FIR Interview: Steve Rubel on Storytelling in the Age of Social News Consumption

FIR InterviewsAmong the hundreds of thousands of news items distributed online every day, a precious few gain traction and spread across social networks (mostly Facebook, but even including “dark social” channels like messaging apps and email).

Journalists are under increasing pressure to produce content people will share, and they are adopting practices they believe can increase the odds that their stories will lead to greater reach and more views. PR practitioners who understand these issues can tailor their outreach to editors and reporters who are being held accountable for the number of clicks their stories generate.

To better understand the characteristics of news that gets shared – and the techniques journalists are employing – Edelman partnered with two journalism-focused firms to study the issue. The 2015 Edelman Media Forecast, Storytelling in the Age of Social News Consumption, found (among other things) that more than 75% of journalists feel pressure to consider their story’s potential to get shared on social platforms, and to support that goal, they are infusing their stories with videos and images, brevity, localization, increased use of human voice, and a proximity to trending topics.

In this FIR interview, co-host Shel Holtz talks with long-time FIR friend Steve Rubel, Edelman’s Chief Content Strategist, about early results from the study and their implications for communicators.

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About our Conversation Partner

Steve RubelSteve Rubel is an executive vice president and Chief Content Strategist for Edelman, the world’s largest independent public relations firm. In this role, Steve studies the future of media and works across the firm’s practices and geographies to help clients unify their communications strategies across traditional, emerging, owned, and social channels.

In addition, Steve acts as a highly visible Edelman thought leader and writer on media, technology and digital culture. He speaks dozens of times each year around the world and appears frequently in the press. In addition he actively shares his observations and insights through his blog, his monthly Advertising Age column and on Twitter where he is followed by more than 60,000.

Steve has been named to several prestigious lists, including PR Week’s 40 Under 40 and The Web Celeb 25.

Prior to joining Edelman in 2006, Steve worked for 15 years in a variety of marketing communications positions in corporate, non-profit and small/mid-sized PR firms.

You can reach Steve on Twitter at @SteveRubel.

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This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information:

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(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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