Saturday, May 4, 2013

Using Social Media:"Sharing is Caring"

By Katee Boyd
Jeff Cutler, freelance journalist, social media trainer and content specialist, speaks to professionals and students at the SPJ Region 8 Conference May 4. Photo by Melody Mendoza

Jeff Cutler, freelance journalist and social media trainer, did not hold back during his 2 p.m. session, in which he discussed ways that journalists can utilize social media for their advantage.

Cutler stressed that no matter what, at the end of the day, you still have to be a journalist.

“Learn how to use the technology to reinforce what you already know," said Cutler. "Writing is writing and your skills can transfer."

As a journalist you have a message, but you must learn how to send that message with the latest innovations.

“Social media and technology does not mean new techniques,” Cutler said.

Social media is any tool that allows you to communicate your message to your audience, and the tools are ever changing.

Cutler used a postcard as an example to the precursor of Twitter, since it has room for about the same amount of characters and the text is visible for everyone to see.

Journalists need to be adaptable and knowledgeable, which means becoming aware of what is going on out there in the new technological world.

Knowing your audience enough to think like them is essential in becoming successful at using social media as an asset to your journalism toolkit.

Cutler emphasized that spending an extra 10 minutes a day to explore social media will change how you feel about it and you will notice a difference.

He suggested using dashboard sites like, or to keep aware of what is going on in the world.

According to Cutler, if you do not have Google alerts then you are missing out.

In addition to Google alerts, Cutler suggested using a variety of social media outlets, which are linked below.

Jeff Contact Info:

Jeff Cutler's website
Link to his presentation
Jeff Cutler Twitter handle

Suggested Social Media:

Google Alerts
Knowem (branding yourself - search for your name)
AllTop (Best blog posts out there which are great for story ideas)
GPlus To (see facebooks, etc. from a long time ago)



  1. This is great, Katee! Don't underestimate yourself. Your first story is great :)

  2. Thank you Melody! Thanks for the help also!