Who is a Social Media Reporter?

A social media reporter (SMR) is an individual with a background in journalism and reporting whose main responsibility is to supplement traditional news reporting by adding informative content in media conduits such as blogs, microblogs (such as Twitter, Facebook), websites, web pages, and other platforms connected with the online community.

An SMR is inquisitive, sensitive, tactful, upbeat, communicative and, on top of all of those qualifiers, must also be someone who is excited by technology and equipped with amazing writing skills.
SMR is not blogging. It is not commenting on situations. The SMR is the voice of the broadcast group and the voice of the audience at the same time. It is not an easy task. It takes a lot of careful planning that must be done quickly and in real time.
A great SMR would have to reunite all of the qualifications plus be someone who is willing to share and communicate. That is the high-quality level expected of the SMRs of today and of the near future.





AAU Social Media Reporters will provide social media coverage during the African University Week Celebrations from 21 to 24 November, 2017.
- Brainstorm a list of social media products to create and discuss it during the meeting. Examples include videos, image macros, albums, infographics, articles, Throwback Thursday/ Motivational Monday posts etc.
- Identifying relevant influencers
- Online intake meeting with Project Lead, On-Site Reporters, Group Leaders and Group Members / Team mates
- Customize your social media wall and profile
- Like and Follow Social Media Accounts
- Countdown and awareness creation 10 days before event
- Profile the speakers
- Put a spotlight on Higher Education Institutions
- Moderation of the social media walls
- Live tweet events with pictures, (live) video and text – mobile phone quality
- Listen/Engage with the speakers and post quotes
- Make sure to respond to comments and relay results and updates quickly and efficiently.
- Preparing an event report*
- Share experience in an article
- Complete feedback form
- Evaluation
- Certificate awarded

*This will happen shortly after the event

Frequently Asked Questions

Does an SMR need a background in journalism?
Reporting formats differ from one another, and this is why those aspiring to become social media reporters must have knowledge of the formats and rules of journalistic reporting. They also must have demonstrated experience building audiences, strong writing skills, engaging vocabulary, experience search engine optimization (SEO) when needed, and a good understanding of web analytics. Since new applications and technologies surface yearly on the Web, the optimal candidate would also be someone with an ability to adapt to new formats and technologies.
On-site Reporter or Off-site Reporter?
An On-Site Social Media Reporter is one who will be attending the events in the AAU Secretariat and will take photos, videos, tweet live as the events are happening and write reports of each day-event. An Off-Site Social Media Reporter is one who is not present in Accra but will share photos, videos and tweet about the event. An Off-site Reporter will also have to find institutions that are celebrating the African University Week in their respective countries and be an On-Site Reporter if an event is being held in a university they can get to.
What is the most important skill a potential SMR must have?
The most important qualification for this position is knowledge of how to work with a Social media tools like HootSuite and content management system (CMS).
This requires a lot of organization skills, the need to work well and communicate effectively with many people, knowing when to report on what, and understanding the limits and parameters (boundaries) of ethical reporting.
What else is an SMR expected to do?
Once the news is identified, and the facts and sources confirmed, the social media reporter will maintain the online conversations going and will comply with whatever the needs are of the broadcasting group, either writing further articles, keeping a page updated, or sending continuous Tweets.
Can I report in another language?
Yes you can be a Social Media Reporter for the AAU in any language apart from English but you must inform your Team Leader and Social Media Team Lead (Frank) of your decision.
What sort of thing does social media marketing and SMRs do together?
The social media marketing team will work closely with SMRs to create ways to market and brand the news team. Catch phrases and #hashtags bring online news readers together.

The appropriate use of these social tools maintains a cohesive online group of readers who will easily find the news teams using these social media terminologies.
What is the difference between a traditional news reporter and an SMR?
The main difference between a traditional reporter and the SMR is the level of engagement that the latter must maintain with the audience. SMRs should prompt conversations and pique the interests of online followers so that many conversations can be initiated and maintained.
Do I automatically get a certificate upon completion?
Not at all! Certificates are awarded based on merit and completion of tasks assigned to all Social Media Reporters

Looking Back

*Some Social Media Reporters joined us for both years. Hence the number isn't an actual representation of unique individual reporters for both years
What Previous SMR's said

Looking Back