Anna Jasinski's blog listings. Feed Zend_Feed_Writer 1.10.8 (http://framework.zend.com) http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo 5 Ways to Engage With Digitally Empowered News Audiences

Content isn’t being pushed out into the void anymore.

Until recently, news organizations could afford to economically disengage from their audience, and journalists could set their focus on deadlines. But, it’s no longer just about the product of journalism, says Jake Batsell, longtime reporter and digital journalism professor at Southern Methodist University.

“I used to take my audience for granted,” he says. “Now, engagement is crucial to journalism’s survival.”

In a recent webinar with Viafoura, Batsell shared his take on media today, his thoughts on the future of engaged journalism, and more from his book.

Here are five ways news organizations are working to engage audiences, providing the framework to use to do a level-set for your publication.

1. Create opportunities for face-to-face engagement

In order to deepen audience loyalty, supplement digital with in-person engagement, says Batsell.

This may be a surprise to some as news experiences increasingly are focused on digital. But, Batsell says there’s a renewed effort by news organizations to get face time with readers. From scavenger hunts to art walks, satellite newsrooms open to the public and other face-to-face events, the ways to connect are plentiful.

The key, though, says Batsell, is to deliver unique experiences that are worth their communities’ time. A successful event brings the community or niche groups together for a purpose, but in a fun way.  The payoffs can amount to trusted relationships between reader and reporter, increased social engagement, and revenue through corporate sponsorships.

See: The Texas Tribune Festival and GeekWire’s ping pong bash

2. Make news a conversation

Rather than just pulling the curtain on your final story products, bolster the relationship with your readers by making them part of the front-end process of news creation.

“Let your audience know you’re working on a project and bring them into the process early,” says Batsell. “Use every digital tool at your disposal.” Not only will you foster communication with your readers that builds trust, they may help you develop a stronger story by providing compelling anecdotes that you otherwise wouldn’t have discovered on your own.

There are a number of different ways to engage, says Batsell, from asking the public to share their story on a specific topic to doubling down on reader comments. But Batsell warns news organizations must have a plan in place for discussion and comment threads – to prevent the equivalent of a graffiti wall.

“Don’t just halfheartedly go through the motions and expect the outcome to be pleasant, civil, or a good reflection of your brand,” he says.

See: ProPublica’s Race Card ProjectNPR’s personal finance Facebook group and FT’s new comment strategy 

Continue reading this article on Beyond Bylines: 5 Ways to Engage With Digitally Empowered News Audiences.

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Tue, 24 May 2016 10:23:49 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/05/24/5_ways_to_engage_with_digitally_empowered_news_audiences http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/05/24/5_ways_to_engage_with_digitally_empowered_news_audiences

Content isn’t being pushed out into the void anymore.

Until recently, news organizations could afford to economically disengage from their audience, and journalists could set their focus on deadlines. But, it’s no longer just about the product of journalism, says Jake Batsell, longtime reporter and digital journalism professor at Southern Methodist University.

“I used to take my audience for granted,” he says. “Now, engagement is crucial to journalism’s survival.”

In a recent webinar with Viafoura, Batsell shared his take on media today, his thoughts on the future of engaged journalism, and more from his book.

Here are five ways news organizations are working to engage audiences, providing the framework to use to do a level-set for your publication.

1. Create opportunities for face-to-face engagement

In order to deepen audience loyalty, supplement digital with in-person engagement, says Batsell.

This may be a surprise to some as news experiences increasingly are focused on digital. But, Batsell says there’s a renewed effort by news organizations to get face time with readers. From scavenger hunts to art walks, satellite newsrooms open to the public and other face-to-face events, the ways to connect are plentiful.

The key, though, says Batsell, is to deliver unique experiences that are worth their communities’ time. A successful event brings the community or niche groups together for a purpose, but in a fun way.  The payoffs can amount to trusted relationships between reader and reporter, increased social engagement, and revenue through corporate sponsorships.

See: The Texas Tribune Festival and GeekWire’s ping pong bash

2. Make news a conversation

Rather than just pulling the curtain on your final story products, bolster the relationship with your readers by making them part of the front-end process of news creation.

“Let your audience know you’re working on a project and bring them into the process early,” says Batsell. “Use every digital tool at your disposal.” Not only will you foster communication with your readers that builds trust, they may help you develop a stronger story by providing compelling anecdotes that you otherwise wouldn’t have discovered on your own.

There are a number of different ways to engage, says Batsell, from asking the public to share their story on a specific topic to doubling down on reader comments. But Batsell warns news organizations must have a plan in place for discussion and comment threads – to prevent the equivalent of a graffiti wall.

“Don’t just halfheartedly go through the motions and expect the outcome to be pleasant, civil, or a good reflection of your brand,” he says.

See: ProPublica’s Race Card ProjectNPR’s personal finance Facebook group and FT’s new comment strategy 

Continue reading this article on Beyond Bylines: 5 Ways to Engage With Digitally Empowered News Audiences.

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0
Snapchat For Journalists: A Beginner’s Guide to Engaging New Audiences in Vertical Video snapchat beginners guide

See original post here: prn.to/snapchat

Snapchat isn’t for child’s play.

It’s no longer just for selfies or only young millennials.

And it’s not going away anytime soon, says Tim Cigelske, director of social media with Marquette University and associate editor at MediaShift.org.

Snapchat recently introduced a slew of changes to become the next go-to messaging app – taking the Facebook platform head-on. It’s meant to be a largely ephemeral space, but users are said to be spending as much time as a half-hour on the app. Some experts say Snapchat could win the curation race, too.

Still, misconceptions keep some journalists from chasing the medium, Cigelske says.

But at 100 million (and growing) daily active users and eight billion video views per day, it’s hard to deny its viability as a legitimate journalistic force to attract new audiences.

Cigelske recently hosted a #DigitalEd webinar on Snapchat for Journalists, covering everything from the app’s appeal to media personalities to follow.

Here are some tips from his session and beyond.

GETTING STARTED

Like many of today’s messaging and live-streaming apps, the concept is simple.

Snapchat allows users to view and share authentic, in-the-moment messages directly from their mobile device. The content disappears after 24 hours or immediately after viewing – depending on if you’re sharing a story or chatting with a friend. But first you must sign up.

Download the app. The app can be downloaded for free on both iOS and Android devices.

Create an account. Once you have it installed, open the app to log in with an existing account or create a new one. If you’re new to the app, select “Sign Up,” to go through the verification process where you”ll enter your email address, a password, and your birthday.

Pick a unique username. Your username is your unique identity on Snapchat; it can’t be changed once it’s set, so make it count. Use creative license to come up with something clever. However, if you want to make it as easy as possible for people to find you – especially as a journalist or media personality – it’s a good practice is to create a username that includes your first and last name or something that your audience will recognize.

Find and add friends. Snapchat makes it extremely easy to add friends. Just tap the ghost icon at the top of the screen and select “Add Friends.” Here, you can find Snapchatters from your phone’s address book, find people nearby, or search by username. You also can add by Snapcode. A Snapcode, much like a QR code (remember those?), is a unique code assigned to each user. You”ll see a lot of media brands and personalities set their Snapcode as their profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter to drive engagement.

Below is Forbes’s Snapcode, for example, from its Twitter profile. If you want to follow Forbes, as a test, there are two ways to do it. Open the app and simply take a picture of the Snapcode shown below. Or, add it by screenshot through the “Add Friends” section. Either way, Snapchat will then scan the image and add the user to your friend list.

Forbes on Snapchat

Finish setting up your profile. Under the same ghost icon where you added friends, you can finalize your profile. Click the cog symbol to manage your profile and privacy settings. You also can create a selfie GIF for your profile photo by clicking on your Snapcode icon.

Know the lingo. Let’s break it down, quick. Here are the top words to know.

Snap = A photo sent on Snapchat. “Did you see my snap today?”

Videosnap = A video sent on Snapchat.  “I videosnapped the concert last night.”

Story = Another term for snaps and videosnaps. “I follow his stories.”

Filter = Overlays you can add to your photo or video before sharing. “Should I add the sepia filter?”

Geofilter = Special filters that can only be accessed in certain locations. “The geofilters for Coachella are on point.”

Lenses = Facial recognition that adds moving effects to your selfies. “Have you tried the new Face Swap lens?”

Stickers = Emojis you can stick on top of your image. “I added stickers to my snap to make it more interesting.”

Screenshot = Saving a snap on your phone. Snapchat will notify users if someone saves their snap via screenshot. “I had to screenshot that story. It was too funny.”

Learn how to navigate. Rule of thumb as you get started: Just keep swiping. The app may not seem intuitive to those of us who grew up without a mobile phone in hand, but you’ll get the hang of where everything is by continuing to swipe back and forth and up and down through the different areas. Check out the Stories page to see snaps from people you follow, to view live events and to access Discover – a set area for hand-crafted content from some of the world’s top publishers.

snapchat screens

Create a snap. It’s easy. To take a photo snap, tap the circle once. To record a videosnap, press and hold. To draw on your snap, tap the icons in the top right corner. To delete your snap, tap the X in the top left corner. Just be sure to capture your story in vertical video, as the app intends. Once ready, you can add your snap to your stories for all to see, or you can choose individual friends to share with.

snapchat how to

The hard part about creating a snap is making your content compelling enough that it appeals to a broad audience. You can’t edit snaps that are posted, so you may want to practice with friends before sharing snaps with everyone.

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS

The biggest misconception is that Snapchat is a platform solely for one-to-one exchange between friends.

“It used to be peer-to-peer,” says Cigelske. “Now, it is media. It’s consumption – it’s a lean back experience.”

For the generation that grew up on mobile, Snapchat is becoming a replacement for TV, Netflix, and even websites, says Cigelske. “It’s becoming it’s own immersive experience … and that’s a big deal.”

This brings us to the next big misconception: age group.

Yes, Snapchat is the best way to reach 13- to 34-year-olds. According to its website, more than 60 percent of U.S. smartphone users in this age group are Snapchatters. But, that doesn’t mean older users aren’t on the app, that they shouldn’t be, or won’t be eventually.

As Cigelske (a 30-something) says in his post on Snapchat for old people, “It was time to rethink some of my assumptions. I decided to move from disparagement to curiosity.”

THE APPEAL 

Many people don’t trust the talking heads in media today.

According to Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, 88 percent of millennials say they only “sometimes” or “never” trust the press.

The appeal of Snapchat for users is very much its authenticity.  There’s no polish.

“It’s the exact opposite of Instagram,” says Cigelske. Here, users can view personalities working and talking in the moment, in a way that’s more raw, unapologetic – and fun. This leads to a greater level of trust, allowing journalists and brands to build their credibility with younger audiences.

Beyond the conversational tone of the app, the platform is built for and intuitive to mobile.

For media, “it’s about what’s happening right now,” Cigelske says. It’s not long-form or analytical – just visual, offbeat news bites about events of the day.

