Read All About It: Understanding Media Transformation and Usage


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Read All About It: Understanding Media Transformation and Usage

  1. 1. AC C E S S C O MMUNICATIONSNovember 2011Read All About It!Understanding Media Transformation and Usage
  2. 2. A C C E S S C O M M U N I C AT I O N SNovember 2011an access com munications point of viewRead All About It!Understanding Media W h o i s Mar s h a l l M c L u h a n ?Transformation and Usage This year marks the centennial of the birth of Marshall McLuhan“Societies have always been shaped (1911-1980) a Canadian educator, philosopher, andmore by the nature of the media by scholar — a professor of English literature, a literary critic, awhich men communicate than by the rhetorician, and a communication theorist. McLuhan’s work is viewed as one ofcontent of the communication.” the cornerstones in the study of media theory, with practical applications in the advertising and – Marshall McLuhan television industries. McLuhan’s most widely known work, Understanding Media: The ExtensionsAlmost fifty years after his groundbreaking book, of Man (1964), is a pioneering study in mediaUnderstanding Media (1964) focused on the media theory. McLuhan proposed that media themselves,effects that permeate society and culture, renowned not the content they carry, should be the focusacademic and communications theorist Marshall of study — popularly quoted as “the mediumMcLuhan is as relevant and his insights as important is the message”. McLuhan’s insight was that aand timely, as ever. In fact, the man known for coining medium affects the society in which it plays a rolethe iconic phrase, “the medium is the message,” is also not by the content delivered over the medium,widely credited as having predicted the World Wide but by the characteristics of the medium itself.Web, thirty years before its inception, with his conceptof “the global village.”WWW. AC C ESSP R . CO M
  3. 3. A C C E S S C O M M U N I C AT I O N SSince McLuhan’s characteristically prescient observation on thenature of communication vs. its content, technology innovations S o c ia l S c e n ehave introduced unprecedented changes – in how media cover andreport the news, how societies consume news and, increasingly, Journalists wehow individuals participate in the reporting process itself – which in interviewed:turn are having a profound effect on public relations and how it’s Brian Barrettpractitioners engage with journalists. GizmodoThe nature of media has evolved dramatically over that time, from Tiffany Black Inc.comthe once mighty monochromatic daily newspaper to the lively andcolorful national news outlet of USA Today, and from “The CBS Brandon BodowEvening News with Walter Cronkite” to an explosion of 24-7 cable Good Morning, Americanews shows. Today, every bit of traditional media has undergone Omar Gallagaa dramatic transformation as news websites compete with blogs, The Austin AmericanTwitter and Google News and those channels are in turn being Statesmantransformed by new, immersive “touch web” news platforms such Abigail Jonesas Flipboard. The DailyEach of these developments is a step in the evolutionary process of Anya Kamenetzhow we consume media, which as McLuhan observed, has far more Fast Companyinfluence over how we define ourselves than the content we consume. Jolie O’Dell MashableAs part of Access Communications’ ongoing analysis of the changingmedia and communications landscape, we asked our friends in the Ryan Osbornmedia to comment on the nature of these changes: what they mean The Today Showto reporters on an individual level; how they are influencing what Zach Sewardtakes place in the newsroom; and how they are helping shape the The Wall Street Journaldecisions journalists are making about the future of newsgatheringand reporting. Brian Stelter The New York TimesAt the beginning of 2011, we kicked off a new series of informal Jon Swartzrecorded interviews with journalists. These conversations evolved USA Todayinto the Access Social Scene video series. These sessions typicallyrun 7-10 minutes, and take place in a variety of settings – amid the Stephanie Washfrenetic action in Austin at South by Southwest (SXSW), in our New ABC NewsYork and San Francisco offices during journalist visits for “brown 3
  4. 4. A C C E S S C O M M U N I C AT I O N S“The best thing (about social media Over the course of some 22 interviews with a wide range of reporters representing traditional print mediatools) as a reporter is to be able to (USA Today, The Austin American-Statesman, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Inc., Fastreach out and find experts or those Company), broadcast media (Good Morning America, ABC News, CBS News) and new media (Mashable,types of people you might not be The Daily, Gizmodo), we began to see compelling, larger themes emerge, which taken together seem toaware of. I use Facebook to reach out validate something else McLuhan said: we shape our tools and then our tools shape people I already know, but I use nn Twitter as indispensable tool: in so manyTwitter to reach out to people I may ways – reaching out for sources