This morning I had the pleasure of attending an event at the HCBC about how to work with the media in the age of social media. Panelists for the event included Elissa Yancey, Dan Monk and Josh Pichler.
Some of the top insights from the panel include:
- Twitter has become one of the best news sources for staying up to date and getting some story ideas. It is a simply way to follow people and companies and discover short stories.
- The media used to wait to break stories with an exclusive headline in the print paper, but now the name of the game is speed – getting an article out first on the web and through social media is vital.
- One of the great things about social media is that you can now have a relationship with your readers and get feedback. You can also cultivate your own following.
- Social media has made journalists more accessible and accountable to the public.
- Journalists need to see themselves as a brand (this makes me even more excited for Launch Yourself Personal Branding) – they are thinking about building followers and a brand for themselves as individual reporters. Reporters pay attention to how many likes and social shares their stories get, and having a strong personal brand helps to build this.
- Some publishers are looking at the Klout score of the reporters and (this is CRAZY) even requiring a certain score as a part of their performance.
- There are now more news sources than ever before – there are TV stations, newspapers, local media and online media all publishing news online.
- Traditional journalists are learning how to tell stories differently for the new media
- Readers are more demanding and they want more – they want to be able to click on a link and learn more about a company
Tips for success:
- Have videos – many online sites like Soapbox like to feature video content for online
- Reporters are more likely to pay attention to comments from people that they respect and have something interesting to say
- Don’t look at your story as a “pitch” – think about if it is even interesting and who the audience is that will be interested in the story… sometimes it seems like the pitch is just about “I’m trying to get this company into the paper”
- Keep pitches short and simple ask for what you want directly versus sending a long email – state what you are hoping to accomplish upfront
- The story is intriguing not the pitch – what is the story and who is it about – people identify with people
- Less is more pitch fewer things that are great – journalists will get a feel that you only reach out when you have a great story – they will respect that and become more likely to write about things that you share.