When should journalists use their personal social media accounts and when should they use the branded newsroom accounts?
An editor raised those issues in an email (edited lightly to avoid identification, because I welcome private requests for help, even though I sometimes address the issues publicly):
Some of my staff members — copy editors who also do reporting — have been finding that crowdsourcing on our newsroom’s Facebook and Twitter accounts has been very useful, as would be expected. But, at times, they say, there can be so many reporters and editors doing it that their questions get lost in a sea of posts, all of which are almost always quality. They say they sometimes can have better luck posting crowdsourcing questions to their private Twitter and Facebook accounts, which means their sources have been gravitating toward those accounts and not the official branded accounts.
A concern raised among some editors is that these private accounts don’t give our official sites the hits and exposure they could if the groundwork was done through the official accounts. In addition, the private accounts and all the new followers staffers generate through their work here would go with the staffer should they leave.
It’s hard to find a best practice for how other papers handle this. This harkens back to the day when reporters on the cutting edge of technology initially used their private email accounts before newspapers caught on and got people their own company email account.
Anyway, I hear wisdom on both sides. Just wondering if you had thoughts that you wouldn’t mind sharing. Hope that isn’t asking too much. I read your blog routinely and find it very helpful and interesting. (more…)