LinkedIn for journalistsIf you’re a lawyer looking to serve as a resource or reliable authority for reporters, start using LinkedIn.

Per an article at Marketing Charts,

LinkedIn is the most popular social network among business journalists, with 92% having a LinkedIn account, according to the 2011 Arketi Web Watch Media Survey released in July 2011. Facebook follows with 85% of journalists using the world’s most popular social media site.

Journalists use Twitter at almost the same rate (84%) they use Facebook. However, there is a steep 31% dropoff between the rate of journalist Twitter use and the rate with which journalists use the next-most-popular social media site, YouTube (58%).

In good news for lawyers sharing information and commentary online, journalists turn to the net for sources and insight in a big way.

Sixty-four percent of journalists say they spend more than 20 hours a week online, with 21% spending more than 40 hours a week using the internet. Virtually all (98%) journalists read news online, and 91% search for news sources and story ideas.

Per the survey, blogs are the only new media source for story ideas used by more than half of journalists (56%). Twitter’s at 44%.

I regularly connect with reporters through my blogging. I make a point of monitoring news from an A-list of sources and an A-list of subjects in my newsreader. It’s how I stay up to speed and how I find news and information to share with you.

When I share a story here on my blog I reference the reporter and the story, linking to both. I follow with my insight and commentary on the subject. I generally link to the reporter’s LinkedIn profile in my link to their name in my post.

If I don’t hear back from the reporter (they are usually following their own name or url of their story in their newsreader), I’ll drop them a quick note — often through LinkedIn. I’ll complement them on the story (or say why I have a different view), let them know I shared their story with my readers, and share a link to my blog post.

Nine times out of ten I end up connecting with the reporter at LinkedIn this way. I can then save the reporter’s LinkedIn profile in my LinkedIn Connections folder for journalists. My premium version of LinkedIn allows me to group connections by folder.

Doing this I can share relevant stories or blog posts later on or even reach out to meet the reporters when I am in their town.

I also know that having a complete and detailed LinkedIn profile, including my contact information (email and cell phone), helps reporters know they have found a trusted source and can contact me quickly.

Whether you’re blogging to establish yourself as an authority, locally or nationally, getting to know reporters online and face to face can be a lot of fun and an excellent way to enhance your word of mouth reputation.

Using LinkedIn gives you a jumpstart.