and information, more intimate engagement with readers andnot know and would like to meet.” viewers, building community – Twitter is reshaping journalism – Jon Swartz, USA Today nn Breaking news is a first draft: social media tools and technologies, in the hands of both journalistsbag” lunches, as well as at tradeshows, conferences and citizens, continue to accelerate the reportingand industry events. process, underscoring the need for responsibility and accountabilityWhat these journalists shared with us unequivocallyreinforces the prevailing wisdom: that the advent nn The tablet as fifth screen: with its simple eleganceof social media and citizen journalism, with new and mobility the tablet has quickly become thecommunications tools and technologies, is rewriting new “hearth,” a singular device enabling usersthe way news and information is delivered, and is to plug into a vast community anywhere theyhaving profound effects on journalists, journalism, and are – and enabling journalists to tell richer, morethe state of the media industry. Equally fascinating are immersive stories than ever beforethe anecdotal and personal observations that emergein these interviews about what this transformation nn The rise of the meta-literate digital audience:means on a practical, operational, and philosophical while observers with a dystopian bent decry alevel as reporters respond to and help create new post-literate world, technology savvy-consumersmediums of communicating with their viewers and are demanding a more inclusive role in news-readers. gathering and reporting, and bringing a meta- literate perspective to the processWWW. AC C ESSP R . CO M
  5. 5. A C C E S S C O M M U N I C AT I O N S S u r v e y Sa y s ! W h at th is m e a ns to Journalists & Social Media PR professionals nn The 140 Character Message: Twitter is now Use Twitter as a tool to assist in reporting, a 21% increase from a top choice for journalists to communicate 2010 study with PR people and connect with sources. To foster meaningful engagement, key assets and messages should be boiled down and Believe that reliance on social media concise to capture immediate attention. Also, has increased significantly remember that downsized links (like’s) are a way to provide additional supporting material in less characters. Believe that social media can be a reliable tool for sourcing stories nn Be a part of the conversation early, and stay connected: If your brand or PR reps are not on Source: 3rd Annual Survey of the Media in the Wired World, conducted Twitter, now is the time to start. While C-suite by The Society of New Communications Research (SNCR) and Middleberg Communications. For full survey results: executives might hesitate at adopting a new medium, PR professionals need to strongly counsel their clients on the conversations and interactions taking place that they are missingT w i t t e r i s t h e i n d i s p e n s ab l e t o o l out on. With so many reporters using thisfor journalists medium as a sourcing platform and newsMcLuhan wrote that: “It is the framework which vehicle, brands and companies not presentchanges with each new technology and not just will lose valuable, real-time feedback andthe picture within the frame.” Could he have been monitoring, as well as the opportunity topredicting Twitter? Twitter as a technology framework manage the conversation about their brandfor communications has become an indispensable that reporters and other key constituencies maytool for journalists, who use it in almost every way be watching.imaginable.Finding And Connecting With Sources“I use it religiously,” USA Today’s Jon Swartz toldus, who uses Twitter to find sources and backgroundinformation. “It’s the best service in the world, barnone, it’s one of the best ways to find friends of friends 5
  6. 6. A C C E S S C O M M U N I C AT I O N Sof friends or experts of experts of experts. It’s a good “Sometimes there is a huge pressureway to let people know what you’re working on and Inotice a lot more reporters are doing that.” to ‘go’ on breaking news. You do haveFor Tiffany Black, who recently left, Twitter just to remember that it’s the first draftmakes reporting easier. “I actually think it’s easier toconnect to people because I’ll think of someone and of history; yes, there is urgency, butbe like ‘Oh, let me hit them on twitter’ and people areusually very quick to respond back to you, especially it’s not just about the quick hits.”when you’re a major media publication. So, I feellike because of social media I can actually do my job – Anya Kamenetz, Fast Companyfaster than before, when you’re sitting there waitingfor a phone call and someone to get back to you.“ Twitter. I’m following my readers through Twitter to seeBuilding “Community” what people are saying about the rest of the festival.Tiffany Black also talks about how the staff is I can’t be everywhere at once, so it helps me sort ofusing Twitter to foster stronger engagement with have a better grasp of what’s going on at the festival.”its community of readers: “We’re definitely lookingat unique visitors, but we want followers who are Uncovering Stories With Legs – And Giving Stories Legsretweeting us. We have a really tight community, Gizmodo’s Brian Barrett touched on a challengeand while we only have about 200,000 people that Twitter helps solve, namely that once a storyfollowing us on Twitter – they are passionate! They hits a major site then it’s typically been picked up byare constantly tweeting at us, constantly tweeting numerous other news sites. “I look at Twitter a lot, justour stuff, and it’s really good to see that high level for stories that might be a little bit off the beaten path.”of engagement given that we don’t comparativelyhave that large of a Twitter audience. Our Twitter has For ABC News’ Stephanie Wash, as with numerousgrown rapidly – this time last year we only had about other journalists now, Twitter is a highly effective45,000 followers, so for us to get to 200,000 in a little means to build awareness for stories and reporters:less than a year is pretty amazing for us.” “We use Twitter as well, linking a bunch of different medical sites, getting our correspondents like ChrisAccess spent time with Austin American Statesman Cuomo onto Twitter and tweeting about legal stories,reporter Omar Gallaga at SXSW in Austin earlier this or Dr. Richard Besser, tweeting about medical storiesyear. Omar shared how he and his editor were using and getting all of our content there as well. Our ABCTwitter from the festival: “We’re tweeting all of the News site has well over a million followers on Twitterblog posts that we’re putting out in panel reviews, and and we’re constantly breaking news, constantly gettingwe’re getting information from my readers through all of our digital content out there as well.”WWW. AC C ESSP R . CO M
  7. 7. A C C E S S C O M M U N I C AT I O N SAdding Depth And Content To Breaking NewsThe Today Show’s Ryan Osborn: “As social media W h at th is m e a ns tois evolving we’re using it as a news-gathering tool PR professionalsfor our reporting. A great example is when we usedThe Today Show Twitter handle to find pictures of the nn Be on call for journalists: Social media allowspeople wo had survived the US Air plane crash. That for collaboration and the opportunity to helpwas a pivotal moment within our organization as we shape and develop the full story. With potentialrealized how important these tools were going to be customers and consumers engaged in thesefor what we are trying to do in the space.” mediums as well, it enables PR professionals new ways of engaging with both constituenciesB r e a k i n g n e w s i s a f ir s t d ra f t in the same conversation, thus cutting down onThe speed with which news now breaks puts additional legwork for the journalist.enormous pressure on journalists to “go fast” onstories even as they are evolving. In these situations nn The story is far from over: Instead of viewingsocial media is the fulcrum upon which both quick each placement as a “hard stop,” think offact-checking and quick publishing simultaneously it more as a jumping off point for furtherrest. It is creating a new environment where what communication and engagement. Commentsis initially published can very well be a “first draft,” could turn sour or present a fresh new idea,open to ongoing editing and updating in real time, so if you aren’t monitoring closely, you mayboth by the journalist and his or her readers. With miss the opportunity to respond clearly andthis temptation to deliver the “get,” to break the story, articulate your feedback to the reporter.comes tremendous responsibility and accountability;the impediments to this kind of reporting in the oldmedia world – a chain of editors to review and editcopy, the laborious process of laying out type, thequaint once-a-day publishing and broadcast schedules– have given way to the sublime simplicity of a singlekeystroke. Journalists today recognize that what they much due diligence, and I think that one of thepublish can evolve very quickly. things that you have to do as a reporter is that you have to question what people tell you. You’reThe Importance Of Due Diligence not a stenographer – that’s why they call themUSA Today’s Swartz counsels to always keep due stenographers – you’re someone who’s supposeddiligence a critical pat of a reporter’s process: “In to digest, in a reasonable amount of time, as manythe haste to get things out, you often see things opinions as you can and distill it in to somethingthat are one source stories or stories that are just that is seamless but also speaks to the truth.”aping what that company has told them, without 7
