By Ameena Rasheed, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force intern
Pinterest, a virtual pinboard where you can share and organize images and video through “pins,” has become a popular social media platform since its launch in 2010. In 2012, it was the third most-visited social networking site, as reported by CNN.
As journalists and news organizations look for various ways to interact with its readers and viewers, and users are seeking to engage with more visual social media content, Pinterest provides a platform which can potentially facilitate both sides’ interest in promoting, distributing and sharing content.
Here are four ideas that we’ve gathered from across the Web and compiled together for how journalists can start using Pinterest.
1. Use compelling photos to share hard news headlines
While Pinterest is most known for its foodie and wedding posts, CTV News has created several boards to chronicle breaking news stories with its Occupy Wall Street, Tragedy and triumph and The World We Live In boards. Al Jazeera created The faces of Egypt’s voters board to capture to feelings of Alexandria’s residents in the historic election to choose the country’s next president.
2. Give previews of what you are working on
The Houston Press, an alternative weekly publication, releases its print issues every Thursday, but gives its readers a sneak peek at its creative covers every Wednesday on its Under the Covers board. Time magazine also does the same with its TIME Covers board.
For those times where you don’t have that perfect image to sell the story, follow the lead of The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Quotes board and highlight memorable quotes from your stories. You could also get a little creative and use infographics like on Mashable’s Infographics board, or like The Salt Lake Tribune’s Bagley Cartoons board and share editorial cartoons.
3. Display photo galleries, feature stories and reviews
It’s no secret that one of Pinterest’s most popular categories is food. The Salt Lake Tribune is taking advantage of that with its SLC & Utah Restaurants & Bars board to share its restaurant and bar reviews. The Orlando Sentinel has boards dedicated to local attractions such as Walt Disney World and Florida Travel. There is also a Feature Pages–Collaborative board, which features pages from newspapers across the nation.
4. Involve your audience
Some good examples of utilizing user-generated content on Pinterest are CTV’s Canada Through Your Eyes and PBS NewsHour’s Childhood Cancer Awareness: Your Photos. The New York Times asked for submissions to its Your Holiday Dessert Pins and then featured some of the best pins on its website.
Al Jazeera has a Crowdsourced News board, where users can share newsworthy items that Al Jazeera is and isn’t covering. Al Jazeera also has a web community and daily television show, The Stream, which is powered through social media and citizen journalism, and shares content from its viewers on Pinterest, too.
Last, but not least, NABJ experimented with Pinterest boards at the 2012 convention in New Orleans, creating boards on NABJ 2012 New Orleans, NABJ2012, NABJ Fashionistas & Fashionistos and New Orleans Food.
Please share how you’re using Pinterest in your work!