Pimp yo’ brand

Journalists bang their own drums

For reporters, self-promotion isn’t just prudent, it’s essential. Although In These Times has multiple email newsletters, the nonprofit magazine encouraged staff writers Sady Doyle and Sarah Jaffe to send out newsletters of their own. “Each of them already had their own pretty substantial following” on social media and email networks before moving to the magazine, said Miles Kampf-Lassin, In These Times’ community editor. Getting them to send out personal newsletters was a great opportunity for the magazine to capitalize on their individual audiences, and for Doyle and Jaffe to add commentary to their articles and personalize the experience for readers. “It’s an effective way to reach an audience directly,” he said, “and also provide some context to the story.”

For journalists who want to go the do-it-yourself route, services like TinyLetter allow you to aggregate articles and send them to the people most interested in your work. (Just be sure to observe the proper etiquette.) Also, App.net’s Broadcast (available on Apple and Android platforms), lets reporters send homemade push notifications. Alerts that pop up on subscribers’ screens whenever new content is added, push notifications were once the preserve of major outlets like The New York Times. But now any journalist can develop his or her own notification stream. Users create a Broadcast channel and send out notifications to subscribers in the form of text, GIFS, or photos. It’s another way of making sure messages don’t get lost in the stream of Likes and tweets.

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Edirin Oputu is a former assistant editor at CJR. Follow her on Twitter @EdirinOputu