For journalists and the tech-friendly consumer, this is a huge win-win.

Journalists always are looking for new ways to reach people as they move away from print and broadcast, he says. Snapchat allows journalists to get multimedia-driven content directly – and quickly – into the hands of new audiences who are hungry for authentic engagement.

HOW MEDIA ARE USING IT 

Publishers are prioritizing live video to reach mass audiences as video becomes the dominant form of content consumption. And so, the ability to engage in visual storytelling and broadcast live video is becoming an increasingly vital and transformational skill for journalists.

Snapchat allows both individual journalists and major outlets to stretch and experiment with a visual format that’s easy to work with.

On Snapchat Discover, where publishers can partner with Snapchat to share more dynamic stories, up-and-comers like Vice and Refinery29 are crafting content next to more traditional publishers like CNN and Daily Mail.  “It’s the holy grail,” says Cigelske. And the traffic is tremendous. According to him, “Mashable increased their audience like 25 percent.”

For individual journalists and publishers sharing outside of Discover, the snaps may not be as in-depth or developed, but are meaningful and engaging nonetheless.

The content runs the gamut. From breaking news to behind the scenes, regular features, timely topics and more, the possibilities truly are endless.

For example, CBS is showing behind the scenes of its 2016 election; Condé Nast Traveler posted its annual hotel “Hot List” exclusively on Snapchat; and Mashable’s Sam Sheffer hosts a weekly snap series called “Tech Tuesday.” Many also used the platform recently to share posts for #EarthDay and to honor Prince’s legacy.

snapchat examples

THINGS TO REMEMBER 

This is glance journalism. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Snapchat isn’t designed to drive traffic to a website or blog. The app lacks the ability to include links or take you outside the app. Use multimedia to draw interest and go beyond headlines. With good content, you may naturally see more traffic going to your other spaces.

Not everything is meant for Snapchat. “When newspapers first started coming online, they were just dumping everything from the newspaper onto the site,” says Cigelske. But this is not a one-size-fits-all platform. Choose relevant topics that younger audiences care about and that can be summed up in quick, digestable bites.

Make your snaps shine. In order to tap into the Snapchat culture, do your best to fit in. Shoot in vertical as much as possible, add filters and geofilters, and add flair with the drawing tool, captions and emojis. You don’t have to be a good artist, adds Cigelske. Just have fun with it.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. “Yes, there are serious issues in this world,” says Cigelske, “but, that doesn’t mean you can’t be human.” Snapchat allows journalists to let their hair down, so to speak, and say, “I want to talk to you and start a conversation.” Much of the content on Snapchat is light-hearted, so be careful about striking the right tone when covering serious stories.

Practice everyday. Creating compelling content like this may not come naturally at first. Cigelske suggests opening the app everyday to get acquainted. It’s also a good practice to find a trusted source to practice with via one-to-one shares.

It’s good to be an early adapter. Getting on board while it’s still fairly new allows you to see the evolution of the app. It also allows you the time and space to make it your own before use becomes even more widespread.

Don’t limit yourself. You don’t have to stop at just one snap. To tell a longer story, do a series of snaps back-to-back. Think of Twitter, Cigelske reminded. When having a conversation or live tweeting, you don’t stop at one tweet. You keep going to tell the whole story.

Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to get media trends, journalist interviews, blogger profiles, and more sent right to your inbox.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski or on Snapchat by clicking here from your mobile device. You can also catch her sharing the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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]]>
Mon, 02 May 2016 14:38:18 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo snapchat beginners guide

See original post here: prn.to/snapchat

Snapchat isn’t for child’s play.

It’s no longer just for selfies or only young millennials.

And it’s not going away anytime soon, says Tim Cigelske, director of social media with Marquette University and associate editor at MediaShift.org.

Snapchat recently introduced a slew of changes to become the next go-to messaging app – taking the Facebook platform head-on. It’s meant to be a largely ephemeral space, but users are said to be spending as much time as a half-hour on the app. Some experts say Snapchat could win the curation race, too.

Still, misconceptions keep some journalists from chasing the medium, Cigelske says.

But at 100 million (and growing) daily active users and eight billion video views per day, it’s hard to deny its viability as a legitimate journalistic force to attract new audiences.

Cigelske recently hosted a #DigitalEd webinar on Snapchat for Journalists, covering everything from the app’s appeal to media personalities to follow.

Here are some tips from his session and beyond.

GETTING STARTED

Like many of today’s messaging and live-streaming apps, the concept is simple.

Snapchat allows users to view and share authentic, in-the-moment messages directly from their mobile device. The content disappears after 24 hours or immediately after viewing – depending on if you’re sharing a story or chatting with a friend. But first you must sign up.

Download the app. The app can be downloaded for free on both iOS and Android devices.

Create an account. Once you have it installed, open the app to log in with an existing account or create a new one. If you’re new to the app, select “Sign Up,” to go through the verification process where you”ll enter your email address, a password, and your birthday.

Pick a unique username. Your username is your unique identity on Snapchat; it can’t be changed once it’s set, so make it count. Use creative license to come up with something clever. However, if you want to make it as easy as possible for people to find you – especially as a journalist or media personality – it’s a good practice is to create a username that includes your first and last name or something that your audience will recognize.

Find and add friends. Snapchat makes it extremely easy to add friends. Just tap the ghost icon at the top of the screen and select “Add Friends.” Here, you can find Snapchatters from your phone’s address book, find people nearby, or search by username. You also can add by Snapcode. A Snapcode, much like a QR code (remember those?), is a unique code assigned to each user. You”ll see a lot of media brands and personalities set their Snapcode as their profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter to drive engagement.

Below is Forbes’s Snapcode, for example, from its Twitter profile. If you want to follow Forbes, as a test, there are two ways to do it. Open the app and simply take a picture of the Snapcode shown below. Or, add it by screenshot through the “Add Friends” section. Either way, Snapchat will then scan the image and add the user to your friend list.

Forbes on Snapchat

Finish setting up your profile. Under the same ghost icon where you added friends, you can finalize your profile. Click the cog symbol to manage your profile and privacy settings. You also can create a selfie GIF for your profile photo by clicking on your Snapcode icon.

Know the lingo. Let’s break it down, quick. Here are the top words to know.

Snap = A photo sent on Snapchat. “Did you see my snap today?”

Videosnap = A video sent on Snapchat.  “I videosnapped the concert last night.”

Story = Another term for snaps and videosnaps. “I follow his stories.”

Filter = Overlays you can add to your photo or video before sharing. “Should I add the sepia filter?”

Geofilter = Special filters that can only be accessed in certain locations. “The geofilters for Coachella are on point.”

Lenses = Facial recognition that adds moving effects to your selfies. “Have you tried the new Face Swap lens?”

Stickers = Emojis you can stick on top of your image. “I added stickers to my snap to make it more interesting.”

Screenshot = Saving a snap on your phone. Snapchat will notify users if someone saves their snap via screenshot. “I had to screenshot that story. It was too funny.”

Learn how to navigate. Rule of thumb as you get started: Just keep swiping. The app may not seem intuitive to those of us who grew up without a mobile phone in hand, but you’ll get the hang of where everything is by continuing to swipe back and forth and up and down through the different areas. Check out the Stories page to see snaps from people you follow, to view live events and to access Discover – a set area for hand-crafted content from some of the world’s top publishers.

snapchat screens

Create a snap. It’s easy. To take a photo snap, tap the circle once. To record a videosnap, press and hold. To draw on your snap, tap the icons in the top right corner. To delete your snap, tap the X in the top left corner. Just be sure to capture your story in vertical video, as the app intends. Once ready, you can add your snap to your stories for all to see, or you can choose individual friends to share with.

snapchat how to

The hard part about creating a snap is making your content compelling enough that it appeals to a broad audience. You can’t edit snaps that are posted, so you may want to practice with friends before sharing snaps with everyone.

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS

The biggest misconception is that Snapchat is a platform solely for one-to-one exchange between friends.

“It used to be peer-to-peer,” says Cigelske. “Now, it is media. It’s consumption – it’s a lean back experience.”

For the generation that grew up on mobile, Snapchat is becoming a replacement for TV, Netflix, and even websites, says Cigelske. “It’s becoming it’s own immersive experience … and that’s a big deal.”

This brings us to the next big misconception: age group.

Yes, Snapchat is the best way to reach 13- to 34-year-olds. According to its website, more than 60 percent of U.S. smartphone users in this age group are Snapchatters. But, that doesn’t mean older users aren’t on the app, that they shouldn’t be, or won’t be eventually.

As Cigelske (a 30-something) says in his post on Snapchat for old people, “It was time to rethink some of my assumptions. I decided to move from disparagement to curiosity.”

THE APPEAL 

Many people don’t trust the talking heads in media today.

According to Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, 88 percent of millennials say they only “sometimes” or “never” trust the press.

The appeal of Snapchat for users is very much its authenticity.  There’s no polish.

“It’s the exact opposite of Instagram,” says Cigelske. Here, users can view personalities working and talking in the moment, in a way that’s more raw, unapologetic – and fun. This leads to a greater level of trust, allowing journalists and brands to build their credibility with younger audiences.

Beyond the conversational tone of the app, the platform is built for and intuitive to mobile.

For media, “it’s about what’s happening right now,” Cigelske says. It’s not long-form or analytical – just visual, offbeat news bites about events of the day.

For journalists and the tech-friendly consumer, this is a huge win-win.

Journalists always are looking for new ways to reach people as they move away from print and broadcast, he says. Snapchat allows journalists to get multimedia-driven content directly – and quickly – into the hands of new audiences who are hungry for authentic engagement.

HOW MEDIA ARE USING IT 

Publishers are prioritizing live video to reach mass audiences as video becomes the dominant form of content consumption. And so, the ability to engage in visual storytelling and broadcast live video is becoming an increasingly vital and transformational skill for journalists.

Snapchat allows both individual journalists and major outlets to stretch and experiment with a visual format that’s easy to work with.

On Snapchat Discover, where publishers can partner with Snapchat to share more dynamic stories, up-and-comers like Vice and Refinery29 are crafting content next to more traditional publishers like CNN and Daily Mail.  “It’s the holy grail,” says Cigelske. And the traffic is tremendous. According to him, “Mashable increased their audience like 25 percent.”

For individual journalists and publishers sharing outside of Discover, the snaps may not be as in-depth or developed, but are meaningful and engaging nonetheless.

The content runs the gamut. From breaking news to behind the scenes, regular features, timely topics and more, the possibilities truly are endless.

For example, CBS is showing behind the scenes of its 2016 election; Condé Nast Traveler posted its annual hotel “Hot List” exclusively on Snapchat; and Mashable’s Sam Sheffer hosts a weekly snap series called “Tech Tuesday.” Many also used the platform recently to share posts for #EarthDay and to honor Prince’s legacy.

snapchat examples

THINGS TO REMEMBER 

This is glance journalism. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Snapchat isn’t designed to drive traffic to a website or blog. The app lacks the ability to include links or take you outside the app. Use multimedia to draw interest and go beyond headlines. With good content, you may naturally see more traffic going to your other spaces.

