career talk / social media

Expectations are there for new hires and social media

I know you’ve probably heard it here plenty of times, but the drumbeat for online journalism skills continues to grow louder from every professional journalist I’ve spoken to or listened to at a conference or workshop this year.

When I was at the Mid-America Press Institute’s “Managing Change” workshop recently, one quote brought this back to mind. It was from Alan Herzberger, digital managing editor of The Oklahoman.

Here’s what I tweeted at the time:

Herzberger said the Oklahoman expects new hires to be active on Facebook and Twitter, and to have some followers (for more on the Oklahoman’s social media strategy, read the story at, along with others from the workshop).

That dovetails with something Steve Yelvington wrote recently that I though deserved some attention: The new baseline skill set, which includes this skill:

Be prepared to use social networking to further your job goals. This includes listening, engaging and promoting your work.

There are a lot of web sites out there that will give you advice about how to achieve success in social media these days. My only advice is this: Get to it!

If you’re not using social media to connect with other journalists, with potential readers, with industry sources, you’re flailing at your journalistic responsibility.

When we started this blog, one of the things we talked about early on was that news is now a conversation (that’s not my terminology, but it describes the way news has evolved). It’s more true now than ever.


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