Social Media Roundup - Bloggers Roundtables: From conception to Execution
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This week's edition of the Social Media Roundup takes a closer look at the Army's Bloggers Roundtable program. Bloggers Roundtables are an effective way to highlight human interest stories or regional ...

This week's edition of the Social Media Roundup takes a closer look at the Army's Bloggers Roundtable program. Bloggers Roundtables are an effective way to highlight human interest stories or regional events that are difficult to market to traditional news outlets.

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Social Media Roundup - Bloggers Roundtables: From conception to Execution Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Social Media Roundup Bloggers Roundtables: From conception to execution
  • 2. Social Media Roundup AgendaThis Social Media Roundup will take a closer look at the Army’s BloggersRoundtable program. Bloggers Roundtables are an effective way to highlighthuman interest stories or regional events that are difficult to market totraditional news outlets. Bloggers Roundtable basics Blogger participants Roundtable planning Executing a roundtable Follow up and reporting Tips for working with bloggers
  • 3. Social Media RoundupBloggers’ Roundtable basics Bloggers Roundtables are essentially conference calls with bloggers who are granted access to subject matter experts who answer questions about a pre-selected topic related to Army initiatives. These Bloggers Roundtables provide bloggers with content for their blogs. Many bloggers post the interview, or portions of it, on their sites and typically include a commentary about the topic. Readers are invited to post comments, which generate additional online discussion and postings. Topics for past Bloggers Roundtables organized by the Online and Social Media Division (OSMD) include: Army smartphone technology, interviews with Army Olympians, Medal of Honor interviews, and regular sit-downs with the Sgt. Major of the Army.
  • 4. Social Media RoundupBlogger participants  OSMD maintains lists of bloggers that we invite to participate in the roundtables.  Participants include active-duty Soldiers, military supporters, think-tanks, concerned citizens, and traditional media outlets.  Mainstream media outlets, from the New York Times to local newspapers and television stations, also sponsor their own blogs.  If your organization plans on coordinating a Bloggers’ Roundtable, do some research, identify the most commonly read bloggers in your region and in time, you’ll develop a solid bloggers list, and eventually, you’ll be able to target certain bloggers when you identify a Bloggers’ Roundtable topic.
  • 5. Social Media RoundupBlogger participants The number of participants in a Bloggers Roundtable can vary between one and dozens of callers. It all depends on how well you market your roundtable, how many people your teleconference line can support and how much news content already exists about your roundtable topic. If your organization does not have a free teleconference phone number, there are many free resources out there like FreeConferenceCall.com that can help facilitate your call. You can also search tech blogs for stories about free conference call options, like this one from Mashable (http://tinyurl.com/3e5vk63).
  • 6. Social Media RoundupRoundtable planning It’s important to work with your organization to identify topic of discussion, a subject matter expert who will speak during the roundtable, and potential dates and times several weeks prior to scheduling a roundtable. Once you have everything in place, it’s time to promote the roundtable. It’s important to promote the roundtable at least a week prior to the event via blog posts, Facebook posts, tweets and an email advisory to all prominent bloggers. A day prior to the roundtable, compile a list of all confirmed RVSPs and send a reminder email to bloggers. It’s also helpful to produce an info sheet for your subject matter expert with the bios of participating bloggers and links to their blogs.
  • 7. Social Media RoundupExecuting a roundtable Five minutes before the scheduled beginning of the roundtable, the roundtable moderator will call in to the conference line. It is the moderators job to not only control the flow of the roundtable, but to get the name and blog of each blogger who calls in before the roundtable begins. Once everyone is dialed in, the moderator will formally welcome roundtable participants and introduce the speaker. Following the introduction, the moderator will hand it over to the subject matter expert for an opening statement.
  • 8. Social Media RoundupExecuting a roundtable Once the subject matter expert wraps up his or her opening statements, the moderator will take control of the roundtable and then call on the bloggers (in the order in which they dialed in) to ask questions of the subject matter expert. Bloggers may join or leave at various points during the blog session. This is not a sign of disrespect or disinterest - many of the bloggers may be calling in during a short break from their regular jobs. The bloggers roundtable format is typically more informal than a traditional media roundtable. The bloggers are more relaxed and good-natured in their line of questioning, and are much more informal in tone, generally, than their traditional media counterparts. If time permits, the speaker will make a short closing statement at the end of the blog session.
  • 9. Social Media RoundupFollow up and reporting At the conclusion of the roundtable, it’s important to provide the participants with an email address where they can ask follow up questions. The days following the roundtable, check out the blogs of the participants and track coverage that is produced from the roundtable. Below is an example of a report OMSD created following a Bloggers Roundtable.
  • 10. Social Media RoundupTips for working with bloggers Research potential bloggers. Check out http://milblogging.com/ to identify bloggers who may be interested in your content. Be proactive in building/maintaining relationships. Make your subject as interesting and “exclusive” as possible. Engage with your bloggers. Ask them what they would like to learn more about. Show bloggers some love too. Don’t be afraid to feature their content (with their permission of course) on your blog. Welcome guest bloggers.
  • 11. Social Media Roundup Contact informationHave questions? Please feel free toreach out to us at the Online andSocial Media DivisionEmail:Ocpa.osmd@us.army.milTo review and download past editions of theSocial Media Roundup, visit our Slideshare siteat: http://www.slideshare.net/usarmysocialmedia.All Social Media Roundups are authorized to bedistributed to a broader audience.9/12/2012OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF PUBLIC AFFAIRSPENTAGON