Not everything is meant for Snapchat. “When newspapers first started coming online, they were just dumping everything from the newspaper onto the site,” says Cigelske. But this is not a one-size-fits-all platform. Choose relevant topics that younger audiences care about and that can be summed up in quick, digestable bites.

Make your snaps shine. In order to tap into the Snapchat culture, do your best to fit in. Shoot in vertical as much as possible, add filters and geofilters, and add flair with the drawing tool, captions and emojis. You don’t have to be a good artist, adds Cigelske. Just have fun with it.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. “Yes, there are serious issues in this world,” says Cigelske, “but, that doesn’t mean you can’t be human.” Snapchat allows journalists to let their hair down, so to speak, and say, “I want to talk to you and start a conversation.” Much of the content on Snapchat is light-hearted, so be careful about striking the right tone when covering serious stories.

Practice everyday. Creating compelling content like this may not come naturally at first. Cigelske suggests opening the app everyday to get acquainted. It’s also a good practice to find a trusted source to practice with via one-to-one shares.

It’s good to be an early adapter. Getting on board while it’s still fairly new allows you to see the evolution of the app. It also allows you the time and space to make it your own before use becomes even more widespread.

Don’t limit yourself. You don’t have to stop at just one snap. To tell a longer story, do a series of snaps back-to-back. Think of Twitter, Cigelske reminded. When having a conversation or live tweeting, you don’t stop at one tweet. You keep going to tell the whole story.

Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to get media trends, journalist interviews, blogger profiles, and more sent right to your inbox.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski or on Snapchat by clicking here from your mobile device. You can also catch her sharing the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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0
Twitter Chats for Bloggers & Creatives For Every Day of the Week twitter chats for bloggers

See the original post

For bloggers and entrepreneurs, it can be a struggle to maintain the stamina to push out regular content, not to mention the continuous flow of ideas.

A lot of energy and imagination are required when dedicating yourself day in and day out to your creative cause – especially when there’s a high volume of competition.

If you’re looking for a regular boost, Twitter chats are a great way to get inspired, develop ideas, and expand your network. And, the great thing is you really only need a Twitter handle to join in.

For a “no barriers” way to build your profile among other like-minded individuals, while gaining access to priceless (and free) insider insight, check out some notable chats below.

There’s at least one chat for every day of the week, to keep you motivated Monday through Sunday.

Sunday

#BlogChat
Host:
 @MackCollier
When: Sundays, 6 p.m. PT | 9 p.m. ET

The list is by no means a ranking, but #BlogChat is first here and happens to be one of the biggest of the chats on the list. It started in 2009 by social media strategist Mack Collier (who, by the way, was recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 25 Social Media Marketers in the World). Each week hundreds of people take part in the chat, which is widely known as one of the most popular on Twitter. The format of #BlogChat is very simple. It starts with a general blogging topic, and the conversation free flows from there. Co-hosts frequently join in and share their vast knowledge, too. For more details and a few rules of the chat, check out What is #BlogChat.

Monday

#CreativeCoffeeHour
Host: @calliegisler
When: Mondays, 6 p.m. PT | 9 p.m. ET

If you like to drink coffee while you talk about your creative process, this chat is for you. #CreativeCoffeeHour is hosted by Callie Gisler, a digital strategist and coach who aims to help bloggers and small business owners define the purpose and strategy behind their work. The chat is a support system for those ready to share their knowledge and passion and provides great insight into how others work and succeed as creatives. See what people are saying about #CreativeCoffeeHour on Gisler’s site, Callie Creates.

Tuesday

#brandhour
Hosts: @marianney + @DreBeltrami
When: Tuesdays, 7 p.m. PT | 10 p.m. ET

#BrandHour is hosted by Marianne Manthey, full-time web designer and on-the-side blogger, and Andrea Beltrami, who works one-on-one with solo-entrepreneurs to get branded. If you’re looking to chat about blog design and branding, this definitely is a chat to get on your calendar. #BrandHour takes place the first Tuesday of every month. They also sweeten the pot with a prize giveaway, too.

Wednesday

#altchat
Host:  @altsummit
When: Wednesdays, 9 a.m. PT | 12 p.m. ET

This chat is hosted by the Altitude Design Summit, a four-day bi-annual conference event that brings people together to learn, network, and collaborate. They have amazing speakers, I have to say. Everyone is welcome both at the conference and in the chats, but it’s truly tailored to design-minded folks, like bloggers, lifestyle writers, and creative entrepreneurs. For those who can’t make the summit – or who want to continue the conversation between events – this social media forum is a great way to connect and learn. #altsummit topics range from taking risks, connecting with your tribe, originality, and creative burnout.

#CreateLounge
Host: @kayla_hollatz
When: Wednesdays, 5 p.m. PT | 8 p.m. E.T.

#CreateLounge is hosted by Kayla Hollatz, a community and brand coach for creative entrepreneurs. We featured her last year in our post on Periscope for Bloggers. Her chat centers around a community of bloggers and entrepreneurs who seek to share expertise and encourage one another in their passion projects. Topics include everything from blogging to branding, social media, the creative process, community building, and so much more. To prep for the chat each week, be sure to check out the #CreateLounge section of Hollatz’s site. At the bottom of the page, she posts the questions she’ll ask in the next chat.

#NectarChat
Host: @NectarCollect
When: Wednesdays, 6 p.m. PT | 9 p.m. ET

Hosted by Melyssa Griffin of The Nectar Collective, this chat is geared toward bloggers and creative entrepreneurs who want to stand out, make connections, and grow their audience. If you’re looking for tips on staying motivated, or how to use various social media to build community, this fun and informative chat is a good one to take part in. #NectarChat typically occurs twice a month. Want to be notified by email when the next chat is? Sign up here.

Thursday

#SEOchat
Host: Search Marketing Weekly
When: Thursdays, 10 a.m. PT | 1:00 p.m. ET

For bloggers and online entrepreneurs, SEO is a critical part of a successful strategy. This chat touches on just that. Each week, #SEOchat is hosted by a well-known or renowned digital marketer and covers timely topics ranging from site analysis, to creating content that attracts links, and video strategy. If SEO is a concern, definitely set aside time to take advantage of the knowledge, experience and insights from this chat to grow your own expertise. For recaps of previous chats, see the Search Marketing Weekly site.

Friday

#bdib
Host: @Blogsdoitbetter 
When: Fridays, 12 p.m. PT | 3 p.m. ET | 8 p.m. GMT

The #bdib chat – formerly known as #bloggersdoitbetter – was created by beauty blogger Gemma of Touch of Belle, who hails from England.  The #bdib chat is a place for developing positive community around just about everything blog related. Recent chat topics for the group include time management, blog post inspiration, tech and digital Q&As and more. If you can’t make the Friday chat, there also is a Monday edition one hour earlier at 7 p.m GMT. You also can check out its North American counterpart @bdibNA.

Saturday

#socialbloggers 
Host: @skinnedcartree
When: 
11 a.m. PT | 1 p.m. ET | 6 p.m. GMT

Also out of the UK is the #socialbloggers chat, hosted by Corinne, a lifestyle blogger at skinnedcartree.com. There aren’t too many Saturday chats out there, but if you’re setting aside some weekend time for building your blog, this is a great chat to work into your schedule. Topics include blogger networking, full-time blogging, setting annual goals, journaling, and much more. You can check out recaps from #socialblogger chats here.

New to Twitter Chats?

Here are six quick tips on how to jump in and make the most of your experience:

  1. Set aside time for the chat. In order to make the most of experience, you want to be completely tuned in to the chat with no distractions. It’s best to set up a feed to just follow the hashtag, be it directly in your Twitter window, or via a tool like Hootsuite or TweetChat.
  2. Make a strong introduction. Want to look like an expert? Make a solid introduction into the chat, explaining (in 140 characters, mind you) who you are and why you’re there. If you want to pack a punch, create an image to attach to your intro tweet that reads sort of like a flashy business card.
  3. Craft thoughtful replies.  Most chat hosts allow some time for answers, so no need to rush your reply. Once ready, be sure to label your response appropriately. Every interaction should include the related hashtag. If you answer a question, you should add a corresponding identifier to your answer. For example, the chat host will likely label the first question as “Q1”, so your reply should start with “A1” for “answer to first question.”
  4. Interact, again and again. There are huge benefits to interacting with other people in the chat. Favorite a tweet that you love. Retweet a great question or answer. Reply to someone in the chat with a kudos or interesting alternative take. The more you interact, the more connections you’ll potentially make. But, be sure to always stay on topic.
  5. Don’t be a troll. Be positive in your interactions. It’s a common-sense tip. Most folks are joining these to gain a boost in confidence or inspiration. Some may need your help. You may not agree with everyone, but always be sure to be constructive in your conversation.
  6. Can’t make it? If you miss a chat, no problem. You can easily look back through the conversation later to gain insights and ideas, and even reply. Many times, you’ll see tweets with chat hashtags day after the event, which is a great way to keep the conversation going.

Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to get media trends, journalist interviews, blogger profiles, and more sent right to your inbox.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for tweets on writing and social media. You can also catch her sharing the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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Wed, 06 Apr 2016 17:41:24 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/04/06/twitter_chats_for_bloggers__creatives_for_every_day_of_the_week http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/04/06/twitter_chats_for_bloggers__creatives_for_every_day_of_the_week twitter chats for bloggers

See the original post

For bloggers and entrepreneurs, it can be a struggle to maintain the stamina to push out regular content, not to mention the continuous flow of ideas.

A lot of energy and imagination are required when dedicating yourself day in and day out to your creative cause – especially when there’s a high volume of competition.

If you’re looking for a regular boost, Twitter chats are a great way to get inspired, develop ideas, and expand your network. And, the great thing is you really only need a Twitter handle to join in.

For a “no barriers” way to build your profile among other like-minded individuals, while gaining access to priceless (and free) insider insight, check out some notable chats below.

There’s at least one chat for every day of the week, to keep you motivated Monday through Sunday.

Sunday

#BlogChat
Host:
 @MackCollier
When: Sundays, 6 p.m. PT | 9 p.m. ET

The list is by no means a ranking, but #BlogChat is first here and happens to be one of the biggest of the chats on the list. It started in 2009 by social media strategist Mack Collier (who, by the way, was recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 25 Social Media Marketers in the World). Each week hundreds of people take part in the chat, which is widely known as one of the most popular on Twitter. The format of #BlogChat is very simple. It starts with a general blogging topic, and the conversation free flows from there. Co-hosts frequently join in and share their vast knowledge, too. For more details and a few rules of the chat, check out What is #BlogChat.

