By Joseph Evans
Jason Rolfe is an editor for The Fly Fish Journal, a publication based in Bellingham, Washington that covers the world of fly fishing. Rolfe has been a freelance writer and been involved in the “The Fly Tapes” podcast.
Rolfe recently spoke to University of Montana journalism student Joseph Evans about how he works with social media. An edited transcript of their conversation is below.
Q: How has social media helped or hurt the promotion of The Fly Fish Journal?
A: I think as far as “promotion” is concerned, it has likely helped. Social media is a simple way to reach people, and especially on the image-based social media apps (like IG), it plays to one of our strengths (photography), which people turn to TFFJ for.
Q: How do you keep social media posts separate from published? What’s your strategy?
A: I think our basic SM strategy relies on a few different kinds of posts. Some are just general flyfishing stoke/culture posts, but obviously with a nod toward the TFFJ aesthetic. Some are posts promoting our content–a new piece of work online or in print (we make two written pieces available at our website per issue), or a new film that we’ve produced. And the third category is typically conservation-related, because you can’t really work in the flyfish space without having a focus on conservation–it’s just not ethically sound.
Q: Who is the voice of these captions for posts on social media?
A: Posting is typically done by Copi Vojta, our photo editor. When he writes captions, sometimes they are in his voice — a sort of irreverent one in some respects. At other times, if necessary, he and I will work together to create a caption if we feel that wording is important.
Q: What has been TFFJ’s favorite social media platform to promote on and why?
A: Probably IG, for the reason noted above. I think a key draw of TFFJ is the imagery–we find and publish the best–and so it would make sense for us to really lean into an image-based SM platform.
Q: Has social media made the work of your publication more difficult? If so, why?
A: I don’t think so. Though, of course, we don’t have an overly heavy social media presence either. With that being said, our marketing director does keep up with best practices on various platforms and we try to incorporate those best practices into our posting and engagement where we can.
Joseph Evans is a student in the UM School of Journalism’s Social Media and Engagement class, which conducted Q&As this semester with more than 20 journalists as part of a research project on best practices for journalists on social media.