Media and Social Media

5 Emerging Content Opportunities Your Newsroom Should Be Trialling Now

SOURCE: Poynter SOURCE: Poynter

Facebook has been coming under fire for how it describes itself recently along with its handling of trending topics and showing (or rather not showing) specific content.  Big questions are being asked about the future of the big blue misery machine but for many newsrooms just being seen would be a great problem to have.  All content is created equal on Facebook but that’s sadly where the truism ends once it goes into the endless content sausage factory.  After content is lovingly crafted in the status editor box and sent into the ether, numerous answers to questions are applied so that Facebook can determine where in the Newsfeed it should be “shown”.  Knowing and understanding what is working then becomes mission critical for many news outlets.  It would be unfair to say however that the various platforms aren’t offering newsrooms an array of tools to help newsrooms.  Below are five such tools that newsrooms are failing to jump on (for a wide variety of reasons).  With clear strategies I believe the following tools offer the next way outlets grow audiences, find news ones, make new revenue and reduce risk:

1) Facebook Live…as a programme
Reuters UK is doing a great job of extending the news product runway with Facebook’s live streaming platform, Facebook Live. Beyond simply entertaining a somewhat captive audience the team are smart and mention other products and areas of interest for the viewer during the broadcasts about the markets. Timed well in the morning with a good pace and level of depth the team has a great opportunity create a new audience and then push them around the Reuters ecosystem.  NPR, The Verge, The Young Turks and Digiday are also worth a look for inspiration.   Telescope.TV and Groovy Gecko offer teams a variety of set-ups should your strategy go beyond simply point and shoot.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Sponsorship, Product Placement, Branded Content, Partnerships, Ads…it all depends on what your brands is comfortable with… and that you don’t break Facebook’s community rules.

2) Instagram (and Snapchat) Stories…as a story

A huge opportunity springs from corporately owned Facebook in the guise of the shockingly copied Snapchat feature but with a few tweaks. Quartz, Cool Hunting and others all show the potential for this sort of reporting tool and reaching the audience that Snapchat and Instagram boast is important for any news organisation.  No-one is getting it right straight away but the numbers are impressive.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Terms of Service for Snapchat are different to Instagram but it’s somewhat the Wild West still out there at the moment.  So long as anything paid for is labelled ‘promo’ or ‘ad’ (however faint!) it is usually ok. Naturally partnering with either of these monsters (should they ask you) isn’t a bad strategy either.

3) Animated infographic video…as an entire news product
Different brands report different amounts but between 50-85% of videos viewed on Facebook are viewed without sound. A growing trend in the newsfeed is being based around silent video products (audio costs and people are generally using Facebook in a variety of scenarios where sound is undesirable (toilet, bus).  GOOD Magazine’s ‘Data Vizeo’ series is a good example.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: In-house or externally this can be done efficiently.  Companies like Wibbitz (FD: now working with Reuters) offer to create high-quality videos for very little extra work once the story has been created by the editorial team at the news organisation.

4) Facebook 360 Photos/Video…as an extension strategy
You don’t have to buy the $30,000 camera that Facebook have open-sourced to create beautiful and useful videos of news you are covering. Instead, a regular smartphone, Go-pro or a mid-range drone often will create a high-enough quality product. 360 Video projects need to be carefully thought out (sometimes a fly through adds little) but as the cost continues to fall, these interactive products can add new dimensions to reporting.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: From sponsorship to product placement – it’s all a question of ethics and transparency…

5) Messenger Chatbots…as a hook to other places
My experience with Chatbots has been clumsy to date but the technology is improving fast and will not always be so creepy and lackluster.  A good experiment, with the right product push strategy, could see some significant traffic pushed into downloading an app for example. Chatbots will also likely see a lot of attention now that Facebook has begun allowing payments to be taken through Messenger. Perhaps a new subscription model looms?
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chatbots have the potential to revolutionise the way we consume news…if we let them. Instead of a ‘show us everything and let us decide’ model we could morph news consumption into something entirely new. Perhaps a more ‘choose your own adventure with some weighting’ type scenario feels right or maybe even as a way to personalise your reactive website experience.