Monday

#CreativeCoffeeHour
Host: @calliegisler
When: Mondays, 6 p.m. PT | 9 p.m. ET

If you like to drink coffee while you talk about your creative process, this chat is for you. #CreativeCoffeeHour is hosted by Callie Gisler, a digital strategist and coach who aims to help bloggers and small business owners define the purpose and strategy behind their work. The chat is a support system for those ready to share their knowledge and passion and provides great insight into how others work and succeed as creatives. See what people are saying about #CreativeCoffeeHour on Gisler’s site, Callie Creates.

Tuesday

#brandhour
Hosts: @marianney + @DreBeltrami
When: Tuesdays, 7 p.m. PT | 10 p.m. ET

#BrandHour is hosted by Marianne Manthey, full-time web designer and on-the-side blogger, and Andrea Beltrami, who works one-on-one with solo-entrepreneurs to get branded. If you’re looking to chat about blog design and branding, this definitely is a chat to get on your calendar. #BrandHour takes place the first Tuesday of every month. They also sweeten the pot with a prize giveaway, too.

Wednesday

#altchat
Host:  @altsummit
When: Wednesdays, 9 a.m. PT | 12 p.m. ET

This chat is hosted by the Altitude Design Summit, a four-day bi-annual conference event that brings people together to learn, network, and collaborate. They have amazing speakers, I have to say. Everyone is welcome both at the conference and in the chats, but it’s truly tailored to design-minded folks, like bloggers, lifestyle writers, and creative entrepreneurs. For those who can’t make the summit – or who want to continue the conversation between events – this social media forum is a great way to connect and learn. #altsummit topics range from taking risks, connecting with your tribe, originality, and creative burnout.

#CreateLounge
Host: @kayla_hollatz
When: Wednesdays, 5 p.m. PT | 8 p.m. E.T.

#CreateLounge is hosted by Kayla Hollatz, a community and brand coach for creative entrepreneurs. We featured her last year in our post on Periscope for Bloggers. Her chat centers around a community of bloggers and entrepreneurs who seek to share expertise and encourage one another in their passion projects. Topics include everything from blogging to branding, social media, the creative process, community building, and so much more. To prep for the chat each week, be sure to check out the #CreateLounge section of Hollatz’s site. At the bottom of the page, she posts the questions she’ll ask in the next chat.

#NectarChat
Host: @NectarCollect
When: Wednesdays, 6 p.m. PT | 9 p.m. ET

Hosted by Melyssa Griffin of The Nectar Collective, this chat is geared toward bloggers and creative entrepreneurs who want to stand out, make connections, and grow their audience. If you’re looking for tips on staying motivated, or how to use various social media to build community, this fun and informative chat is a good one to take part in. #NectarChat typically occurs twice a month. Want to be notified by email when the next chat is? Sign up here.

Thursday

#SEOchat
Host: Search Marketing Weekly
When: Thursdays, 10 a.m. PT | 1:00 p.m. ET

For bloggers and online entrepreneurs, SEO is a critical part of a successful strategy. This chat touches on just that. Each week, #SEOchat is hosted by a well-known or renowned digital marketer and covers timely topics ranging from site analysis, to creating content that attracts links, and video strategy. If SEO is a concern, definitely set aside time to take advantage of the knowledge, experience and insights from this chat to grow your own expertise. For recaps of previous chats, see the Search Marketing Weekly site.

Friday

#bdib
Host: @Blogsdoitbetter 
When: Fridays, 12 p.m. PT | 3 p.m. ET | 8 p.m. GMT

The #bdib chat – formerly known as #bloggersdoitbetter – was created by beauty blogger Gemma of Touch of Belle, who hails from England.  The #bdib chat is a place for developing positive community around just about everything blog related. Recent chat topics for the group include time management, blog post inspiration, tech and digital Q&As and more. If you can’t make the Friday chat, there also is a Monday edition one hour earlier at 7 p.m GMT. You also can check out its North American counterpart @bdibNA.

Saturday

#socialbloggers 
Host: @skinnedcartree
When: 
11 a.m. PT | 1 p.m. ET | 6 p.m. GMT

Also out of the UK is the #socialbloggers chat, hosted by Corinne, a lifestyle blogger at skinnedcartree.com. There aren’t too many Saturday chats out there, but if you’re setting aside some weekend time for building your blog, this is a great chat to work into your schedule. Topics include blogger networking, full-time blogging, setting annual goals, journaling, and much more. You can check out recaps from #socialblogger chats here.

New to Twitter Chats?

Here are six quick tips on how to jump in and make the most of your experience:

  1. Set aside time for the chat. In order to make the most of experience, you want to be completely tuned in to the chat with no distractions. It’s best to set up a feed to just follow the hashtag, be it directly in your Twitter window, or via a tool like Hootsuite or TweetChat.
  2. Make a strong introduction. Want to look like an expert? Make a solid introduction into the chat, explaining (in 140 characters, mind you) who you are and why you’re there. If you want to pack a punch, create an image to attach to your intro tweet that reads sort of like a flashy business card.
  3. Craft thoughtful replies.  Most chat hosts allow some time for answers, so no need to rush your reply. Once ready, be sure to label your response appropriately. Every interaction should include the related hashtag. If you answer a question, you should add a corresponding identifier to your answer. For example, the chat host will likely label the first question as “Q1”, so your reply should start with “A1” for “answer to first question.”
  4. Interact, again and again. There are huge benefits to interacting with other people in the chat. Favorite a tweet that you love. Retweet a great question or answer. Reply to someone in the chat with a kudos or interesting alternative take. The more you interact, the more connections you’ll potentially make. But, be sure to always stay on topic.
  5. Don’t be a troll. Be positive in your interactions. It’s a common-sense tip. Most folks are joining these to gain a boost in confidence or inspiration. Some may need your help. You may not agree with everyone, but always be sure to be constructive in your conversation.
  6. Can’t make it? If you miss a chat, no problem. You can easily look back through the conversation later to gain insights and ideas, and even reply. Many times, you’ll see tweets with chat hashtags day after the event, which is a great way to keep the conversation going.

Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to get media trends, journalist interviews, blogger profiles, and more sent right to your inbox.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for tweets on writing and social media. You can also catch her sharing the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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0
8 Must-See Online Tools and Apps For Journalists and Publishers news tools and apps for journalists

Originally posted on PR Newswire's Beyond Bylines blog.

Fact: Being a journalist isn’t easy.

With the immediacy of the news cycle – and brevity many times being championed over deep reporting – reporters are asked to turn around attention-grabbing, consumable stories faster than ever.

Luckily, with the advent of chat apps and other newsroom-centered tools, mobile phones can act as a reporter’s Swiss Army knife to make the job a bit more manageable.

Last January, we talked about some newsgathering apps that were making waves in the media world. But, in just over a year a lot has changed. So, it’s time for a refresh.

Here are some of the newer apps and online tools out there that piqued my interest.

FOR DATA GATHERING

Sqoop. Designed for business reporters, Sqoop is a one-stop searchable database to find information about companies, relative to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, patent grants, federal court records and more. Rather than having to search across a variety of public data sites, journalists can search here or set up alerts to be notified of when new documents are filed.

Sqoop for journalists

FOR SOCIAL-FRIENDLY GRAPHICS

Adobe post. Adobe post allows users to create eye-catching graphics for social media – a useful tool for when you need to draw attention to a story online. For freelance writers and smaller news organizations, this provides a quick solution for making social feeds more engaging, and with a consistent, professional feel. The app also allows you to re-size your design instantly, so that you can share across a variety of social networks with ease.

adobe post

FOR BOT CREATION

Chatfuel. Messaging apps are seeing increased adoption in the newsroom. Chatfuel lets publishers – and anyone, really – build bots for messaging apps to customize the experience and facilitate meaningful conversation with followers and fans. The tool right now works with Telegram, but will soon be available for Slack, WhatsApp and more.

Chatfuel – chatbots made easy

FOR SELLING (AND FINDING) VIDEO FOOTAGE 

Ruptly Stringer. Launched by RT’s video news agency, this app allows anyone to become a paid contributor – connecting freelance journalists and eyewitnesses to major TV stations and websites. Luckily, the app isn’t relying on someone always being there when a story breaks. As soon as a participating newsroom hears that something is happening, editors can assign out work to users who are in close proximity to the story.

Ruptly Stringer App - sell your video

 

FOR FINDING (AND SELLING) FRESH STOCK PHOTOS

Twenty20. Good stock imagery can be hard to find, especially for a hard-hitting news story. Twenty20 allows photographers to get discovered by selling their photos to brands and digital creators, while publishers can license more authentic stock imagery much more quickly and easily for their stories.

Twenty20 stock photos

FOR LEARNING TO CODE

Lrn. Basic coding, much like SEO, is becoming an increasingly important skill for journalists to have in the newsroom. As stories become more interactive, having a solid understanding of the work involved and time it takes can help improve communication and collaboration between editorial teams and developers. Lrn features interactive mini-quizzes to help you learn HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ruby and Python, and can be easily done during breaks or on your commute.

lrn app - coding for journalists

FOR ACCESS TO UNFOLDING NEWS

Ban.jo for Media. Banjo Discovery gives journalists immediate access to the user-generated content needed to tell compelling, accurate, and breaking news stories. The tool allows media to discover, verify and publish information directly. It also makes for easy engagement with your audience and can connect you to potential story sources who are on-site at a live event.

Banjo Discover every event around the world as it happens

FOR VETTING IMAGES

Verified Pixel. It can be difficult and time-consuming to verify user-submitted and eyewitness photos, especially when working on fast-moving news stories. The Verified Pixel Project, a prototype that was funded by the Knight Foundation, aims to speed up the process with an automated tool that allows newsrooms to quickly screen and authenticate photos. This is definitely a tool to be on the look out for.
verified pixel project

Is there a new, journalist-friendly app that you love? Let us know in the comments.

Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to get media trends, journalist interviews, blogger profiles, and more sent right to your inbox.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for tweets on writing and social media. You can also catch her sharing the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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Wed, 30 Mar 2016 17:30:23 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/03/30/8_must-see_online_tools_and_apps_for_journalists_and_publishers http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/03/30/8_must-see_online_tools_and_apps_for_journalists_and_publishers news tools and apps for journalists

Originally posted on PR Newswire's Beyond Bylines blog.

Fact: Being a journalist isn’t easy.

With the immediacy of the news cycle – and brevity many times being championed over deep reporting – reporters are asked to turn around attention-grabbing, consumable stories faster than ever.

Luckily, with the advent of chat apps and other newsroom-centered tools, mobile phones can act as a reporter’s Swiss Army knife to make the job a bit more manageable.

Last January, we talked about some newsgathering apps that were making waves in the media world. But, in just over a year a lot has changed. So, it’s time for a refresh.

Here are some of the newer apps and online tools out there that piqued my interest.

