Beyond the Pin in Pinterest: Tips for News Organizations and Journalists

pinterest screenshotThis week the Hub takes a look into Pinterest. Most likely you have heard about it but may not know how it works or why it would matter for news organizations and journalists. The Hub has some tips to share this week on how the news start-up can use this tool to engage with the community in a different way.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest began development in late 2009 and launched officially in March 2010. Since then it has acquired over 10 million users. According to Experian, it has become one of the top 10 social media websites in the United States.

Pinterest is a photo sharing website that allows people to share image collections with others – ranging from illustrations to photos on a variety of topics. People create pinboards of images (called pins) and allow others to view, like, and comment on the image or “repin” an image to their own board. The images that appear on Pinterest can be from the user’s own image collection or from images they discover online but attribution to the original source is required. In order to create your own pinboard, you need to sign up with an account.

Uses of Pinterest for the News Organization

The Hub has put together the following list to help you get started in thinking about the ways you can use Pinterest in your news operation:

  1. Use it as a way to reach out to your community of readers. Allow them to have a place where they can share with each other interesting items they find on your news site as well as from other local sources. PSFK has a pinboard for the reader community to share images on ideas related to creative business.
  2. Provide a behind-the-scenes look of your newsroom and operation. Allowing your community to get a chance to see inside your operations can help in achieving another level of transparency with your readers. INN Member, ProPublica has a pinboard featuring snapshots from their newsroom and shots of the news gathering and reporting process.
  3. Showcase the life, people and culture of the city. INN member, Oakland Local uses its pinboard to feature the people and the scenes of Oakland. They also have a pinboard to showcase some of the best cafes the Oakland Local staff like in the city and seek reader suggestions of other cafes to add to the board.
  4. Display your data visualizations and infographics. Offering a pinboard on this can help drive further traffic to your data resources, data visualizations and stories on your site. Good Magazine has a pinboard of infographics. ProPublica has a pinboard of specific tools and data related to their news stories.
  5. Show your staff. A pinboard that includes pictures of your news staff and reporting teams can be another way for your community to know more about your staff and who they are. For example, San Jose Mercury News uses it to feature their business staff.
  6. Share what you are reading with the community. ProPublica has a pinboard featuring the latest books, articles and other publications the staff is reading.
  7. A tool for news gathering and reporting. In addition to having a Pinterest site for your news organization, it can be a handy tool for your staff of reporters. They can create their own pinboards and use them to share and interact directly with readers on the stories they are covering. It can serve as a creative outlet for the reporter to get future story ideas by seeing what others are sharing via other pinboards on the site.

Finding Inspiration: Other Media Organization Pinboards

To help you get started and get inspired in making your own pinboard for your news organization, explore the following media organizations’ pinboards:

In addition, here is a comprehensive list of newspapers using Pinterest.

Related Articles

In addition to the tips the Hub has provided above, check out these recent articles on the many uses of Pinterest for journalists and news organizations: