest group of social journalists (15% in 2013, down from 18% in 2012). Promoters are found in all media channels but are most likely to be in broadcasting (radio) or work for a large company. Promoters:

  • Use social media for four hours or more each day (17%)
  • Use social media for no more than two hours per day (52%)
  • Use social media primarily for promoting (98%), sourcing stories (96%), and networking (95%)
  • Are primarily hard news journalists (34%) but least likely to be investigative journalists (2%)
  • Are most likely to use Twitter and microblogs (97%), social networking sites (94%), and content communities and crowdsourcing sites (92%)

Hunters

Hunters are considered to be medium-level social media users. They are the third largest group of social journalists (20% in 2013, up from 14% in 2012). These social journalists are avid networkers and use social media primarily for sourcing story information and finding contacts. Hunters:

  • Use social media for four hours or more per day (8%)
  • Use social media for no more than two hours per day (69%)
  • Believe that Twitter and microblogs (64%) and blogs (41%) are the most valuable social media tools
  • Are primarily feature writers (29%) but are least likely to be investigative journalists (4%)
  • Are most likely online journalists (38%) and print magazine journalists (24%)
  • Are evenly spread across large (31%) and small (29%) organizations.
  • Are most likely to use Twitter and microblogs (96%) and social networking sites (89%)

Observers

Observers are the largest group of social journalists (30% in 2013, up from 26% in 2012). They are lighter users who primarily use social media for networking and to source and publish stories. Observers:

  • Use social media for four hours or more per day (7%)
  • Use social media for no more than two hours each day (78%)
  • Use social media primarily for sourcing story information (89%) and publishing content (85%)
  • Believe that blogs are one of the most valuable types of social media when they’re sourcing a story (47%)
  • Do not create social media content often with most Observers never contributing to content communities or writing a work-related blog (59%)
  • Are most likely to be investigative journalists (37%) and hard news journalists (33%)
  • Are most likely to use social networking sites (90%) and content community and crowdsourcing sites (87%)

Skeptics

Skeptics are the smallest group of social journalists (9% in 2013, down from 31% in 2012) and the least active. They reluctantly engage with social media and have low knowledge of and negative opinions about social media. Skeptics:

  • Use social media for more than four hours per day (4%)
  • Use social media for no more than two hours per day (91%)
  • Are likely to have no social media followers (36%)
  • Use social media primarily for sourcing story information (81%) and least for monitoring (52%) and networking (51%)
  • Are unlikely to use Twitter and microblogs to source information for a story (12%)
  • Are primarily hard news journalists (27%) and least likely to be column and editorial journalists (5%)
  • Are least likely to work in large organizations (35%)
  • Are most likely to be over the age of 46 (61%)
  • Are most likely to believe that they could easily carry out their jobs without social media (74%)
  • Are most likely to use content community and crowdsourcing sites for work (85%)

Overall, journalists and content publishers are becoming more social. Which group are you in? You can follow the link at the beginning of the article to download the complete report which includes more details about the user groups, data by country, and more.

Image: Laura Leavell