Facebook for work… really?

Yesterday Mediabistro spread the results of an independent study presented at the 3rd Annual Society of New Communications Symposium. The study was conducted to evaluate how quickly journalists across age groups are adopting social media tools.

No shock here, the “Millennial Generation” (i.e., 18-29 year-olds) trumped the elders in adoption. What IS shocking however, is the disparity. 100% of Millennial respondents believe new media and communications tools are enhancing journalism, versus 40% in the 50-64 demographic. Only 40%?!

In other findings, and what specifically was an eye-opener for me, was the finding that almost 50% (48% to be exact) of all journalists surveyed use Facebook (FB to me) to “assist in reporting”. Really, FB? That is 3% more than those who use LinkedIn, which is positioned predominantly for business users. Don Middleberg, CEO of Middleberg Communications found this to be “exciting news… communications professionals who embrace these changes will be far more effective and successful.” Maybe it is my impending 30th birthday and the fact that I am scarred by the realization that I will no longer be categorized in the Millennia Generation, but when considering Facebook for professional use, I don’t exactly find that news “exciting”.

I do belive that utilizing social media tools allow us to further professional relationships and facilitate informational transfer in a more effective manner, but FB? Is nothing sacred? Do clients or professional media associates really need to see photos of my friends and family or where I plan to meet friends for Thanksgiving? I’m not convinced that is helpful to me or you. 

Do journalists of all ages REALLY utilize Facebook to obtain news and information, or simply to grow relationships that have already been forged? Is this the channel of their choice? When and where do journalists and PR professionals draw the line between personal and professional?

Would love feedback from media partners on this topic… you can email me at kshort@castercomm.com, call Caster Communications at 401.792.7080, find me on Twitter here, call my cell, or find me on FB here… Not so fast. 🙂

Check out the study. The findings are by no means Earth-shattering, but  in all seriousness, it may be useful for 2009 communications planning.

Posted by: katie


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