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Stations Grow in Social, Mobile Says RTDNA

Radio getting more staff involved in video, Twitter

Research by the Radio Television Digital News Association shows radio stations are making strides in developing social media and mobile strategies to deliver news to new audiences.

The latest RTDNA survey of newsrooms show more stations are adding social media desks, committing full-time employees and/or scheduled groups of employees to maintain a constant social media presence.

Some 42.9% of radio news directors reported doing something new with social media in the past year; that compares with 72.4% of TV news directors.

“More” was the radio word of the survey in social media. More actively engaged in social media mostly; getting the staff more involved as well. And there were even more specific mentions of using Twitter than using Facebook, although both were quite high. Also making a decent showing: the increased use of pictures, both still and video.

Radio use of Facebook has been rising steadily, if slowly, until this year. Overall use actually dropped almost a point from a year ago. Most of that drop came from a lot more major market stations in this year’s survey that don’t use Facebook.

In contrast to Facebook, the radio use of Twitter rose by nearly nine points from a year ago, with the biggest growth coming in small markets. Major and medium stayed about the same.

When asked what was the most important thing they started doing with mobile in 2014, more than 60% of radio news directors said “nothing.” For the 36.8% who said they did something new, more than half pointed to the development of one or more mobile apps.

Some 300+ radio news directors and general managers answered the survey, conducted by Bob Papper, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Journalism at Hofstra University.