  8. 8. A C C E S S C O M M U N I C AT I O N SWhen we sat down with Fast Company’s AnyaKamenetz at SXSW earlier this year, she brought By th e N um bersthis to life in speaking about breaking newsconcerning Architecture for Humanity’s Cameron Today, more than 25-million iPadsSinclair: “Sometimes there is a huge pressure to go and an estimated 5-million competingon breaking news; I filed last night at 11PM when media tablets are in use globallyCameron Sinclair announced on his blog that he wasstarting his earthquake reconstruction effort here at The Online Publishers AssociationSXSW, and I texted him really late at night to get the (OPA) estimates that 23% of the U.S.response, and he texted me back – so you do have Internet population, ages 8-64, will own or use a media tablet by earlysome of that pull, some of that urgency, but at the 2012. That represents an estimatedsame time you have to think about ‘what is the quality, 54-million U.S. consumerswhat’s the accuracy, what’s the quality of the story’and is it something that people will want to read, Most analysts are now forecasting that as many as 120-million iPadsevergreen, down the line? On the site, as well as on and 40-million other media tabletsthe print magazine, even on fast, we will be in use globally by the end ofhave posts that were made popular year, after year, 2012. They also expect that by thenafter year. You do have to remember that it’s the first more than 5,000 news apps will be available to use on media tabletsdraft of history, yes there is urgency, yes, but it’s notjust about the quick hits.“Standards In The Digital Age it might be true, or not. The bottom line is; we will notThe impact of social media in journalism has created print something we know is not true, or that we highlyan ongoing debate about its deleterious effects on suspect is not true. I think that applies to both old andjournalistic standards, and our journalists shared new media.“their own passionate feelings on the subject. SaidGizmodo’s Barrett: “there is constant debate around T h e t ab l e t i s t h e f i f t h s c r e e nthe erosion of journalistic standards. I think that we all Wilbur Schramm, a contemporary of Marshallhave the same standards. The baseline standard is that McLuhan, is sometimes called the “father ofwe don’t post something that is not true. I think that’s a communications studies” for his influence on thestandard that old media, new media both share. We development of communication research in theare a little bit faster, or a lot faster, depending on what United States and the establishing of departments ofyou’re talking about. We will print a rumor, but will communication studies in U.S. universities. One ofsay explicitly that it’s a rumor…we’ll tag it as a rumor, Schramm’s areas of focus was on how consumerswe’ll say in the headline it’s a rumor, we’ll try to hedge weigh the expected rewards of consumption of newsit as best we can, and we’ll say to the extent to which and information against what it takes to get thoseWWW. AC C ESSP R . CO M
  9. 9. A C C E S S C O M M U N I C AT I O N Srewards. Since the advent in the 1950s of “massmedia, messages have evolved from print to public W h at th is m e a ns toairwaves to cable channels to computer screens to PR professionalsmobile phones, and over that time Schramm’s centralpremise has remained essentially valid: “we all make Be cognizant of what is driving the decisionsdecisions of which content we choose based on our behind the best and most innovative media outlets’expectations of having some need met, even if that delivery of news and information on tablets. Theredecision is to not make a choice.” are four key anchors:When Apple released the iPad tablet in early 2010, nn Non-linear news presentation: Today’s newsthe potential implications for the news business were consumer expects to absorb the news insoaked in hyperbole. As New York Times media whatever form and in whatever order he/shecritic David Carr remarked, “There hasn’t been this wants.much hype about a tablet since Moses came downfrom the mountain.” But the breadth of the device’s nn Multimedia content: It is more vivid andfeatures and functionality – it’s portability, ease-of-use, immersive because the tablet is portable, yetand tactile interface – have combined to enable an technologically elaborate.immersive experience equaling or even surpassing theintimate relationship consumers have had for decades nn Interactivity: News is now a conversation,with newspapers, magazines and TV programs, not a one-way lecture. Readers believe theyand in the process redefining the way media outlets have a stake or at least a say in what is beingpresent the news to their audiences. It has emerged the ideal device to enable the connectednessand interdependence of an increasing more mobile nn Immediacy and urgency: When news breaks,society with dramatically changing needs that must readers expect to find the latest updates met more quickly – fulfilling Schramm’s promiseand moving us along the next logical progression to Things to think about include, what can readers“fifth screen,” following the movie screen, television, digest quickly, what other assets you can providepersonal computer and cell phone. should they want more information, is video the best medium for this interview, etc. In the age ofThe Future Of Publishing the tablet, what were commonly side bar adds inThe Daily’s Abigail Jones: “This is about the future of traditional media are now your “go-to” for thesepublishing; you know, the iPad suddenly arrived and kind of changed the way that we interact with eachother, the way we spend our time at home, watchmovies, and e-mail and use apps, and for anyone 9
