Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Journalists Embracing Social Media

Like many other professionals, journalists are embracing social media as a listening tool as well as a source tool.

The big three: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are at the forefront of journalists’ social media resources. Facebook is a great tool for building online communities, finding sources, and engaging readers in content they enjoy. Twitter provides a connection to trends, inspires great story ideas, locates unique and local sources, and offers journalists a list feature to categorize their sources. LinkedIn gives journalists that professional connection to bloggers, industry leaders, academics, freelancers, and fellow journalist professionals. All three allow dissemination of information to a demographic traditional newspapers may not reach.

A January 2010 national survey by Cison and George Washington University revealed that a significant number of journalists are becoming increasingly dependent on social media tools. The report indicates 89 percent of respondents turn to blogs for story research, 65 percent to social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and 52 percent to microblogging services such as Twitter. Surprisingly, the survey also reveals that 61 percent use the popular online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

In a post by Lee Odden on TopRank’s blog, WCCO TV News Reporter Jason DeRusha says, “Private business does a horrible job cataloging their expertise in a manner that’s search engine friendly. This is a real opportunity, as journalists become much more crunched for time, and use search as quick way to identify local experts.”

Have you been contacted by a journalist who found you as a result of social media? Share your story.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Train Me!

Todd Defren over at PR-Squared did a blog post in August about Social Media Training On the Rise. I share his sentiments that is a good thing. In fact, I would go one step further and say that it is phenomenal!

I recently did a LinkedIn training session for an international business here in Wisconsin and it reminded me why I love doing these group sessions in-house. It puts everyone on the same page. All employees (including executives) in attendance are being trained the same way, getting the same information, uniformly understanding how it can help the organization, what it can do for each particular job/department, the organization's tone in using this particular social platform, the guidelines for its use, and organizational goals. What an amazing feat for a one to two hour training session!

Take the time to make this investment in our employees. Even if it is simply offering an all-employee meeting about using Facebook Privacy Settings. This is an excellent opportunity to create value and open the doors to communicating about social media.