Five best hacks for busy journalists
Journalists- your next great time-saving hack may already be in your hand.
Journalism is a profession of experience and as such, you have to keep learning. A lot of us are self-taught – we learn the basics in college or on our first job but as time goes on, we learn new things in order to keep up with the trends.
These are some hacks I learned along my journey and I’d love to hear what hacks you’ve learned! The day you stop learning is, in my opinion, the day you’re doomed to fail.
1. Social Analytics. Social Analytics is big business these days – Facebook has some basic, free tools that you can use to monitor the success of posts on any Facebook page, but what if you need to dive in deeper or across multiple social networks at once? That’s where TagBoard comes in. TagBoard is a great resource because it allows you to monitor hashtags across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Vine. It’s a really great way to get a sense of what people are posting about your brand and is a free way to listen in on every network at once.
2. Audio Editing. Sometimes, the only thing you have to record a great piece of audio is your iPhone. But, what if you want to put some photos or video with your content? Maybe you’re on the go and need someone who isn’t with you to record a voiceover? The hack that I’ve used is to have someone call you, leave a voicemail and then record the voicemail in a voice note. This sounds complicated, but it isn’t, especially if you’re working with someone else and have access to two phones. After that, you download it as an audio file and upload into your editing program of choice.
3. Social Media Scheduling. Let’s face it – we all should use more of those vacation days we have, especially if we want to keep being creative. In order to avoid burnout, you’ll likely have to schedule all of your work in advance. If you can’t (or won’t) pay for a social media scheduling tool, Buffer and HootSuite are great, free alternatives. Using BufferApp for personal tweets is also a great way to fill your accounts when you’re busy working on your professional accounts.
4. Instagram Analytics. Instagram is one of my favorite social media networks, but it’s also one of the hardest to track. My hack is to use statigram, now Iconosquare. This allows you to see if the photo was added to the most popular page, how many people liked it and how many comments you have. You can also look at your followers’ information to see who is liking your photos and, you can look at the people you follow to get a sense of their reach on the platform.
5. Editing Video. Sometimes, you don’t have Final Cut Pro access. You can, if you’re on a Mac, use iMovie. My favorite iPhone hack is to edit on iMovie for the iPhone – it’s a great solution if you’re just adding an end card or if you’re splicing some video. You can’t make an entire movie or spot on there, but it’s good on the go. If you’re at a different computer without any video editing software, you can “trim” video within Quicktime. This is truly a “down-and-dirty” hack as it literally only lets you cut video.