FOR DATA GATHERING

Sqoop. Designed for business reporters, Sqoop is a one-stop searchable database to find information about companies, relative to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, patent grants, federal court records and more. Rather than having to search across a variety of public data sites, journalists can search here or set up alerts to be notified of when new documents are filed.

Sqoop for journalists

FOR SOCIAL-FRIENDLY GRAPHICS

Adobe post. Adobe post allows users to create eye-catching graphics for social media – a useful tool for when you need to draw attention to a story online. For freelance writers and smaller news organizations, this provides a quick solution for making social feeds more engaging, and with a consistent, professional feel. The app also allows you to re-size your design instantly, so that you can share across a variety of social networks with ease.

adobe post

FOR BOT CREATION

Chatfuel. Messaging apps are seeing increased adoption in the newsroom. Chatfuel lets publishers – and anyone, really – build bots for messaging apps to customize the experience and facilitate meaningful conversation with followers and fans. The tool right now works with Telegram, but will soon be available for Slack, WhatsApp and more.

Chatfuel – chatbots made easy

FOR SELLING (AND FINDING) VIDEO FOOTAGE 

Ruptly Stringer. Launched by RT’s video news agency, this app allows anyone to become a paid contributor – connecting freelance journalists and eyewitnesses to major TV stations and websites. Luckily, the app isn’t relying on someone always being there when a story breaks. As soon as a participating newsroom hears that something is happening, editors can assign out work to users who are in close proximity to the story.

Ruptly Stringer App - sell your video

 

FOR FINDING (AND SELLING) FRESH STOCK PHOTOS

Twenty20. Good stock imagery can be hard to find, especially for a hard-hitting news story. Twenty20 allows photographers to get discovered by selling their photos to brands and digital creators, while publishers can license more authentic stock imagery much more quickly and easily for their stories.

Twenty20 stock photos

FOR LEARNING TO CODE

Lrn. Basic coding, much like SEO, is becoming an increasingly important skill for journalists to have in the newsroom. As stories become more interactive, having a solid understanding of the work involved and time it takes can help improve communication and collaboration between editorial teams and developers. Lrn features interactive mini-quizzes to help you learn HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ruby and Python, and can be easily done during breaks or on your commute.

lrn app - coding for journalists

FOR ACCESS TO UNFOLDING NEWS

Ban.jo for Media. Banjo Discovery gives journalists immediate access to the user-generated content needed to tell compelling, accurate, and breaking news stories. The tool allows media to discover, verify and publish information directly. It also makes for easy engagement with your audience and can connect you to potential story sources who are on-site at a live event.

Banjo Discover every event around the world as it happens

FOR VETTING IMAGES

Verified Pixel. It can be difficult and time-consuming to verify user-submitted and eyewitness photos, especially when working on fast-moving news stories. The Verified Pixel Project, a prototype that was funded by the Knight Foundation, aims to speed up the process with an automated tool that allows newsrooms to quickly screen and authenticate photos. This is definitely a tool to be on the look out for.
verified pixel project

Is there a new, journalist-friendly app that you love? Let us know in the comments.

Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to get media trends, journalist interviews, blogger profiles, and more sent right to your inbox.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for tweets on writing and social media. You can also catch her sharing the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
]]>
0
4 Questions You Have to Answer Before Live Streaming the News live streaming the news

See the original post here.

Live streaming was once reserved only for TV stations with expensive satellite trucks.

Even just a few years ago, an experiment in shooting live news video on your cell phone would have drawn great skepticism – and probably a few strange looks – from even the most tech-savvy of journalists.

Now, smartphones and handheld cameras are welcome alternatives for covering live events and connecting with your audience.

Rodney Gibbs, chief innovation officer with The Texas Tribune, hosted a Poynter session on mobile live streaming. And, while he says there is no one-size-fits-all approach, he does believe that pretty much any journalist or publisher can find their place in the world of real-time video.

For those looking to wield a mobile phone for broadcast, having a strategy and understanding the best practices are key – both on the technology side and the reporting side, he says.

Here are four questions to answer before you start live streaming the news.

1. Why should you or your organization start live streaming? 

From the Paris attacks to press conferences and the Super Bowl, mobile live streaming has allowed news outlets to engage millions of viewers in real-time, while offering a peek behind the scenes and driving live conversation – side effects that could have a unique influence on the 2016 presidential election.

But don’t jump on the bandwagon just because your counterparts and competitors are. Understand how it can help you deliver on your goals.

If you’re looking for new ways to keep your current audience enthralled, capture new audiences both near and far, and help expand your age demographic to include more younger viewers, then live streaming is a great way to boost your profile.

2. Is your content stream-worthy?

More and more journalists, especially TV personalities, are expected to stream everything from teasers of upcoming segments to pre-show chatter inside their dressing rooms.

But quantity isn’t necessarily better than quality in this case. This is where strategy comes into play.

Gibbs emphasized the importance of making sure your content is stream-worthy for your followers. Bottom line: Don’t stream just to stream.

Focus on breaking news, live event coverage and quick takes behind the scenes to hold your audience’s interest, says Gibbs. Long videos with nothing but fluff is a sure way to turn off quality viewers.

3. Are you familiar with both the advantages and challenges of live streaming?

News outlets used to have to “beg, borrow or steal” content from other broadcasters, says Gibbs. But now, “live streaming allows us to engage people across the state – even the country – in real time, without having to be there,” he says.

The video is fairly easy to produce, too, thanks to technology advancements and software developments like the Periscope app and Livestream.com. Having these tools literally in the palm of your hand gives a lot of flexibility. Live editing cuts down on post-production work for your team. And, you don’t have to cut away to another segment, added Gibbs.

But, “it’s not all roses and champagne,” Gibbs says. There is an added element of stress that comes with the feeling of always having to be on and hoping your technology is working properly.

The “”tyranny of choice” also can hold you back, he added. There’s a lot of competition now with regard to hardware and services that can make decision-making more difficult.

4. How much are you willing to invest?

Live streaming can happen with the tools you already have on-hand, but if you plan to cover news outside or in a crowded room, you’ll need to invest in some equipment to prevent sub-par sound quality.

You can go expensive if you want near-TV production value, using equipment like the portable, all-in-one Studio HD550. But, it’s really not necessary.

You can get good sound and an HD image without a ton of bandwidth or equipment. A simple, consumer-grade camera, paired with a microphone and tripod, can easily connect with a service like Livestream.com with the help of anencoder.

Want to go bare bones? Use your phone’s Periscope app, plug in a mic to scale down ambient noise, and stabilize your phone’s video with a mini tripod.

Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to get media trends, journalist interviews, blogger profiles, and more sent right to your inbox.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for tweets on writing and social media. You can also catch her sharing the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.


0 Comments - Leave a Comment
]]>
Thu, 18 Feb 2016 10:54:09 -0600 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/02/18/4_questions_you_have_to_answer_before_live_streaming_the_news http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/02/18/4_questions_you_have_to_answer_before_live_streaming_the_news live streaming the news

See the original post here.

Live streaming was once reserved only for TV stations with expensive satellite trucks.

Even just a few years ago, an experiment in shooting live news video on your cell phone would have drawn great skepticism – and probably a few strange looks – from even the most tech-savvy of journalists.

Now, smartphones and handheld cameras are welcome alternatives for covering live events and connecting with your audience.

Rodney Gibbs, chief innovation officer with The Texas Tribune, hosted a Poynter session on mobile live streaming. And, while he says there is no one-size-fits-all approach, he does believe that pretty much any journalist or publisher can find their place in the world of real-time video.

For those looking to wield a mobile phone for broadcast, having a strategy and understanding the best practices are key – both on the technology side and the reporting side, he says.

Here are four questions to answer before you start live streaming the news.

1. Why should you or your organization start live streaming? 

From the Paris attacks to press conferences and the Super Bowl, mobile live streaming has allowed news outlets to engage millions of viewers in real-time, while offering a peek behind the scenes and driving live conversation – side effects that could have a unique influence on the 2016 presidential election.

But don’t jump on the bandwagon just because your counterparts and competitors are. Understand how it can help you deliver on your goals.

If you’re looking for new ways to keep your current audience enthralled, capture new audiences both near and far, and help expand your age demographic to include more younger viewers, then live streaming is a great way to boost your profile.

2. Is your content stream-worthy?

More and more journalists, especially TV personalities, are expected to stream everything from teasers of upcoming segments to pre-show chatter inside their dressing rooms.

But quantity isn’t necessarily better than quality in this case. This is where strategy comes into play.

Gibbs emphasized the importance of making sure your content is stream-worthy for your followers. Bottom line: Don’t stream just to stream.

Focus on breaking news, live event coverage and quick takes behind the scenes to hold your audience’s interest, says Gibbs. Long videos with nothing but fluff is a sure way to turn off quality viewers.

3. Are you familiar with both the advantages and challenges of live streaming?

News outlets used to have to “beg, borrow or steal” content from other broadcasters, says Gibbs. But now, “live streaming allows us to engage people across the state – even the country – in real time, without having to be there,” he says.

The video is fairly easy to produce, too, thanks to technology advancements and software developments like the Periscope app and Livestream.com. Having these tools literally in the palm of your hand gives a lot of flexibility. Live editing cuts down on post-production work for your team. And, you don’t have to cut away to another segment, added Gibbs.

But, “it’s not all roses and champagne,” Gibbs says. There is an added element of stress that comes with the feeling of always having to be on and hoping your technology is working properly.

The “”tyranny of choice” also can hold you back, he added. There’s a lot of competition now with regard to hardware and services that can make decision-making more difficult.

4. How much are you willing to invest?

Live streaming can happen with the tools you already have on-hand, but if you plan to cover news outside or in a crowded room, you’ll need to invest in some equipment to prevent sub-par sound quality.

You can go expensive if you want near-TV production value, using equipment like the portable, all-in-one Studio HD550. But, it’s really not necessary.

You can get good sound and an HD image without a ton of bandwidth or equipment. A simple, consumer-grade camera, paired with a microphone and tripod, can easily connect with a service like Livestream.com with the help of anencoder.

Want to go bare bones? Use your phone’s Periscope app, plug in a mic to scale down ambient noise, and stabilize your phone’s video with a mini tripod.

Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to get media trends, journalist interviews, blogger profiles, and more sent right to your inbox.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for tweets on writing and social media. You can also catch her sharing the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.


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0
How to Take Your Blog Audience from Fling to Long-Term Relationship

Originally posted on Beyond Bylines. 


The blogging game can look a lot like dating.

You put your best self out there into a world of unknowns – people, feelings, expectations, and results.

It can feel exciting and scary. It also can feel a bit lonely.

But, once you find your confidence and a formula that works, the relationship can quickly move from infatuation to true love.

If you want to build a meaningful long-term relationship with your blog audience, consider these 10 fundamentals and you’ll be off to a great start.