Creating a valuable editorial product remains a hard thing to achieve at scale and speed especially for the “snack-news” world we increasingly live in.  While there remain some obvious focuses (video) and simple wins for Publishers, it is increasingly clear Facebook wants Publishers to pay to play in their sandbox.  While this may be grating, Facebook clearly owns the sand and sandbox – Publishers can get angry and be cautious but you could also choose to create exciting things which, if used correctly, could help you get your target group to want to exit the sandbox.

Paul Armstrong, guest writer for Inside Agency, runs HERE/FORTH an advisory that helps business leaders decide how to best use rapidly changing, disruptive and emerging technologies. Follow Paul on Twitter @paul__armstrong or contact him on

This article does not express the views of Thomson Reuters. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author.

Real Time Marketing – Striking While the Iron is Hot

A photo illustration shows a Twitter message from Clarence House announcing the birth of a baby boy by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in London

Written by guest contributor Maz Nadjm, SoMazi

As the old saying goes, timing is everything. In modern business it’s the difference between being on the cutting edge and being left behind. If you get your timing right, yours will be the name on everyone’s lips. Get it wrong and you risk becoming yesterday’s news.

This saying is especially true of corporate social media usage. Real time marketing via social media can be a fantastic way of creating business opportunities by utilising the up-to-the-minute nature of platforms like Twitter – if your timing is right.

The way people interact and engage with global events or breaking news stories has changed forever thanks to social media. Sporting events like last year’s Summer Olympics in London, or global news events like the recent birth of the royal baby are all discussed widely on social media by people from all over the world who are able to engage and interact in real time. There’s an audience of millions out there, ready and waiting for you – and if you get your marketing right, then you can’t lose.


Taking a Partnership Approach with Clients: meet Lauren, a Reuters Account Manager

Lauren was welcomed into the Reuters News Agency team about 2 months ago, so  we thought it was the perfect time to sit down with Lauren and get her perspective on her new job, our customers and the industry. 

Reuters Agency: What made you want to transition to a sales/account management role? Why Reuters?

Lauren Kressel: In my old roles, I was responsible for developing business plans and then identifying and growing mutually beneficial strategic licensing partnerships to deliver on such plans. At Reuters, breaking news content is licensed to third parties who leverage the strength of our brand in their publications. I thrive on using strategic thinking in a fast-paced environment, identifying partners where our product can really enhance their business and working with internal teams to continually innovate and bring compelling offerings to market.

When I was looking to make a transition, I knew I wanted to work at another best in class company that has strong brand equity and is trusted by consumers and clients. Reuters made perfect sense for my next move.

RA: What have you found similar or different to your past experiences with the culture of the news organization?

LK: I was pleasantly surprised to arrive at Reuters and see my colleagues truly immersed and passionate about taking a partnership approach with clients, rather than just closing a sale and moving on to the next opportunity. There is a real commitment here, not just to deliver on the promise of providing breaking news right when it takes place, but to communicating with our clients on an ongoing basis. This helps them plan their offering effectively and ensures they have everything they need to deliver to their own customers.


Exclusive Interview with Muck Rack CEO Greg Galant

muck rack

The platform that is redefining what it means to be a ‘journalist on social’.

We recently sat down with Greg Galant, CEO of Muck Rack, a platform that gathers, filters and analyzes tweets from journalists around the world. He’s also the inventor of the Shorty Awards, and an avid Twitter user & enthusiast.

