The revolution will not be broadcast: news in the age of discovery

The revolution will not be broadcast: news in the age of discovery

The time was when the most trusted name in news were people such as Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow.

Generations of Americans would tune into a nightly news broadcast at the appointed time to listen to the dulcet tones of Cronkite deliver the headlines of the day. The gravitas and importance of the media would guide conversations in households and offices for the days to come across the nation, setting the dinner table agenda and contributing to policy decisions for the nation.

Who are the most trusted names today? They are Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey.

Not for the news they deliver, but for the news facilitation they foster. People such as Zuckerberg and Dorsey have built the platforms and the channels that facilitate information sharing and discovery.

And with these developments has come a shift in where people obtain their information. The Pew Research Center found 63% of Facebook users and 63% of Twitter users says each platform serves as a source of news for events and issues outside of the realm of friends and family.

All of which speaks to a broader trend in society. It is no longer, social media versus media. Today it is all media.

Facebook has recently come under fire for apparently suppressing politically conservative news. The reason why this was so important is because of audience and time. There are now 1.65 billion people on Facebook spending an average of 50 minutes on the site.

LinkedIn, formerly known as a site to host an online resume, is has more than 1 million members publishing content.

Twitter hashtags help drive the conversation around major sporting events. The NFL, recognizing the power of social platforms, in April signed a deal to broadcast football games over Twitter. While the traditional partners of the NFL, such as CBS and ESPN, are still important to the league, in a nod to the evolution of media, the NFL is seeking ways to reach the global audience of tomorrow, instead of the traditional media audience of yesterday.

"This is about transforming the fan experience with football. People watch NFL games with Twitter today," said Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, when announcing the streaming deal with the NFL.

News is aggregated and delivered across these social channels. While deadlines are still important in breaking the news, contextualizing and explain the implications of a news event now relies on authoritative content from a variety of sources. These shifts have communicators asking, how can I ensure my content is found in the age of news discovery?

Below are a few tips to help make your news discoverable:

  • Two links good, four links better: The more links points to your content, the greater amplification of the content across search engine results. Post news on a company website and then include links across social media channels. Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Tumblr are just the beginning. Hootsuite explains there are eight types of social media—such as social publishing, bookmarking sites and personal networks—and within each of those categories, countless channels to link and share to content.

  • Include citations: links are important for elevating content with broad appeal; citations elevate content search results when people search information from the local area. Citations refer to details of a business that can be found on business directories and review sites. A business name, phone number, address, and web site can be listed on these sites to give your business credibility – not only to your customers, but also to the search engines. Boost citations by posting company information on sites such as BBB.org, Yelp and Angie’s List and amplify the discover of a company’s content.

  • Re-run your news: people search not because they seek news, per se, but because they seek information on a news topic. A view of Google’s search trends reveals top sporting contests or events happening that day. This can be a powerful source of web traffic for content that provides context. Consider President Obama’s decision to visit Hiroshima during his trip to Japan in May. Some news consumers with less understanding of the history of World War II sought information on the importance of this visit and typed into Google “Hiroshima,” returning a New Yorker article from August 31, 1946; the age of Edward R. Murrow.

It is no longer about ending the news delivery when the nightly news anchor signs off for the night. Today the news lives on around the world once the day is done. Consumers are seeking information to bolster their understanding of the events, people and ideas that shaping the news. Make sure your information is part of the discussion.

Eric Hazard is a director at Cognito where he helps financial companies tell interesting stories to the world. When he’s not at the office he enjoys hiking in New York’s Catskill mountains and amusing gifs of panda bears. Follow along on Twitter.

Photo: Analog TV via Shutterstock

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