Show up consistently. It’s important to consistently be present for your audience so they come to rely on you. So, whether it’s every day or the same days each week, a dependable publishing schedule will build trust and have your audience regularly coming back for more.

Make a good impression. Just like a profile on [insert dating app of choice], a positive impression must be made or your viewers may be quick to move on to the next thing. Make sure your blog has a clean, simple design that’s easy on the eye. Break up your posts visually with compelling imagery, section headers, and white space.

Be yourself. Authenticity is so important. If you try too hard to replicate others, you may come off as an impostor to your audience.  There’s only one of you out there, so woo your audience with your unique personality. Learning how to convey your true self via text can be difficult. But if you focus on having a friendly, human voice, you will come across as relatable and willing to connect.

Spice it up with moments of spontaneity. Consistency in style and type of content and how often you post are best practices. But, allowing yourself a moment of spontaneity can excite your audience. Don’t be afraid to test a new format (like a video blog!) or mix it up with a long read. Catching your readers off guard with something new can help keep your blog looking fresh, while also keeping you sharp in the creative department.

Don’t rush. The blogging game is an exercise in patience. You may feel pressed for immediate success, but you can’t expect the results without putting in the work.  Stay focused on what you ultimately want for you and your blog, stop focusing on what other bloggers have that you don’t and keep hitting publish. Just enjoy what you do – the people will come.

Appreciate the process. You’re naturally going to go through phases. Sometimes you’ll be revved and ready to post great piece after great piece. Then you’ll likely go through blogging fatigue – wishing you could just curl up in sweatpants and a movie, rather than put in the work. Respect where you’re at and don’t try to fight it. Work through it by jotting down ideas when at your best, so that you have something to go back to when you’re at your worst.

Read the signs. Pay attention to what’s performing and what’s not. Are some posts getting more views and others getting more shares? Are some post topics just not resonating? Replicate what works to keep your audience intrigued. If a certain topic is important to you but isn’t working, incorporate tactics from other formats that do work and see if you notice a change.

It’s OK to pull back sometimes. Everyone needs a break. If you’re not sure where you’re headed or just need the time off, it’s OK to step back and reevaluate your game plan. Just be sure to give your readers a heads up so they’re aware of where you are. They’ll likely miss you and excitedly welcome you back with open arms.

Seek out trusted sources for advice. Readers may impose their ideas about upon you about how you can be better at the blogging game. Some of the advice may be helpful, but it’s best to reach out to a trusted source who truly understands blogging. Connect on their success and test the waters with some of their ideas. Not everything may work for you, but the learning moments will be priceless.

Have respect. Show love to other bloggers when you can by posting genuine comments to their blog. If your readers are commenting or reaching out to you, take the time to listen and reply. Looking for a filler post? A simple “thank you” blog can go a long way with your readers. After all, healthy relationships do require some give-and-take.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for tweets on writing and social media. You can also catch her sharing the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:10:15 -0600 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/02/10/how_to_take_your_blog_audience_from_fling_to_long-term_relationship http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/02/10/how_to_take_your_blog_audience_from_fling_to_long-term_relationship

Originally posted on Beyond Bylines. 


The blogging game can look a lot like dating.

You put your best self out there into a world of unknowns – people, feelings, expectations, and results.

It can feel exciting and scary. It also can feel a bit lonely.

But, once you find your confidence and a formula that works, the relationship can quickly move from infatuation to true love.

If you want to build a meaningful long-term relationship with your blog audience, consider these 10 fundamentals and you’ll be off to a great start.

Show up consistently. It’s important to consistently be present for your audience so they come to rely on you. So, whether it’s every day or the same days each week, a dependable publishing schedule will build trust and have your audience regularly coming back for more.

Make a good impression. Just like a profile on [insert dating app of choice], a positive impression must be made or your viewers may be quick to move on to the next thing. Make sure your blog has a clean, simple design that’s easy on the eye. Break up your posts visually with compelling imagery, section headers, and white space.

Be yourself. Authenticity is so important. If you try too hard to replicate others, you may come off as an impostor to your audience.  There’s only one of you out there, so woo your audience with your unique personality. Learning how to convey your true self via text can be difficult. But if you focus on having a friendly, human voice, you will come across as relatable and willing to connect.

Spice it up with moments of spontaneity. Consistency in style and type of content and how often you post are best practices. But, allowing yourself a moment of spontaneity can excite your audience. Don’t be afraid to test a new format (like a video blog!) or mix it up with a long read. Catching your readers off guard with something new can help keep your blog looking fresh, while also keeping you sharp in the creative department.

Don’t rush. The blogging game is an exercise in patience. You may feel pressed for immediate success, but you can’t expect the results without putting in the work.  Stay focused on what you ultimately want for you and your blog, stop focusing on what other bloggers have that you don’t and keep hitting publish. Just enjoy what you do – the people will come.

Appreciate the process. You’re naturally going to go through phases. Sometimes you’ll be revved and ready to post great piece after great piece. Then you’ll likely go through blogging fatigue – wishing you could just curl up in sweatpants and a movie, rather than put in the work. Respect where you’re at and don’t try to fight it. Work through it by jotting down ideas when at your best, so that you have something to go back to when you’re at your worst.

Read the signs. Pay attention to what’s performing and what’s not. Are some posts getting more views and others getting more shares? Are some post topics just not resonating? Replicate what works to keep your audience intrigued. If a certain topic is important to you but isn’t working, incorporate tactics from other formats that do work and see if you notice a change.

It’s OK to pull back sometimes. Everyone needs a break. If you’re not sure where you’re headed or just need the time off, it’s OK to step back and reevaluate your game plan. Just be sure to give your readers a heads up so they’re aware of where you are. They’ll likely miss you and excitedly welcome you back with open arms.

Seek out trusted sources for advice. Readers may impose their ideas about upon you about how you can be better at the blogging game. Some of the advice may be helpful, but it’s best to reach out to a trusted source who truly understands blogging. Connect on their success and test the waters with some of their ideas. Not everything may work for you, but the learning moments will be priceless.

Have respect. Show love to other bloggers when you can by posting genuine comments to their blog. If your readers are commenting or reaching out to you, take the time to listen and reply. Looking for a filler post? A simple “thank you” blog can go a long way with your readers. After all, healthy relationships do require some give-and-take.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for tweets on writing and social media. You can also catch her sharing the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
]]>
0
6 Ways to Localize 2016 Presidential Campaign Coverage For Your Audience

See original post on Beyond Bylines.

It’s an all too common tale for today’s media.

Newsrooms are changing. Technology is being pushed to the forefront. All the while budgets are tightening.  

So for those covering the 2016 election, finding the funds to send front-line staff may be out of the question – especially for smaller news organizations. 

But just because you’re not on the campaign trail doesn’t mean you don’t have an interesting story to tell. If anything, telling the untold stories of your community may be the most distinctive – and most relevant – to your audience. 

During a recent Poynter seminar, Tampa Bay Times Political Editor Adam Smith shared some of the key ways local news organizations can plug in to the conversation without being embedded in the national stumping tour.

Here are six ways to give your audience smart and meaningful coverage from your home seat.

1. Find local players advocating for the candidates.

The much-anticipated Iowa Caucus is on Monday, followed shortly thereafter by New Hampshire. These critical, first-in-the-nation caucuses are known to set the tone for the rest of the campaign.

To tap into the conversation locally, find the people in your city or state that are most passionate about the candidates. Who’s making phone calls late into the night? What issues are they most connected to? Who’s being dispatched on behalf of the candidates? How will they drive conversation after the first set of results are in?

Human-interest stories from behind the scenes can help personalize the news and attract readers.  This is especially true for deep red or deep blue states that usually don’t get attention for their campaign efforts, said Smith.

2. Follow the money trail.

Campaign donations are always a hot-button issue. Dive in on local money to see who’s giving from your area and how much they candidates are raising in your city or state.

To get hyperlocal, use sites like FEC.gov and OpenSecrets.org to find donations by zip code. To dig in on the power donors and campaign bundlers, check the sites of the campaigns themselves. You may be able to identify local names and explore their vested interests in the candidate.

If you want to see where “politicians are breaking bread and sipping cocktails with donors,” the Sunlight Foundation’sPolitical Party Time provides the scoop on the latest fundraising events.

3. Drill narrow and drill deep on the issues.

“All politics is local,” Smith said, riffing off an old quote by AP Washington Bureau Chief Byron Price from 1932. Even broad issues like immigration, fracking, and defense cuts resonate all the way down to the neighborhood level.

For example, said Smith, we know what Donald Trump’s talk of building a wall means for Texas. But, what does it mean for your city or state? Or, say a local military base is rumored to close. What’s the potential economic impact to your town’s residents and businesses?

The key is to drill down to see how proposed policies might affect your reader community. Find clips of the candidates speaking about the issues and plug in local voices, said Smith.

4. Investigate the strange bedfellows.

One of the most interesting ways to get local may be tracking down the unlikely companions or allies of the candidates from your state. To find them, sniff around local fundraising parties and donor lists, said Smith.

Is the Mayor of your town on the invite list for a local Hillary event? Who did he or she support in the past? What’s changed? You may find that a local politician or lobbyist has changed their tune – and the reason why could make for an interesting story.

5. Use social apps to follow the buzz. 

Social media and live streams can put you on the scene virtually. They also allow you to see what people are talking about, providing you with an array of potential sources and story ideas. 

Facebook and Twitter can help you find local groups, how and where they gather, who’s involved, and what they’re talking about. To go a bit deeper, try ban.jo to get an all access pass to a live event to see first-hand photos, videos and reactions from people nearby.

With any luck, you may come across a quick-witted response, like this one from the Mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida., that could drive your coverage locally – and perhaps even thrust your local outlet into the national spotlight.

6. Pay attention to the polls.

Finally, explore the polls. Compare the upcoming exit polls to both the opinion polls and that of past elections, said Smith. You can find 2012 voter data by state here.

To tune in to opinions on a hyperlocal level, conduct your own informal poll. Insert yourself in to the conversation by attending a local event or debate watch party. Aside from social media, Meetup.com is good resource to use to find the action.

Want to know when an official poll is set to come out? Sign up on Real Clear Politics and HuffPost Pollster for email notifications. 270 to Win keeps tabs on public opinion around potential match-ups, too.

Ramping up for 2016 election coverage? We can create a customized PR Newswire newsfeed of political campaign news for you. It’s easy. Sign up for PRNJ today and don’t miss out on what’s being said about the race.


Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her team’s curated feed of election news at @PRNPolicy. You can also catch her sharing media news at @annamjasinski and @BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Thu, 28 Jan 2016 11:26:33 -0600 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/01/28/6_ways_to_localize_2016_presidential_campaign_coverage_for_your_audience http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/01/28/6_ways_to_localize_2016_presidential_campaign_coverage_for_your_audience

See original post on Beyond Bylines.

It’s an all too common tale for today’s media.

Newsrooms are changing. Technology is being pushed to the forefront. All the while budgets are tightening.  

So for those covering the 2016 election, finding the funds to send front-line staff may be out of the question – especially for smaller news organizations. 

But just because you’re not on the campaign trail doesn’t mean you don’t have an interesting story to tell. If anything, telling the untold stories of your community may be the most distinctive – and most relevant – to your audience. 

During a recent Poynter seminar, Tampa Bay Times Political Editor Adam Smith shared some of the key ways local news organizations can plug in to the conversation without being embedded in the national stumping tour.

Here are six ways to give your audience smart and meaningful coverage from your home seat.

1. Find local players advocating for the candidates.

The much-anticipated Iowa Caucus is on Monday, followed shortly thereafter by New Hampshire. These critical, first-in-the-nation caucuses are known to set the tone for the rest of the campaign.

To tap into the conversation locally, find the people in your city or state that are most passionate about the candidates. Who’s making phone calls late into the night? What issues are they most connected to? Who’s being dispatched on behalf of the candidates? How will they drive conversation after the first set of results are in?

Human-interest stories from behind the scenes can help personalize the news and attract readers.  This is especially true for deep red or deep blue states that usually don’t get attention for their campaign efforts, said Smith.

2. Follow the money trail.

Campaign donations are always a hot-button issue. Dive in on local money to see who’s giving from your area and how much they candidates are raising in your city or state.

To get hyperlocal, use sites like FEC.gov and OpenSecrets.org to find donations by zip code. To dig in on the power donors and campaign bundlers, check the sites of the campaigns themselves. You may be able to identify local names and explore their vested interests in the candidate.

If you want to see where “politicians are breaking bread and sipping cocktails with donors,” the Sunlight Foundation’sPolitical Party Time provides the scoop on the latest fundraising events.

3. Drill narrow and drill deep on the issues.

“All politics is local,” Smith said, riffing off an old quote by AP Washington Bureau Chief Byron Price from 1932. Even broad issues like immigration, fracking, and defense cuts resonate all the way down to the neighborhood level.

For example, said Smith, we know what Donald Trump’s talk of building a wall means for Texas. But, what does it mean for your city or state? Or, say a local military base is rumored to close. What’s the potential economic impact to your town’s residents and businesses?

The key is to drill down to see how proposed policies might affect your reader community. Find clips of the candidates speaking about the issues and plug in local voices, said Smith.

4. Investigate the strange bedfellows.

One of the most interesting ways to get local may be tracking down the unlikely companions or allies of the candidates from your state. To find them, sniff around local fundraising parties and donor lists, said Smith.

Is the Mayor of your town on the invite list for a local Hillary event? Who did he or she support in the past? What’s changed? You may find that a local politician or lobbyist has changed their tune – and the reason why could make for an interesting story.

5. Use social apps to follow the buzz. 

Social media and live streams can put you on the scene virtually. They also allow you to see what people are talking about, providing you with an array of potential sources and story ideas. 

Facebook and Twitter can help you find local groups, how and where they gather, who’s involved, and what they’re talking about. To go a bit deeper, try ban.jo to get an all access pass to a live event to see first-hand photos, videos and reactions from people nearby.

With any luck, you may come across a quick-witted response, like this one from the Mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida., that could drive your coverage locally – and perhaps even thrust your local outlet into the national spotlight.

6. Pay attention to the polls.

Finally, explore the polls. Compare the upcoming exit polls to both the opinion polls and that of past elections, said Smith. You can find 2012 voter data by state here.

To tune in to opinions on a hyperlocal level, conduct your own informal poll. Insert yourself in to the conversation by attending a local event or debate watch party. Aside from social media, Meetup.com is good resource to use to find the action.

Want to know when an official poll is set to come out? Sign up on Real Clear Politics and HuffPost Pollster for email notifications. 270 to Win keeps tabs on public opinion around potential match-ups, too.

Ramping up for 2016 election coverage? We can create a customized PR Newswire newsfeed of political campaign news for you. It’s easy. Sign up for PRNJ today and don’t miss out on what’s being said about the race.


Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her team’s curated feed of election news at @PRNPolicy. You can also catch her sharing media news at @annamjasinski and @BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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0
Live Tweeting The State Of The Union: 12 Tips To Win On Twitter

It was a case of “come for the speech, stay for the spectacle,” at last year’s State of the Union address.

From President Barack Obama’s #YesWeTan suit controversy to the “time traveling” energy secretary, there was no shortage of entertainment on Twitter.

But with a whopping 2.6 million tweets sent worldwide related to the address, it’s clear there is real value for journalists and news organizations to participate in the real-time conversation – especially coming on the heels of Obama’s big speech on gun safety measures. This also is his last one, so it’s bound to garner extra attention. 

Last July, we rounded up our top tips for live tweeting events covering the before, during and after. Here are 12 more for winning the night on Twitter for #SOTU and thinking ahead to #election2016.

1. Set up your own personal live tweet station ahead of time.

There’s nothing more nerve wracking than worrying about setup ahead of covering a major event like the State of the Union.

Set up your tweet station ahead of time – making sure all devices are charged and ready to go. For SOTU, I prefer to use a desktop or tablet. This makes it easier to watch multiple windows, so you can tweet while also watching the conversation unfold under the #SOTU hashtag.

2. Create awareness by tweeting about your participation.

It’s not the worst thing in the world to surprise your followers with your live coverage of the address. But, it is a best practice to tweet out your participation ahead of time – the day before and in the hours leading up to the event – using the #SOTU hashtag.

A quick pre-tweet could catch the attention of followers who hadn’t intended to play along on Twitter. You may gain some new followers prior to the event, too. Bonus.

3. Find a format – and stick to it.

Find a tweet format you like and keep consistent. Aside from being easier on the eyes of the viewer, it will streamline your process.

For tweeting statements by the President, I like to start with the quote followed by his handle @POTUS, plus the #SOTU hashtag and any other relevant content or hashtags. Here’s a teaser tweet from the White House using the same format:

4. Look for hashtags, beyond #SOTU.

It’s important to use the #SOTU hashtag on every tweet you write around the State of the Union, so people can find you. But, you don’t have to stop there.

If Obama is talking about hot-button issues like #climatechange, #gunsafety or the #economy, use hashtags for those as well – even inside the quotes themselves. Pay attention to any new, trending hashtags that also pop up.

Using these will help you potentially capture new followers from people who care about those topics and are following them on Twitter.

5. Transcripts are your friend. But keep a notepad handy.

It can be difficult to capture all of the detail when someone is speaking, particularly when several tweet-worthy statements come in a row.

The transcript – usually released to the media and online in advance of the speech – can help you with your process. Keep it close by to tweet those quotable moments more accurately. You may even find that reading ahead will help you stay ahead of the game on what to tweet versus what to leave alone.

It’s also smart to have a notepad on hand. The President may not stick exactly to script, so you may need to jot down some of his statements before you tweet them in order to get them right.

6. Remember: quality not quantity.

This one is simple. You don’t have to tweet every moment of the speech. Just keep to the major points and keep an eye out for the buzz to make sure you’re capturing the moments that pique the interest of the audience.

There is almost always one big moment that drives a lot of conversation on Twitter. You may remember one of Obama’s viral “mic drop” moments last year when his statement about having “no more campaigns to run” was met with partisan cheers.

Be sure to tweet those key moments to drive engagement and ultimately get more eyeballs on your handle. If you miss a critical statement, it’s OK to tweet it out a few minutes after it happens or mention in a different context later.

7. Inject humor and opinion with caution.

As a news organization or representative, it’s important to stick with the facts. But, sometimes there’s room for jokes or opinion on happenings in the room – as long as they are tasteful and politically balanced.

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post (@TheFix) wins Twitter everyday with his quick-witted political humor and honesty. He’s a good one to watch if you’re looking for examples of how to personalize your #SOTU content with some real-life banter.

8. Add context by tweeting related stories.

Your followers, while they may enjoy politics, are likely not experts on every topic the President will address. If you, your colleagues, or other news organizations have written informative pieces relative to statements made in the #SOTU, share them during timely moments to engage your readers and potentially drive traffic to old stories. Make a list of a few good stories ahead of time. You can see some of the hot topics Obama will cover here.

9. Retweet, like, repeat.

As mentioned in tip No. 1, you don’t want to stay so focused in your own window that you’re missing the conversation happening around the speech. Watch the #SOTU feed in a separate window and retweet and like quality tweets shared by others. This helps diversify the content on your page and can help you gain followers and retweets in return.

10. Include imagery to grab attention.

Tweets with imagery typically get more clicks and retweets. You may not have access to take good live photos for the #SOTU, and that’s OK. Instead, prep some Twitter-friendly images ahead of time (my favorite tool is Canva.com) that you can pop key quotes into for sharing. Here’s an example by ABC News from Obama’s speech last week.

It also used a variety of photos of Obama to make the view more dynamic.

11. Use Vine or Periscope to add video to differentiate your coverage.

Even though people are hungry for more video content, livestreaming still is very much underutilized by media. Differentiate yourself by tweeting a quick Vine or Periscope video to draw in viewers and potentially gain followers on your other social media accounts.

From videoing a hard-hitting statement by the President as seen on your television to summarizing what happened at the speech’s conclusion, there are plenty of ways to engage your viewers in a way that others likely aren’t doing. Just be sure to keep the video short and sweet.

12. Don’t forget about the response.

If you’re covering the #SOTU by the President, it’s fair and balanced to cover the response, delivered this year by Gov. Nikki Haley. Her handle is @nikkihaley. The speech won’t be as long as the President’s, of course, but there are bound to be several tweet-worthy statements you’ll want to make sure to share on your feed.

Ramping up for 2016 election coverage? We can create a customized PR Newswire newsfeed of political news for you.

It’s easy. Sign up for PRNJ today and don’t miss out on what organizations and brands have to say about the race.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her live tweets from the State of the Union on PR Newswire’s policy Twitter handle @PRNPolicy. You can also catch her sharing other media news at@annamjasinski and @BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Tue, 12 Jan 2016 11:23:48 -0600 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/01/12/live_tweeting_the_state_of_the_union:_12_tips_to_win_on_twitter http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/01/12/live_tweeting_the_state_of_the_union:_12_tips_to_win_on_twitter

It was a case of “come for the speech, stay for the spectacle,” at last year’s State of the Union address.

From President Barack Obama’s #YesWeTan suit controversy to the “time traveling” energy secretary, there was no shortage of entertainment on Twitter.

But with a whopping 2.6 million tweets sent worldwide related to the address, it’s clear there is real value for journalists and news organizations to participate in the real-time conversation – especially coming on the heels of Obama’s big speech on gun safety measures. This also is his last one, so it’s bound to garner extra attention. 

Last July, we rounded up our top tips for live tweeting events covering the before, during and after. Here are 12 more for winning the night on Twitter for #SOTU and thinking ahead to #election2016.

