New Media Commentary
Whether you are beginning or experienced in your journalism career, the Internet is the tool that you have been looking for to gain exposure and take your work to the next level! One of the biggest benefits of social media to a journalist is making a name for yourself. This is something that can happen through involvement in social networks, allowing you to not only garner the hottest topics, but also put your face out there for greater recognition.
It’s not breaking news that the newspaper industry is in dire shape. The whole issue is actually quite exhausted at this point; hours of broadcast news has been spent analyzing it, miles of newsprint has been dedicated to solving it, pages and pages of web space have been created to forecast the day newspapers will finally call it quits, and still after all the time, money and energy spent talking and talking and talking about it, no one has a sure-fire solution. It’s been years of public brainstorming and still nothing.
You may have a private Facebook profile for all of your friends and family members, but have you considered using Facebook as a government organization? The reason that Facebook is so important for any business, company, or cause is because it allows people to instantly connect with you and see what you are about. It’s no secret that government organizations need funding, volunteers, or even support to pass legislation. How are you going to tap into these resources without the use of social media?
If you are hoping to publish any of your stories or news coverage as a journalist, social media is the most effective and often easiest place to begin online.
The beauty of social media is that it thrives on user interaction, which is where you come in. Using social media tools to publish will allow you to release coverage on a breaking event or even build an entire website based on news coverage in your area. WordPress is a popular tools for bloggers, and if you are a working journalist, it is highly recommended to have your own blog.
The reason that blogs are so important online is because Google recognizes them as fresh content, and they will temporarily rise to the top of the search results. This is even more pertinent when you are covering a hot topic as late breaking news. But the work doesn’t stop there! In addition to your blog, you must be plugged into a number of social media networks to circulate your content and gain new information.
As an example, you may publish a blog on one of the latest world events, and if you are a Twitter user, you can also have the blog updated directly as a tweet. If it is a hot topic, this will allow other users to retweet the blog and spread it even further in circulation. Likewise, this blog is something that could be bookmarked on a number of social bookmarking sites, like Delicious, Digg, and others.
Last of all, if you are serious about exposing your story and getting yourself out there, you can also recap the topic by posting your own YouTube video. Using all of these social media tools together will gain you the maximum exposure for your coverage of a breaking news topic.
If you are a nonprofit or charity organization hoping to recruit those interested in your cause, then social media is absolutely the way to go. However, it is important to remain tactful and have etiquette in your approach:
• First of all, join in conversation in whichever social media site that you are interested in. You cannot simply expect people to come to you because you have created a profile, but people will be more likely to follow you or friend you if you start conversations and interact with them.
• Don’t simply focus on money. People will be turned off by being asked for money over and over again, so ask for input from your friends online, volunteer time, and even their advice about your organization.
• Contribute to other organizations. This does not necessarily have to be financial, but take the time to cultivate connections with other charitable organizations online. This may be something that works to your advantage in the future by allowing you to host joint events to cultivate even more followers!
• Stick to your voice. Whatever cause you may be representing, it is important to be consistent in how you interact with all other social media users. Have your own voice, and remain true to what you represent.
• Use other nonprofit organizations as examples. It is important to check out other nonprofit organizations in your industry, and you can use what has or has not worked for them as an example for your own nonprofit campaign.
As a public relations professional, one of your main tasks is to increase the news and hype about a company that you are representing. This will work to boost their visibility, and it will also attract further customers to their brand.
The old-fashioned way to go about this was through newspapers and commercials, but television and radio have easily taken second place to the Internet. One of the main reasons that this is so prevalent is because anyone can promote themselves online! Why else would a horrible American Idol contestant like William Hung have been so popular if it were not for YouTube? If someone like this can create their own 15 minutes of fame, then you better believe that you can generate even greater results as a PR representative.
To begin with, using a number of different social media profiles will increase your area of influence in representing a brand online. Internet users these days are going directly to social media as their news source, so if the company that you are working with does not have a profile on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites, then they are severely limiting the people that they can reach. Even further, it is ideal for your client to have their own blog that they update continually.
The reason that blogs are so important for any type of business online is that they will jump to the top of the search engine results on Google because they are new and fresh content. Internet users can easily find this information to be directed back to the company website, and the blogs can also be updated immediately to social media profiles, like Twitter.
This is a circular effect that gains immediate exposure for a company and brand!
One of the biggest obstacles to the journalist is finding current and relevant research for a news topic that is legitimately accurate. As you begin using social media to enhance and quicken your research, keep in mind that all information that you uncover needs to be fact checked before publishing. That being said, the many social media websites available offer the wealth of information that you have been looking for in real-time news for your story.
