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How journalists can use Google+ circles

The 10,000 Words blog has an interesting suggestion for local reporters – but this post is probably worth a read by all journalists.

Meranda Watling suggests setting up circles in Google+ for each reporting area to allow you to share news stories, information, and interact with contacts.

The thing to point out is that your contacts don’t need to have a Google+ account – their email address can be added to a circle and they will then receive updates in their inbox.

A UK local reporter could create a circle for education, one for county council contacts and another for borough or district councillors, for example.

Watling has a suggestion to allow contacts to opt in to receiving your posts:

Create a general public “everything” circle that gets all the items you post — and place everyone you add (or who adds you) here by default. Tell people that these other specific circles exist, and give them the option to be included there and also to exclude themselves from other circles (including your everything list). Yes, this is absolutely going to take time, especially at first and especially if you’re a large news organisation. But think of the usefulness.

With this general set-up, you’ll be able to target relevant news directly to the stream of people most interested in it. Rather than have multiple Facebook pages to keep track of, you can simply select which circle each post is shared with each time you post.

Think of the comment threads that can be developed among only people specifically interested in that area of news. Also, if you’re looking for news tips or sources, post a message to that circle. It only goes to relevant folks and other people don’t feel bombarded with pleas.

Watling notes caveats such as dealing with non-tech-savvy contacts. There is also the problem that contacts are likely to view updates arriving by email as spammy.

The full 10,000 Words post is at this link.

For 10 other ways journalists can use Google+ click here.

If you are a journalist and not yet on Google+ and would like an invite, fill in this form and I will attempt to invite you.

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