Social media is most certainly changing traditional PR. Remember the days when you had a breaking news story and all you had to do was find a phone booth to call it in to a news desk? OK, truth be known, me neither, but that’s the way it used to happen. Today, the way journalists’ source and report the news is changing.
- There are now social media networks dedicated to journalists and sources, providing the opportunity to find hundreds of potential leads for stories.
- Citizens are being engaged by journalists to help them collect data. With the use of social networks like twitter, the word is spread instantly.
- The public can now comment on stories, providing feedback and opinions on blogs that influence how a story is perceived.
- Stories are now told in real-time, across multiple platforms, with the content flowing on social networks at lightening speed.
In order to participate and succeed in the new world of social networks, media, individuals and organizations are embracing social media, which is the motivation behind @storylinePRnews – a place for Ottawa business and local media to connect. Dedicated to Ottawa reporters and journalists seeking sources for local stories and Ottawa businesses looking to be a source, this is a free service to facilitate that relationship.
How it works for Ottawa media (the media tweet)
Ottawa reporters and journalists can send their queries one of two ways…
- Post your query in 140 characters or less @storylinePRnews, (tag #mediatweet). Followers can respond directly to you.
- For those of you who wish to remain anonymous, DM me or email me your query, (firstname.lastname@example.org), with “media query” in the subject line. As a mediator, I will re- tweet your query, while protecting your identity. Followers will be asked to send their response to me directly and I can guarantee that only those that are on target will be forwarded to you. (Let’s face it – you have enough to do on an average day – never mind sorting through untargeted email pitches, which is why I have strict rules about this very topic for sources, “the rules” below).
How it works for Ottawa business (the source tweet)
There are three ways a local business can respond to a media tweet…
- Send directly if the media outlet publicly tweets their query.
- DM me for more information about the sources sought, should the outlet wish to remain anonymous.
- Respond to a media tweet by sending your prepared response to (email@example.com). Include the following:
- A copy of the “media tweet” in the email.
- Your contact name and info including your twitter name (i.e. @johnsmith).
- A short paragraph in response to the media tweet.
Just as we shape perceptions, influence opinions and build credibility for Ottawa’s key business people and organizations… one storyline at a time – we have built relationships with local media, one journalist at a time.
The success of storylinePR and the quality coverage we generate for our clients is attributed to the working relationships we have developed and maintain with the media – and I want to keep that way. I’m sure you recognize the value of social media and what it can do for your PR profile, so I do have some strong parameters that I enforce and here they are… three simple rules:
- Your response needs to be on target. If, after reading a media tweet, you have to think about whether it’s a fit for you or your business for more than… say, three seconds, it probably isn’t – please don’t respond.
- Any responses that are not on target will result in having you blocked from participating in the @storylinePRnews twitter stream – sorry – that’s just the way it has to be.
- Before responding to a media tweet, please read a reporters job (and yours) – it’s important to understand the life of a reporter and learn what journalists really want before any tweets are exchanged.
Unsure of how to respond? We can help you with that too! For those of you who know me, you know that storylinePR has been connecting Ottawa’s key business people to local media for over a decade. For those of you who don’t, I invite you to take ”media tweets” for a test drive by following @storylinePRnews. You can always unfollow should you not see the value… that’s the beauty of twitter – the “opt in and out” factor. If anything, you will gain insight into how the news is now being sourced and reported in addition to some valuable PR tips along the way:)
I will continue to tweet @storyline, where I learn and grow from a loyal following. I invite you to follow me there too!