Tuesday, April 12, 2011

NYPA 2011 seminar in Saratoga Springs, Part 1

Over the weekend I was able to once-again attend the New York Press Association's annual convention at the Gideon Putnam in Saratoga Springs, a meeting of staffers from mostly weekly publications across the state which gathers a number a great presenters each year to talk about a variety of topics in the field.

On Friday I attended a great session on the effective use of Social Media by Regina McCombs of the Poynter Institute (here are all of her links from the presentation) and walked away with some great tips that I hope to soon be able to incorporate into The Record's newsroom.

One of these was that journalists can develop relationships with their audience via their personal Twitter accounts. This was not new information, as I had heard it and tried to stress it to our Record reporters in the past. However, the example she provided - journalist Jason DeRusha (@derushaj on Twitter) - was especially interesting since he posts the stories he’s working on every morning and gets user input, not worrying about other news outlets competing for the story first.
This is something I'd really like to see happening more often with our reporters because I believe there is great value to building those kinds of relationships through social media which could lead to dozens of new real-life contacts and sources for them to work off of.

McCombs also brought up the fact that many news organizations are able to grow fans on Facebook and followers on Twitter by curating and being very careful about what they're posting to which network, instead of always publishing everything out to both.

We have been pushing pretty much all of our stories out to both social networks for over a year and have seen positive growth in both areas, but I'd like to see how much better we can handle this for our readers by more carefully curating the stories for each network. I also wonder whether we will see more reader interaction if we present certain stories in different ways on Facebook especially, since more readers tend to interact there rather than just pass along a link as they do on Twitter.

I'll update the blog with more info from the convention soon, so stay tuned!

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Blogger Steve Shoe said...

One thing I've seen some media outlets doing on Twitter is inviting people to comment on a story or "join the discussion!" about a particular topic or article on their Facebook wall. (For example, I think The Atlantic does this.)

It seems to be less about pushing them to a specific article for the page view (though that's no doubt a happy consequence they hope for), but about brand identity and association. "Hey, XYZ Media's Facebook page is the place to go to discuss topics and today's news in depth!"

I have no numbers to back up how successful this is, but it seems like a good strategy. Synergy and such.

At least it's a good way to acknowledge different audiences. There's nothing worse than seeing a tweet that was clearly auto-tweeted from a Facebook post. Also annoying: when news outlets tweet ALL of that morning's stories one after the other (cough cough, Gannett, cough cough).

Have you been playing with this "Facebook for Journalists" or whatever it is? I've seen some headlines, tweets, whatever, but haven't looked into what it is.

April 12, 2011 at 11:29 PM 

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