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It’s no secret that news organizations old and new, large and small, are trying to figure out how to best leverage social media and mobile tools to enhance reporting and build audience.

Here is what doesn’t work: a haphazard or tacked-on use of mobile/social based on little more than how we use it in our personal lives.

‘How to Craft a Social First News Strategy’ is a 23-page guide designed to help news organizations establish a professional calibre social-first strategy that works.

Today’s younger, emerging audience expects its journalism to embrace the traditional values of newsgathering, but, at the same time, it expects engagement in the process and almost minute-by-minute updates through video, images and short text blasts. For more traditional news orgs a transition to a social-first strategy can be a struggle. For start-ups just breaking into the market it can be challenge.

So, what does ‘social first’ mean? A social news strategy requires that editorial policy and news coverage are build around social from top to bottom.  Social media sites are a news organization's front page. A social first news strategy works the audience into the production equation from the outset rather than an afterthought. A social first strategy encourages news organization to hire staff and provide resources with building social audience as a primary goal.

Here are some of the specific section titles from the guide:

  • Understand What Makes a Social Story
  • Staff a Social First Newsroom
  • Plan Your Social-first Strategy
  • Understand Your Technology
  • Be Competitive in the Market
  • Building Audience
  • Understand the Additional Challenges to Success

Get the high resolution PDF for printing here. (6.6 MB)

The Guides were produced in partnership with The International for War and Peace Reporting. It is part of a series of upcoming social first reporting guides that will include the following titles: ‘Planning your Coverage,’ ‘Photography for News,’ ‘Planning your Video,’ and ‘Recording Narration.’