  10. 10. A C C E S S C O M M U N I C AT I O N Swho’s played angry birds on an iPad they know how “Social media has made us moreamazing it is, and I think that The Daily has changedthe way that people experience the news. I’m very responsive to readers and viewers…excited to see what happens next, and where the dailyis today, after about a month, we’ll see where we are and it’s made us realize that theyin six months, in a year, or six years and by that point,where are all the other publications going to be? I wanted to talk to us, to engage withthink it’s an open question. us, to ask us questions, they wantedCreating For The Fifth Screen & Still Telling A Richer StoryWhen USA Today launched in 1982 it was available to make our work better. And that– in a humorous twist of irony – on the street in kioskspurposely fashioned to look like television sets to was always true, throughout maybeunderscore the publishers’ intent to marry the visualsand brevity of the broadcast medium with the context two hundred years of journalismof print. history, but we didn’t know how toThirty years later, the paper’s Swartz talked to usabout crafting stories for the fifth screen – without tap into it as well as we can now.”sacrificing his fundamental mission as a journalist:“I always try to write a story as well as tell a – Brian Stelter, The New York Timesstory. So you write the story with the idea that youwant to draw someone in. You want to do all the The Tablet As Community Builderheavy lifting for them, you want to go through Like many online-only sites, Mashable is extremelyas much reporting and resources as you possibly community focused. As Jolie O’Dell, who wascan, streamlining into a presentable, entertaining, with Mashable when we interviewed her and ishopefully informative story. And you can do that in now with VentureBeat, explained: “Being a socialprint, but what I’m trying to learn is how to do that media publication, those are our roots, it’s wherethrough video. That’s one thing that reporters are we came from. We really do focus on helpinggoing to have to do now, is in addition to writing people share content and consume contenta story, is to film interviews and insert them. But across a wide range of social media and socialI want to do this without sacrificing my first job, networks. I think we are, as readers ourselves,which is to write for the paper and try to make really interested to see how different form factorssomething that’s somewhat intimidating or confusing are affecting content, especially tablets. We reallypalatable to a large audience vs. our audience.” want to see better content presented on tablets and different ways of consuming content on tablets.”WWW. AC C ESSP R . CO M
  11. 11. A C C E S S C O M M U N I C AT I O N ST h e m e t a - l i t e ra t ed igi t a l a u d i e n c e W h at th is m e a ns toToday’s Digital audiences are actually more literate PR professionalsthan previous generations – technology savvy,plugged in to what is happening anywhere in the Learn Where Your Consumers Are and What Theyworld with immediate access, and able to interpret Want to Hear Whereand instantaneously find added context to what theyare experiencing. We need only tune in to coverage nn With customers and consumers searchingof events unfolding across the Middle East and multiple mediums for information andNorthern Africa to observe the integration of video, sifting through tons of information on anTweets, and actual reporting by citizen journalists hourly basis, it’s important to learn whereinto coverage to see the role social media is playing your audience is and know what they wantin helping us give a more complete picture of these to see. Are they getting news via Twittermomentous events. feeds and Facebook? Do they own tablets or smart phones? Do they rely on morningIn this new world, listening to the public is as important news shows to get the top headlines? Onceas telling the story. With story and blog comments, you know where your audience lives, youTwitter and Facebook, that responsiveness comes can better cater your campaigns andmuch more naturally, and more quickly. Readers can story ideas to fit within that react and be heard in real time during newsevents, and journalists now get notes, through Twitter,Facebook and e-mail, from people thankful that they’relistening and responding to concerns and comments. The New York Times’ Stelter, talking about publishingJournalists still report facts and give us the news, but as first draft and engaging his readers in the iterativethe rise of social media has changed how reporters process: “Well, for one thing we get news up fast, andcraft and tell a story and how we consume it. As we’ve we identify it, at least I do on my Twitter feed, as aalready discussed, many journalists use social media rough draft, as a first draft - because that terminologyevery day to interact with readers and sources. Social encourages people to improve my draft. I think whenmedia tools enable journalists to get instant feedback I write on Twitter, “Hey, here’s the first draft of a storyon their reporting, gather tips and other background about NPR, or about CNN, it lets people know theyinformation, track trends and build more intimate can update it, and improve it, and advise it. And theyand meaningful relationships with their readers can ask questions about it, they can correct it if I haveand viewers. The era of “I write, you read, you’re a spelling mistake, or if they have some question. Andwelcome” is over. every day in subtle ways they make my stories better.” 11