Greg has been a lifelong entrepreneur, starting with his first business in web development at age 13. He juggled multiple jobs throughout college, working at both a venture fund and at as an associate producer. After college, he created his own podcast called Venture Voice, a series of interviews with successful entrepreneurs from companies such as Linkedin, Brooklyn Brewery and PayPal. One of these interviewees created a side project called Twitter, and Greg was one of the first people to create a handle (you can follow him @gregory), where he learned about the power and potential of Twitter. This gave him the idea to launch the Shorty Awards, and from there Muck Rack and the evolution of Twitter took off.

In this candid interview with Greg, we discuss Muck Rack, why it’s a game changer for the journalism industry and how Twitter is changing the entire news landscape:

Reuters Agency: Muck Rack was founded in 2009. Can you describe the original initiative behind it and how it got started?

Greg Galant:  It actually came out of the Shorty Awards, which are the awards for best social media which was started back in late 2008. We always knew there was promise in up-and-coming social mediums, such as Twitter, where you could find people creating really good content, but it wasn’t until we started to realize that the Shorty Awards really caught on with journalists that we started to come up with the concept.  The first year we ran The Shorty Awards, Twitter wasn’t very big and we had, like, 60 journalists show up to the event. We saw this whole world where journalists were adopting Twitter before anybody else. And they were using it in a really interesting way to do their job. At the same time, Twitter was completely unorganized. There was no way to answer the question of “who was worth following on Twitter,” and there was this big credibility problem where anyone could write a tweet if they tried, so how could you differentiate between what’s real and what’s not? So, we launched the first version of Muck Rack in April 2009. Originally it was a very simple site but with the simple idea that “if you trust Reuters, [trust] their product when you see it in print and on a website, you should also trust what all their journalists say.” On Muck Rack, they (journalists) all are verified in one place where you can find all their content easily. And then there is the other piece of Muck Rack, where you get this view into tomorrow’s newspaper today. Whatever story is being worked on now, it will turn into an article in a newspaper or on a TV shortly thereafter. The reality is that journalists who are working on the story are giving real time updates on Twitter as it’s happening. So that’s what led us to the first version of Muck Rack. In 2009, we started with 150 journalists, and now we’re up to over 15,000. Muck Rack has become the site of reference for this, and as more and more journalists got on social media, there was an opportunity to build a much more advanced tool set. And it’s been wild to watch that kind of world grow.


Arab Media Forum: Transitional Phase…Transitional Media


Last week, Reuters attended the 12th Annual Arab Media Forum in Dubai. Launched by the Dubai Press Club in 2001 under the patronage of Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, the event provides a space for dialogue and in-depth discussion of the trends and challenges on the Arab media landscape and around the globe.  This year’s theme, “Arab Media: Transitional Phase…Transitional Media,” featured sessions ranging from “Digital media: Authority without Responsibility” to “Syria…A decade from now!” The local importance of the event is signified by the attendance of HH Sheikh Mohammed himself, as well as being widely covered by regional press and broadcast live on Dubai TV.

Arab Media Forum is attended by media professionals, as well as academic, political and intellectual leaders from the region and beyond. Speakers for each session are handpicked by the Arab Media Forum Committee, and Reuters was delighted to feature our own Samia Nakhoul, Middle East Editor, in “Conventional Media vs. New Media,” the first key session of the event.

From the buzz surrounding the presence of HH Sheikh Mohammed, to the integration of social media, Gemma Mckeown, a Senior Marketing Executive at Reuters, cited the energy in the room as one of the highlights of the event.  In particular, she noted, “…a live Twitter feed displayed at all times which made for a very interactive and highly engaging forum.”

According to Ayman Farekh, Reuters Business Manager of the Middle East & Africa, this event is especially important to Reuters because “attendees of this event are highly representative of our clients, and to be invited into their element and interact with them on the same level is irreplaceable for us.”  Ayman Farekh also acknowledged the importance of the Arab Journalism Award Ceremony at the event, adding that “it is always an honor to celebrate our clients’ hard work and recognize the very best journalism of the year.”