These immediate searches are much more accurate than simply typing your topic into the Google search engine to research. When you plug your topic into a search engine, the results are ranked according to their links by the Google algorithm. This is something that can sometimes work to your disadvantage because you could be finding web articles from five years ago that aren’t giving you the latest information. Yes, these popular postings can be used to check your facts, but social media will provide you the latest news with what the public is truly discussing.
One of the best choices to uncover is the Twitter tool TweetMeme, which has all of the headlines on Twitter organized by popularity. If you are looking up information on the Tiger Woods scandal, as an example, you can search for those keywords specifically, or you can also look for the top headlines relating to sports found on Twitter.
You may have caught on to the fact that almost every man, woman, and child has a Twitter profile, and these types of applications will allow you to organize the relevant information found from a number of sources worldwide. This is often much more accurate and simple than looking for newspaper headlines published online.
I know it’s not always a good idea to discuss politics AND religion in the same conversation but I’ll take a crack at it to try and make a point.
During this most holiest of religious seasons it’s not surprising that a conversation about the continued relevance of organized religion would occur.
My hometown paper, The Hartford Courant, just published an article detailing the decline of membership at local churches and what some congregations are doing to stem the flow of dwindling parishioners and weekly financial offerings.
This is a trend affecting churches everywhere. Even before I read the article It seemed to me that a major focus of most churches these days is to try lure people back into a brick and mortar church building. Nothing wrong with trying to get more people to attend church regularly, but I think another approach to reconnect with former church goers and to attract new one is the Internet. There are many online tools like blogs and social media churches can and should be using to talk to people when they aren’t in church.
What’s the tie-in with politics? Local, state and national politicians have quickly learned that the web has become one of the quickest and easiest ways to build an audience and raise campaign cash.
As distasteful and immoral as politics can be at times, churches would be wise to take a sneak peak at the digital doings of the political set.
Anyone in a public office may already be plugged into a number of social media profiles, but there are dos and don’ts in how to control your public social media profile. If you want the ultimate success in supporting your political party, creating awareness for a cause, or even being reelected to office, social media is a must, followed with these top tips for etiquette:
1. Offer content that is of value. So many people are turned off by the government and politics in general, and it has truly become a source of contention through negative press over the years. If you want to turn the tables and gain even more public support, offer content that is valuable! Twitter is the easiest place to begin, and you can start with genuine tweets in conversation, or even information about your real life, as well as the cause that you represent. People don’t want to hear canned responses from politicians in social media, but they want to use this opportunity to really get to know you and what you represent.
2. Don’t talk trash online. Anyone and everyone can track what you say on the Internet, so make sure that you don’t put down your competitors or other government officials on a social media website. This not only makes you look bad, but it also puts a negative spin on politicians in general.
3. Give to get. This is a simple golden rule that you may have learned in elementary school, but people do not want to hear any individual obsessed with self promotion. The best thing that you can do to get ahead as a politician through social media is to start reaching out to other people to get to know them first. Isn’t that what politics is all about?
4. Work on building relationships. The bottom line is that social media will dramatically expand your sphere of influence as a politician, and you can begin to make connections with other people that don’t live in your specific region or state. If you hold a public office, these types of connections are invaluable, and when you begin to cultivate relationships all over the United States, people will start to get to know who you are and what you represent. A free and effective form of publicity!
5. Monitor how often you ask for help. Yes, government officials and politicians need volunteers, votes, and financial support, but it should be done in moderation. You should be willing to give your time, advice, and even money to other people before asking for something in return. If you are raising funds for a campaign, you need to create some serious roots in relationships in social media before asking for financial support online. This is something that will turn people off instantly, yet on the flipside, they will be more than willing to support you if you have built relationships with them online!
The bottom line is that social media is the way of the future for government officials, and these helpful tips will make your success even easier!
Social media encompasses a number of different online venues, including social media websites, blogging, and online profiles, like Twitter. If you are a public relations representative, then social media is the new way to interact and represent your clients!
To begin with, let’s discuss the use of social bookmarking and public relations. If you are representing a company with an online website, then it is imperative that you work to get their site bookmarked on a number of different social bookmarking sites. Some examples of these are Delicious or StumbleUpon. These are social bookmarking sites driven by users where they will mark their favorites and pass them on to their friends.
There is no better way to get the word out there about a newer company than by getting the webpage bookmarked so that other visitors will take notice. And how do you get a company’s website bookmarked effectively? The only way to do this is through providing relevant and hot content. Of course, it does need to relate to the niche market of the company, but if you can get creative and add how to articles, videos, and even quizzes to the website, then users will be more likely to take notice of it and bookmark it.
Once users have bookmarked your website, it can be easily e-mailed to other people that they interact with. The truth is that so many people online go directly to social bookmarking sites as their main source of information, so you are overlooking a great resource if you don’t take advantage of this opportunity in public relations.