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26th June 2015

The Age of Smartphone Reporting

posted in Digital PR News |

smartphone reportingOn Wednesday we hosted a webinar about mobile search and news content with Shashi Bellamkonda, CMO of Surefire Social and adjunct professor for search, social and mobile at Georgetown University.

These recent headlines confirm that we are indeed in the age of smartphone reporting.



smartphone reporting 2

What does this mean for PR?

Media Relations is a big part fo the job.  For over a hundred years we’ve been taught how to write and present news content based on how the media works.  That model is no longer relevant. And it’s not  only  about digital news outlets – even reporters at traditional media outlets like major newspapers and TV stations are expected to be mobile and able to use their smartphones and social media to do their reporting.

If our job is to understand how a reporter works, what they need to produce a story and what tools they use, then it’s time for a sea-change in the practice of Media Relations.

The good news for reporters today is that the advent of smartphones has made it possible for them to do part of their job with nothing more than a phone. Poynter.org

What do reporters use their smartphones and social media for?

  • Find story ideas
  • Find eye witnesses
  • Search hashtags
  • Search for sources
  • Record audio files
  • Shoot video
  • Take photos
  • Edit photos
  • Live remote reporting
  • File stories on the go

When they search for ideas, sources, experts, images or videos to use in a story, or a follow-up to a news event, will they find your content?  Tech Crunch found that 44% of the Fortune 500 websites are not  yet mobile-friendly.  We checked the Inc 500 websites and found that more than half (56%) don’t pass Google’s test.

“A website ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in a search query could hypothetically fall to ninth or 10th place, causing a loss of thousands of dollars in potential business.” Independent analyst Greg Sterling in USAToday

Translate that into PR and media relations terms. If your newsroom was ranked No. 2 for your brand, or showed up high in search on relevant key phrases, if it falls out of the rankings your chances of getting media coverage go with it.  A reporter who is pushed for time goes with the informaiton and sources they find when they do a search.

The 2015 Global Trust Barometer ranks search as the most used and most trusted source of information and news today. That applies to journalists as much as the public.  Make sure your newsroom is mobile-friendly and has all the features the media expects in an online newsroom today.

Download the 2015 Media Trends and Newsroom checklist

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