Reporting the Story Behind the Story: How Journalists Use Long-Form Publishing on LinkedIn

When LinkedIn launched its long-form publishing platform in February 2014, it hoped to give members a place to blog and connect with others through writing.

What’s since transpired is a new level of reporting: Journalists and bloggers are using LinkedIn to supplement their stories. They’re writing the sidebars that never ran in their home publications. They’re deconstructing articles and offering the research that went into each piece. And, they’re sharing what it’s like to work in their newsrooms.

It appears their audience is listening.

How to create a LinkedIn long-form post; screenshot by Amanda Hicken

Screenshot of LinkedIn’s long-form publisher by Amanda Hicken

“Journalism is a fascinating world,” said Leslie Hobbs, the former head of content and community products PR with LinkedIn. “People want to read what reporters share. LinkedIn users are invested in getting knowledge to help them become better professionals, and journalists are in a great position to reach them.”

Other ways journalists and bloggers use the LinkedIn platform include:

  • Republishing articles from their home outlet.
  • Tagging colleagues in their pieces and providing links back to their news site.
  • Giving advice to younger, up-and-coming reporters.
  • Showcasing freelancer writing ability and range.
  • Testing ideas. (Bloggers and freelancers especially have used long-form publishing to gauge the viability of a story based on comments, likes, and shares. The story is then tweaked before being pitched to an editor.)

The blog also has served broadcast journalists well, who often are limited by time constraints when reporting a lengthy piece.

“Blogging is an interesting way to expand on the notes that didn’t make the cutting room floor,” Hobbs said. “There’s tons of research that goes into every piece they report, and they go more in-depth than they could have on-air.”

Want to see for yourself? Here are some great examples of how journalists are using LinkedIn long-form publishing:

  • Betty Liu, a former anchor at Bloomberg, offers a behind-the-scenes sneak peek.
  • Lance Ulanoff, TechRadar’s editor in chief, wrote an opinion piece on Mobli’s Yo app.
  • Bloomberg reporter Neil Weinberg brought history into current events with an analysis of stocks.

LinkedIn continues to roll out its long-form publishing platform to members. Today, 100 million members have access to it. By the end of this year and into 2015, it’ll be available to all 313 million LinkedIn members.

Learn everything you need to know about LinkedIn’s long-form posts — including how to publish one — on the LinkedIn Help Center.

Interested in seeing how journalists and other content creators are using LinkedIn for research and newsgathering? Here are five ways.

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Christine Cube is a former media relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. She’s absolutely on LinkedIn. Follow her on Twitter @cpcube.

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