  12. 12. A C C E S S C O M M U N I C AT I O N SThe Today Show’s Ryan Osborn also talks about the A Return To Quality From Quantityincreasing empowerment new tools and technologies Mashable’s O’Dell: “In the past, I think the expectation,are nurturing – and what this means as news not just at Mashable but a lot of sites is that pageorganizations react, adapt to, and engage with these views are the benchmark for success. You couldcitizen-journalists: “We are always learning and write great beautiful literary posts, but if you got 500things are changing quickly. Users are becoming page views, how good was it really? We’re taking amore empowered so the faster news organizations different approach these days. We really do kind ofcan figure out how to tap into those users, whether to optimize for page views in terms of getting a greatgenerate content, or mine their emotional reactions to image, getting a great headline, making sure it’sa given segment or broadcast, the better our product relatable to a lot of people but also we’re looking atwill be. And the more we get comfortable using our the quality of the content, how long and in depth isviewers – or users as we now call them – in the news- this piece? Does it have original reporting? Because ingathering process the smarter our reporting will be.” the end, those benchmarks of quality and integrity in journalism will lead to more page views, not just forF u r t h e r o b s e r va t i o n s that piece, but for the whole blog, and it will enhanceIt’s been accepted wisdom in the news business the reputation as well.”since Thomas Paine published Common Sensethat journalism is storytelling. They have become Readers Want the Gripping Narrativesynonymous. “Journalists are storytellers.” With the Fast Company’s Kamenetz: “So, there was a talk atrise of social media and the explosion of sites and the TED conference by an MIT scientist, actually, whochannels offering news and information – what filmed his son for three years, from the moment thatUSA Today’s Jon Swartz calls “a Sargasso Sea of they brought him home from the hospital, and usecontent falling all around us” – many, including these incredible 3D visualizations to track his son’sjournalists themselves, have begun to question this. language development and found out exactly whatAre we exposed to so much information, are we context in which he said each of his words. This wasgenerating so much “content,” that we are losing an experiment 3 years in the making and it was beingthe context, the perspective, the essence of the told for the first time from the TED stage in all its glory,story behind the reporting? Our journalists offered and our readers were really excited to hear about it.compelling commentary on the subject as well, Not because it was breaking news, but because it wasaddressing such issues as the perceived shift in a really gripping story.“balance from “quality” of reporting to quantity,the imperative of the narrative and, finally, the The Biggest Challenge Of Social Mediachallenge inherent in managing the overflow of USA Today’s Swartz: “There is so much newsinformation, even as new social media tools and happening so quickly, there is such a demand fortechnologies are seemingly birthed every day. content, in the form of a blog, video, print, what haveWWW. AC C ESSP R . CO M
  13. 13. A C C E S S C O M M U N I C AT I O N Syou, that the news cycle is speeding up: theamount of work we have to do is overwhelming P R p r o f e s s i o n a l s e n gagi n gat times, there’s so many digital tools that are citizen journalistscoming at us in terms of instant messaging, chat,there’s so many types of e-mail services, video – The Corporation for Public Broadcasting recognizes thethere’s so many tools but you have to learn which value of citizen journalists – they just announced theyones to use, and how to use them moderately. will fund a $4.1 million grant to American Public MediaIf you use them to excess you will kill yourself. to expand its network of “citizen sources” that help provide local news coverage across the country.“It’s an interesting challenge,” said Tiffany Black.“You want to be everywhere the users are, and Cultivate this “citizen journalist” mindset among yourthere’s constantly new social media popping up fans and advocates. Encourage supporters to contributeand it’s like deciding which ones do you jump to and participate in the reporting of the news aroundon right away, which ones do you sit back and your brand.see where it goes before you get involved, andI think a lot of times it’s finding an application Two examples:for what you do. For example: foursquare: the 1. An energy drink learned of a user who wasNYT figured out how to work with foursquare a highly active “digger” on the social newsbecause they had a lot of content that could site as well as a huge fan of theirprovide those tips and that’s the kind of brand and their Xtreme Sports events. Theyinformation foursquare needed. But not every invited him to their next event, gave himmedia publication has that “tips” kind of thing access to behind-the-scenes information andbuilt into it. Or it’s even figuring out what kind allowed him to meet and interview some of hisof iPhone or iPad app or mobile app that you’re favorite Xtreme Sports figures. The result wasgoing to create that’s really a big challenge significant coverage on the Digg homepage.for content organizations to figure out.