Friday, March 25, 2011...12:16 pm

How to be a social media editor

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Cross-posted from UCA Journalism News, here’s a video of Bristol-based social media editor Chris Street speaking to UCA Farnham online journalism students on the power of social in journalism and the skills you need to succeed online, compared to traditional print journalism. (Hint: there is no real difference at all).
Be versatile
A social media editor has to wear many hats

“On Sunday, I was the leading female plastic surgeon in Birmingham; three days before that I was an Italian hair salon in Bristol; tomorrow I’m going to be a leading imagery and map solution provider in Cheddar.”

Don’t forget to mention how glamorous it is as a career, Chris…
Engage your audience
How social media makes journalism more responsive to readers

  • Journalism used to be “They listen, you talk at them”.
    Social media has totally changed that relationship – and for the better.
  • Social media means being able to listen as well as talk to your audience.
  • “You can’t broadcast at your audience any more.”
  • The wisdom of the crowd is a valuable tool for the hard-pressed journalist”

Journalism skills
Why traditional newsroom skills are vital for social media too
Journalism skills are very transferable: as journalists, you have skills and experience and a way of thinking that is essential if you’re working online.
Remember: the most valuable communication skill is listening.
News = people
Never mind the tech – it’s still all about relationships

“The platforms are changing so rapidly, there’s no such thing as a guru or an expert”

The key is to be really passionate about social media as an editor.
Bringing out the story
How journalism skills are vital to give life to content

  • Even when working with corporate clients on a social media strategy, think like a journalist.
  • Listen, don’t just hear: pick up on what people don’t say in order to bring out the real story.
  • One client –  a female plastic surgeon – kept focusing on the product: her work. She didn’t bring out her personality. Chris Street’s job as an editor was to work out what her audience wants to hear.
  • The result was a “day in the life” blog post that was easy to write and easy to edit, as it was so personal.
  • As a result it’s the blog post with the most traffic on her site.

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