Wednesday, December 26, 2018

While Popularity Of Social Media As A News Source Rises, Authors Must Promote To All Media

Image result for image of all media 

The news consumption habits of Americans continue to evolve with technology, just as it did when television came out, as well as radio.  According to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, more people now get news more often from social media than print newspapers.  So what does this mean for authors looking to crack the media code?

According to the study, many people consult multiple sources for their news, crossing several mediums, but the most popular source continues to be television.  49% of Americans admit to getting a lot of their news from TV.  33% site news websites, 26% radio, 20% social media, and just 16% print newspapers.

However, as you can see, the poll didn’t ask people to rank which source they use most often, only asking them which types of media they utilize, allowing for more than one response.  It also doesn’t indicate how many people don’t consult any sources of news.

But patterns are emerging.

Over the last several years, TV viewership of the news has dropped.  So has readership of print newspapers.  Radio listenership is flat.  News websites and social media increased.  Those 65 and older are five times as likely as 18-to-29-year-olds to get news from TV, while those 18 to 29 are four times as likely to often get news from social media than those 65 and older.

The source of news for Americans is important.  How people are informed – and by whom – can influence the kind of society we live in.  It also can impact book sales, depending on how these different news sources are approached by authors and publishers.

The study could be misleading.  For instance, it’s saying 1 in 5 Americans get at least some of their news from social media.  But if that includes the times when someone retweets a New York Times article or a Facebook post discusses a Washington Post story, or a You Tube video is based on a USA Today story, is the “source” really social media or print newspapers?

The study would count those as social media news, since the consumer first learned of a story via a social media outlet, despite the fact that outlet did no original reporting and merely presented an existing newspaper story.

So much of what circulates online is based on real news stories from legitimate traditional news media outlets.  So authors should still contact established news media outlets across all mediums, with the hopes their book will be covered, by nearly all types of media.  They know there’s value in having a Wall Street Journal article, then a tweet about it, a Facebook post linking the story, and a You Tube video discussing it.

Each news medium has its own advantages in influencing society.  Some people prefer to see (TV) or listen (radio) or consume online (podcast, video, social media, website).  Others like print in their hands – newspapers, magazines, or newsletters.  

For authors to reach people through each medium, they’ll need to shape a media pitch that fits in with that medium.  Obviously, a pretty face or a cool visual goes well on TV, not so much on radio.  And if you influence people best with your written words, a bylined article for a publication or website could be the way to go.  Perhaps you are an interesting personality who can constantly dish out content.  Social media would be your best option.

The Pew Study shows the importance of pursuing all media. No one media is consumed by the majority of Americans and in many cases, multiple media sources are devoured by people.  Don’t be quick to live and die with one medium, and when possible, look to make an impact in all or many of them.

Books transcend all media.  Someone listening to NPR is as likely a book purchaser as one who watches CBS This Morning, follows the tweets of an influencer, reads a NYT article or a Newsweek editorial, or consumes a popular political podcast or reads Huff Post.  

Every media outlet is important, and each medium is significant.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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