“ 2. A start-up in Los Angeles discovered that twoFi n a l t h o u g h t s top diggers have a podcast that reaches collegeThe social Web has dramatically altered the way kids. Getting covered on this podcast is now a topjournalists do their jobs. As our journalist friends priority so they can get buzz going in relevantshared with us in our Social Scene interviews, social networks that reach their target matter the subject, reporters are using socialtools to convey breaking news in real-time. Source: Sally Falkow; The Proactive Report. A list of the most popular news sites based onSocial journalists are also using social tools traffic figures from Alexa, a website that tracks traffic on most websites and reports on theirto clarify online content, check facts and earn statistics, ranks Digg at #8 with over 25 million visitors a month 13
  14. 14. A C C E S S C O M M U N I C AT I O N Sreaders’ trust. They’re using tools for newsgathering We look forward to our continued dialogues withand dissemination, for investigation and crowdsourced Access friends in the media. They have provided usfact-checking. Perhaps most importantly, though, they with invaluable insights and provocative commentary.are using the social Web for engagement with what Finally, they consistently compel us as an organizationNew York University’s Jay Rosen famously dubbed to remain alert to how best to communicate with the“the people formerly known as the audience” – each media, how best to integrate social Web tools intoone of whom is a potential source. what we do, and how best to engage with audiences increasingly more integral to the newsgathering andAs public relations professionals, one of our primary reporting process.responsibilities is media relations – understandingthe current media landscape, gauging how news isbeing presented, correctly assessing what journalistsneed and how best to work with them. If this is their Read All About It! Understanding Media Transformation and Usage is published byfuture, it must also be ours. Just as journalists must Access Communications, a full-service public relations firm with offices inlearn how to produce compelling digital content and San Francisco and New York. Learn more about us at with open, collaborative tools and methods,so must corporate communicators and public relations For more information, contact: Brian T. Regan, SVP, GM NY at bregan@accesspr.professionals. Social media and digital PR training com, Michael Young, SVP at or Trevor Jonas, Director ofshould be high on your list of priorities. Social Media at AC C ESSP R . CO M
  15. 15. A C C E S S C O M M U N I C AT I O N S1 4 Wa y s t o U s e T w i t t e r t o A t t ra c t J o u r n a l i s t s1. Find the reporters by searching through Muck 9. Look out for story ideas for them, not just big Rack. stories but follow-up pieces on stories they’ve already done.2. Peruse the “contact us” pages of your local media outlets to track down reporters’ Twitter 10. Thank them especially when they write about names. Be helpful especially when it doesn’t an idea you pitched. help you directly. 11. Take note of something in the reporter’s Twitter3. Watch for tweets asking for help, especially on bio when sending an initial tweet. It tells the deadline. That’s the quickest way to strike up a journalist you took a moment to learn about relationship. them.4. Monitor and post hashtags of the town or topic 12. Extend the relationship to other social networks you or your client is involved in. Even if the if they’re more active elsewhere, or get their reporters don’t tweet, they’ll likely monitor it for email. interesting story ideas. 13. Congratulate them on their birthdays or other5. Say something nice about the story a reporter news they tweet about themselves. wrote or aired, making sure you add the reporter’s Twitter name to the comment. When 14. Highlight them on your own blog. possible, link to the story. Patrick Garmoe serves as content and social media strategist for PureDriven, a digital6. Retweet their tweets, especially when they link marketing strategy company in Duluth, Minnesota. to their stories.7. Offer to connect them with experts you think will genuinely help them on their beats.8. Thank them via Twitter for covering an event you attended, especially if you were able to chat with the reporter. This helps solidify the new contact. 15
  16. 16. s a n Fra n c i s c o 101 Howard Street 2nd Floor San Francisco California 94105-1616 tel: 415.904.7070 fax: 415.904.7055 New York 19 Union Square West 4th Floor New York New York 10003-3304 tel: 917.522.3500 fax: 917.522.3510W W W. A CCES S PR .CO M