Straight from reddit's director of communications: best practices for journalists on reddit
As a community of communities, reddit is a dynamic, constantly changing and customizable platform. As of February 2014, reddit received more than 112 million unique visitors, more than 5 billion pageviews and powered more than 7,000 active communities around anything and everything imaginable–and along the way drove traffic and discussions to all different types of content, from videos to charitable campaigns, news sites to podcasts.
As a communications professional–whether a journalist or a PR practitioner, here are some best practices for using the platform:
- Respect the community when sourcing content. If you see a promising story that’s gone viral, if you reach out to a redditor via private messaging, be sure to be clear about who you are, what you would be using the content for and provide a time by which you would like to hear back before moving on to using other content. Understand that it’s the right of the original poster (or OP) to not respond. Remember that redditor’s deadlines are not your deadlines, and plan accordingly.
- Remember that reddit’s communities belong to their members. Whether editorial, advertising or somewhere in-between, submitting your content walks a fine line and can violate our rules on self promotion. When in doubt, check out these rules and remember that there are easy ways to launch reddit content without breaking these rules (you can learn more about those here.)
- Engage with transparency. Whether you’re working on a fashion brand, or trying to learn more about what it’s like for families affected by legislation so you can include some original quotes in an article, if you’re commenting on reddit on a topic related to your profession in a work capacity make sure to identify that (i.e. “I’m really curious as to why you feel this is a trend, since I work in fashion, or “I work for a national magazine and would love to quote this story in an article that we’re doing”). You don’t necessarily need to create a separate account in your name, but if you’re going to be identifying that you work with fashion brands professionally on their PR, for example, you might want to create another account to do so to keep your personal account strictly for personal use. For journalists and writers who are looking to engage on an ongoing basis, we do recommend creating an account that you can use that verifies itself through ongoing activity, similar to this account for Tim Pool from Vice.
- Looking for a particular subreddit or topic? Just click “search reddit” in the upper right hand corner of the page for a particular keyword. This will bring up a list of related search terms as well as existing subreddits, which will show up near the top of the page. If you’re looking for related conversations to a particular item, try clicking the “related” tab on the top of the page to bring up similar topics of conversation or other discussions related to the same piece of content in other subreddits.
- What is a moderator? A reddit moderator is someone who has either created their own subreddit community, or who keeps the conversation guided and on-topic in a particular subreddit (so, for example, they’ll remove non-AMA submissions in /r/IAMA, the subreddit devoted to reddit question & answer sessions known as AMAs). Moderators are not employees of reddit.com since being a moderator is an unofficial volunteer position. Anyone can become a reddit moderator and reddit moderators have freedom to interact with their community in many different ways; however, they are not allowed to make any agreement on behalf of reddit or moderate in exchange for compensation or favor from third-parties. Moderators can respond on behalf of their communities but they do not speak for reddit as a whole. Each subreddit has their own regulations, rules and tone.
- Not finding the community you’re looking for? We recommend searching to see if others are discussing the same topic that you’re interested in, but you can very easily create your own subreddit simply by logging into reddit, then visiting this page.
- When in doubt, read the FAQ or ask. Both journalists and communications professionals are welcome to crosscheck their questions against reddit’s official FAQ and to reach out anytime to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply visit our contact page to ask us anything.
Victoria Taylor is the director of communications at reddit. She came to reddit from working in the digital department for several years of ID PR where she was involved with the strategic social media marketing and overall digital public relations campaigns of ID’s talent, brands and corporate clients. At reddit she works hand-in-hand with community managers and the site's general manager to help optimize communications with a wide variety of audiences that use the site-from content creators and publishers to end users and moderators who work on the site, as well as assisting with AMAs and interfacing with the media.