Recent posts

Summer Camp: John O’Connor’s Social Media Secrets

We recently persuaded John O’Connor, StateImpact Florida education reporter and social media extraordinaire, to share some of his tips and tricks with us. He put together a list of key take-aways, below, for those of you who weren’t able to join us.

  • Not all social media is equal. Take advantage of the strengths of different sites. Twitter is what’s happening now. It’s great for publishing and promotion, but also a good way to find sources, activists and trends. Use Facebook to share things that might spark a conversation. LinkedIn is great for finding people who worked or work for specific companies or organizations.
  • Twitter is the most useful social media service, but it needs to be tamed. Use TweetDeck, HootSuite or a similar tool to bend it to your will.
  • Remember that social media is a conversation. You have to engage with others to get the most out of it.
  • Use social media to tell stories. People love to live-tweet events. Compile those tweets with Storify, but be a journalist and organize and add context to tell a story.

Using ScribbleLive For Live Blogging

We’ve decided to start using ScribbleLive for live blogging. It offers many of the same features as our former platform. You can collaborate, pull in outside Tweets or Facebook posts, embed images, video, and other multimedia content.. And you can have a virtually unlimited number of viewers. And, as if all of that weren’t enough, the interface is very intuitive.

One minor problem is that our account will only allow a limited number of events to take place at any given time. So, if you are planning to use it for an upcoming event, please claim your turf by giving us a heads up.

Then, dig in. Here’s how to set it up: Continue reading

Social Media: Beyond Self-Promotion

In this webinar, we share ways to use social media (including Twitter, Facebook and Reddit) to engage with your core communities. We break down simple ways you can tweak the work you are already doing to maximize your social media presence. And we’ll share how other reporters—including your StateImpact brethren—are using social media to inform stories and promote their work.

StateImpact Webinar: Social Media For Reporters from StateImpact on Vimeo.

Continue reading

Now, Twitter Sharing is Easier Than Ever

Reporters, great news. Now you don’t have to manually shorten your post URLs before sharing them on Twitter. Your dashboard is doing it for you. Check it out, below:

Now, once you publish or update your post, look in the upper right hand corner and you’ll find the shortened link to share your post on Twitter. Copy it and then paste it into your Twitter message. Let us know if you run into problems, but hopefully this makes your workflow easier.

Twitter Promotion: Not What You Say But How You Say It

Smart, successful twitter promotion requires more than just tweeting out your headline, even if your headline is awesome. StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Scott Detrow had an instructive experience on Friday.

This morning, I tweeted a straightforward explanation of the regs story: “My look at PA’s #fracking disclosure regs, and how they compare to other states:”
Straighforward, but not  too interesting. I got one, maybe two retweets.

A few hours later, I tried again with this:

“When it comes to public availability of info, PA is at back of the #fracking disclosure pack”

More information in that tweet, and more of a reason for someone to click on the link. I’ve been getting steady RTS throughout the day on the second tweet, and therefore more people are ending up on the site.

So – it’s worth taking the time go into Twitter and write something out – maybe the most interesting fact or angle in the post – rather than just clicking the “tweet” button on the story or copying and pasting the headline in.

Potential Approaches:

1. Frame your tweet with the most interesting nugget in the piece.

2. Choose the most compelling quote from the post, and include it as the hook to your link.

3. The web loves a numbered list, so even if your headline doesn’t have “Top 3” or “15 Ways,” you can still promote your post that way.

4. Go with something counter-intuitive. For example, take Slate’s recent tweet: A rare piece of good news for the markets, via @Slatest:

StateImpact Style: Setting up your Facebook and Twitter accounts

These are the instructions to get the pretty StateImpact look on your Twitter and Facebook pages.


1. Log out.
2. Select “Create a page” link below the “Sign Up” button.
3. Select “Media/News/Publishing” under category.
4. Type “StateImpact FullStateName”
5. Check “I agree to Facebook Pages Terms,” and click “Get Started”
6. Click “I already have a Facebook account,” and fill out the form using your own Facebook account login info.
7. Add this profile image
8. Select ‘Edit Info’ under Page name

  • Basic info: Name, founded, city/state.
  • About: “A collaboration of local public media and NPR with a focus on XyXy.”
  • Description: “StateImpact [State Name] is a collaboration between XySTATION, XySTATION, XySTATION and NPR. Reporters XyXy and XyXy cover state government with a focus on [coverage area]. Read our reports online, and hear us on public radio stations across [state].”
  • Add
  • Phone (optional)

9. Manage permissions

  • Profanity Blocklist: Medium

10. Your Settings

  • Deselect email notification

11. Add under “Manage Admins” in the left navigation.

12. Add a post! Important: This is the headline style (‘We’ve Got a Budget Framework’) | By Scott Detrow’). Just double click on the headline to enable you to edit it. Same with story summaries, which should be tightened up. Feel free to add commentary, like “Announcement came from Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati’s Twitter account…”


1. Login:

  • Username: StateImpactPA, StateImpactIN, StateImpactFL
  • Password: whatever you choose, send it to

2. Change Settings > Profile

  • Add this profile image
  • Change name: “StateImpact [full state name]”
  • Set location: City, State
  • Add SI blog address
  • Bio: “StateImpact [full state name] is a collaboration of local public media and @NPR, covering state government with a focus on [XyXy].”
  • Save changes

3. Change Settings > Design

  • Add this background image
  • Check “tile background”
  • Change design colors
  • Background (1e2b36)
  • Text (333333)
  • Links (164a7a)
  • Sidebar (d6d6d6)
  • Sidebar border (8a8a8a)
  • Save changes