When Boston and Social Journalism Collide

The events that happened at the Boston Marathon will not be forgotten as they were all too familiar. As a native of Boston, I couldn’t help but have my eyes glued to every second of coverage, with three TVs in the office, both of my computers capitalized by social feeds flowing one-hundred miles-a-minute and my iPad in my hands. What was so strikingly different about the events that occurred in Boston on Monday was the sheer fact that at the same time we were watching trusted news organizations cover this terrible story, the world was  getting live coverage from every bystander and non-reporter as well. From my Boston Facebook friends posting and sharing their story to photos on my Twitter feed showing some of the most gruesome, non-filtered images of the wounded, I watched the events in horror, hoping that the next picture on Twitter wasn’t as bad as the last one.

While we’ve known  for some time that social media is changing the model of News Agencies, it’s clear there is an opportunity for leveraging social in situations like this.

A great example was the Live Blog that was managed by Anthony De Rosa, Reuters social media editor and Margarita Noriega, the Reuters community manager. Although myself- and likely the rest of the world- were toggling between all of the  major media outlets and my social feeds, I continuously went back to the Live Blog that they were running as it filtered the most accurate tweets and social comments from all of the noise in the social atmosphere.  And I’m sure many people can attest that stories like this can become clouded as it flows through social and people become investigative journalists, which happened on Reddit, and  The Daily Beast also pointed out that misleading facts unfortunately resulted in some news coverage errors. Furthermore, although I follow many news organizations, I do not follow all of them nor do I follow all of the journalists in the world. Luckily for me, the experts who curated the Live Blog do. Ultimately, it was the platform that gathered the most informed social commentary, videos, and photos of the event in real-time.

One could say that although there may be endless amounts of information on the internet and continuous advancements in technology, the Social Journalist is here to stay. However, it seems the world may not be ready for ‘unfiltered’ news curated by that person quite yet: in the end, the ‘semi-filtered’ content that came from Reuters made the headlines.

Check out our montage of the photos that made the headlines.

News Agencies and Social Media: A Relationship with a Future?

Complimentary Whitepaper Download

The last few years have brought many new challenges for news media. The advent of the Internet and the accompanying implementation of new distribution models have radically changed the way journalism is produced and perceived. One aspect of this is social media. Interactive offers like Facebook or Twitter have brought a new dimension and dynamic to news gathering  As traditional news media like newspapers or broadcasters have already adapted to this information and communication tools to a large extent, there is still a big task at hand for news agencies. The question today is: how are news agencies integrating social into their business models? This whitepaper examines how traditional wire services can make use of social media.

In partnership with The University of Oxford, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and sponsored by the Austria Press Agency Alfred Geiringer Fellowship, Mag. Christoph Griessner has done an extensive literature review of recent studies on journalism and social media, accompanied by analysis of five news agencies and interviews with some of their editors and social media experts, providing a look into the future relationship of News Agencies and Social Media.

Download the complimentary Whitepaper

3 Reasons Why Twitter was Media MVP at Super Bowl XLVII

Reuters/Max Rossi Reuters/Max Rossi

1) Twitter supplied additional, insightful commentary, and as expected, provided a platform for individual personalities representing major media outlets to shine. The added snarky real-time tweets alongside the live broadcast made it clear that Beyoncé wasn’t the only person on fire. It seems the opportunity for major media companies of having individuals to represent their brand via social media is one that can’t be missed. For example, @piersmorgan proved to be quite entertaining.


2) During the blackout, football, broadcasting stopped but Twitter did not. It wasn’t just the lights that went out, it was the live broadcast. While half of the viewers were wondering if this was an advertisement for the new Batman movie, the other half flocked to Twitter and capitalized on the power outage. As it quickly became clear people were concerned about their safety, some major media outlets tweeted updates about the blackout they were receiving from reporters and hosts they had on the ground. Some even offered a little light humor about the situation, while others may have missed all the Twitter updates during the blackout completely.