Reddit Beginning to Define What’s Press-Worthy


Photo by Eva Blue on Flickr

Unlike most social networks, Reddit isn’t simply a distribution platform for journalists and bloggers. It has the amazing ability to actually “create” news, and that makes it well-worth your time as a PR professional.

How Blogs are Using Reddit

Since I started “redditing” a couple years ago, I’ve seen an increasing number of blogs and mainstream news sources pick up stories from the social network. For example, this post on Reddit of Kevin Spacey photobombing a young woman made it to the front page on April 30th. The very same day, someone from BuzzFeed posted the photo with the headline, “Kevin Spacey’s Awesome Photobomb.” Not exactly hard-hitting reporting, but it is BuzzFeed after all.

The Good

The strange thing about this social-first approach is that most social networks seem to be built for sharing content after it has been created. Twitter might be an exception, but with only 140 characters, you really have to post links to get any substantive stories out there. I for one think that news being created, discussed, and shared on social networks before it hits mainstream media isn’t a bad thing. It’s more democratic, and while it might not work for every kind of news story, it gets the community involved in shaping stories, and takes more of the power away from a seemingly-elite group of newsroom journalists at the top.

The Bad

Of course, there are issues with taking a job previously done by a trained reporter and putting it in the hands of the crowd. One example of this system failing occurred during the Boston Bombings. Redditors created and spread a lot of false rumors that took off without much real evidence. There have also been complaints of sexism, discrimination, and a generally chauvinist attitude, so if you do keep up with the trends on Reddit, you have to keep in mind that not everything you read is true and the viewpoints you’re getting are likely skewed.

The Takeaway

Despite it’s shortcomings, Reddit can be a great place for getting stories or press releases out there in an unconventional way. Use the proper subreddits, answer questions from the crowd, or just start listening and commenting. You’ll pretty quickly see how powerful the network can be. For more tips on using Reddit as a PR tool, check out this post on