1. Set up your own personal live tweet station ahead of time.

There’s nothing more nerve wracking than worrying about setup ahead of covering a major event like the State of the Union.

Set up your tweet station ahead of time – making sure all devices are charged and ready to go. For SOTU, I prefer to use a desktop or tablet. This makes it easier to watch multiple windows, so you can tweet while also watching the conversation unfold under the #SOTU hashtag.

2. Create awareness by tweeting about your participation.

It’s not the worst thing in the world to surprise your followers with your live coverage of the address. But, it is a best practice to tweet out your participation ahead of time – the day before and in the hours leading up to the event – using the #SOTU hashtag.

A quick pre-tweet could catch the attention of followers who hadn’t intended to play along on Twitter. You may gain some new followers prior to the event, too. Bonus.

3. Find a format – and stick to it.

Find a tweet format you like and keep consistent. Aside from being easier on the eyes of the viewer, it will streamline your process.

For tweeting statements by the President, I like to start with the quote followed by his handle @POTUS, plus the #SOTU hashtag and any other relevant content or hashtags. Here’s a teaser tweet from the White House using the same format:

4. Look for hashtags, beyond #SOTU.

It’s important to use the #SOTU hashtag on every tweet you write around the State of the Union, so people can find you. But, you don’t have to stop there.

If Obama is talking about hot-button issues like #climatechange, #gunsafety or the #economy, use hashtags for those as well – even inside the quotes themselves. Pay attention to any new, trending hashtags that also pop up.

Using these will help you potentially capture new followers from people who care about those topics and are following them on Twitter.

5. Transcripts are your friend. But keep a notepad handy.

It can be difficult to capture all of the detail when someone is speaking, particularly when several tweet-worthy statements come in a row.

The transcript – usually released to the media and online in advance of the speech – can help you with your process. Keep it close by to tweet those quotable moments more accurately. You may even find that reading ahead will help you stay ahead of the game on what to tweet versus what to leave alone.

It’s also smart to have a notepad on hand. The President may not stick exactly to script, so you may need to jot down some of his statements before you tweet them in order to get them right.

6. Remember: quality not quantity.

This one is simple. You don’t have to tweet every moment of the speech. Just keep to the major points and keep an eye out for the buzz to make sure you’re capturing the moments that pique the interest of the audience.

There is almost always one big moment that drives a lot of conversation on Twitter. You may remember one of Obama’s viral “mic drop” moments last year when his statement about having “no more campaigns to run” was met with partisan cheers.

Be sure to tweet those key moments to drive engagement and ultimately get more eyeballs on your handle. If you miss a critical statement, it’s OK to tweet it out a few minutes after it happens or mention in a different context later.

7. Inject humor and opinion with caution.

As a news organization or representative, it’s important to stick with the facts. But, sometimes there’s room for jokes or opinion on happenings in the room – as long as they are tasteful and politically balanced.

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post (@TheFix) wins Twitter everyday with his quick-witted political humor and honesty. He’s a good one to watch if you’re looking for examples of how to personalize your #SOTU content with some real-life banter.

8. Add context by tweeting related stories.

Your followers, while they may enjoy politics, are likely not experts on every topic the President will address. If you, your colleagues, or other news organizations have written informative pieces relative to statements made in the #SOTU, share them during timely moments to engage your readers and potentially drive traffic to old stories. Make a list of a few good stories ahead of time. You can see some of the hot topics Obama will cover here.

9. Retweet, like, repeat.

As mentioned in tip No. 1, you don’t want to stay so focused in your own window that you’re missing the conversation happening around the speech. Watch the #SOTU feed in a separate window and retweet and like quality tweets shared by others. This helps diversify the content on your page and can help you gain followers and retweets in return.

10. Include imagery to grab attention.

Tweets with imagery typically get more clicks and retweets. You may not have access to take good live photos for the #SOTU, and that’s OK. Instead, prep some Twitter-friendly images ahead of time (my favorite tool is Canva.com) that you can pop key quotes into for sharing. Here’s an example by ABC News from Obama’s speech last week.

It also used a variety of photos of Obama to make the view more dynamic.

11. Use Vine or Periscope to add video to differentiate your coverage.

Even though people are hungry for more video content, livestreaming still is very much underutilized by media. Differentiate yourself by tweeting a quick Vine or Periscope video to draw in viewers and potentially gain followers on your other social media accounts.

From videoing a hard-hitting statement by the President as seen on your television to summarizing what happened at the speech’s conclusion, there are plenty of ways to engage your viewers in a way that others likely aren’t doing. Just be sure to keep the video short and sweet.

12. Don’t forget about the response.

If you’re covering the #SOTU by the President, it’s fair and balanced to cover the response, delivered this year by Gov. Nikki Haley. Her handle is @nikkihaley. The speech won’t be as long as the President’s, of course, but there are bound to be several tweet-worthy statements you’ll want to make sure to share on your feed.

Ramping up for 2016 election coverage? We can create a customized PR Newswire newsfeed of political news for you.

It’s easy. Sign up for PRNJ today and don’t miss out on what organizations and brands have to say about the race.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her live tweets from the State of the Union on PR Newswire’s policy Twitter handle @PRNPolicy. You can also catch her sharing other media news at@annamjasinski and @BeyondBylines.

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0
“Let Go of the Results” & Other Tips for Embracing Change & Failure in the New Year Hemal Jhavari of USA Today

Hemal Jhaveri is no stranger to the unconventional.

As senior social media editor for USA Today Sports, she tweets and writes stories about the sports world – and namely her love of hockey.

But, while Jhaveri’s found herself in a decidedly fitting role, “it wasn’t even a pipe dream,” she says. 

Apart from the fact that social media jobs weren’t really a thing when she was studying at James Madison University, the idea of a woman writing about sports seemed fanciful as well.

So, Jhaveri embarked on a path that’s certainly common – but one that is quite untraditional for a journalist.

ONE SHIFT AT A TIME

“It’s not a pretty story,” said Jhaveri.

In college, she majored in media arts and had a tech background. She minored in English – because she liked to write.

Hemal Jhaveri QuoteBut, she did not start out in media.

Jhaveri’s first jobs were in customer service, where she quickly fell victim to layoffs and eventually unemployment. It wasn’t until her next stint at a lobbying firm that she took a chance on an email from a friend. 

The prompt: Trying her hand at an unpaid gig at a budding DC website, DCist.com – because she liked to write.   

The experience spring boarded Jhaveri into digital journalism, working for places like the now-folded DC Style magazine and AOL.  She also got her master’s degree in cultural studies to help sharpen her expertise for culture-focused pieces.

But again she faced layoffs and struggled to find passion in her work. “My writing wasn’t going anywhere. I wanted to give up,” she said.

So, with the staying power of her writing career in question, she made yet another change. Jhaveri left her writing behind for a role at POLITICO Digital, dealing in SEO and mobile strategy.

After a few years in a new field, with grit now intact, her calling became clear. She missed writing and followed her voice – and happiness – over to sports.

LIFE LESSONS IN HOCKEY

In short, Jhaveri’s early career was full of transition and riddled with failure. “It’s not a path to be replicated,” she emphasized. But, Jhaveri’s experiences allowed her to find her resilience and ultimately unleash her success.

She spent some time with us recently to share the details of her career journey. And while she doesn’t consider herself a role model, Jhaveri has an enviable level of badassery.

For anyone considering a change, or charging ahead into the unknown, here are some of her top tips for embracing change and failure.

1. Success is an up-and-down journey. “Don’t be so future focused that you forget what you have to do in the meantime,” says Jhaveri. For her, every job she took was a stepping stone to something she’s always wanted to do, but it involved a lot of compromise. “Success is not a continuous peak,” she says. There are a lot of ups and downs and those experiences are formative.

2. Listen to your unhappiness.  While your passion may be the fire that drives you, your passion can change and your passion can burn out. This was a major factor for Jhaveri in both leaving and returning to writing. “If you are not happy in what you are doing – and you have these ambitions or you’re not moving in the direction you wanted to – you should look into that unhappiness,” she says. “Be willing to do whatever it is that you are passionate about.”

3. Make a mindmap. To visualize the year ahead, Jhaveri suggests drawing a mindmap of your goals. She drew for us an example of her own 2016 mindmap, with objectives ranging from traveling more often to landing an interview with a major name in hockey. The power of the mindmap really lies in its simplicity. Start by branching out your goals and underlying passions, hang it in a prominent location, and revisit it regularly to help keep your plans and wishes top of mind.

Mindmap

4. Don’t be afraid to take the risk.  Fear is boring. Jhaveri learned this as she sat on the email from a friend about the potential writing gig at DCist. “I was so scared to have to prove myself if I did get hired,” she says. But by taking the risk, it turned into this amazing thing where she built the foundation of her writing career. The same happened for her when she came across her current role. “You have to have a willingness to fail. I wanted something so bad that I was willing to fall flat on my face,” Jhaveri says. If you’re thinking of trying something new, focus on the “skillset you have that other people don’t,” she added. Even if you aren’t the most qualified.

5. Let go of the results. Reward the effort instead of the results, says Jhaveri.  Find your own metric of success and stop wondering what other people will think. The fear of failure is what stops many of us from pushing forward. “Try not to view failure as a value judgment,” she says. “Take value judgment out of it and you can move forward.”

6. Don’t resent your decisions.  It’s all part of our path, so no choice should ever truly be considered wrong. “The decisions we make are all practical,” says Jhaveri. “Whatever choices you made, you thought about it and took ownership.” She quoted a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

7. Be nice to people when you don’t need something from them. This is sage advice Jhaveri got from a former POLITICO colleague. It’s human nature that we’re all more likely to help a friend before helping a stranger – and you never know when you might need someone’s help. Better to be remembered for being a kind and familiar face. Show up and connect on something simple. It’s as easy as that.

8. Failure = resilience = success. Finally, this is the formula that Jhaveri came up with as a result of her experiences. “Resilience is the key to success in everything you do,” says Jhaveri. “When you fail a lot you build resilience – you’ll get grit.” Don’t take it easy on yourself. “You have to start, fall down, start and fall down. And then you keep going,” she says. That’s how you hit the finish line.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.

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Wed, 06 Jan 2016 17:58:12 -0600 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo Hemal Jhavari of USA Today

Hemal Jhaveri is no stranger to the unconventional.

As senior social media editor for USA Today Sports, she tweets and writes stories about the sports world – and namely her love of hockey.

But, while Jhaveri’s found herself in a decidedly fitting role, “it wasn’t even a pipe dream,” she says. 

Apart from the fact that social media jobs weren’t really a thing when she was studying at James Madison University, the idea of a woman writing about sports seemed fanciful as well.

So, Jhaveri embarked on a path that’s certainly common – but one that is quite untraditional for a journalist.

ONE SHIFT AT A TIME

“It’s not a pretty story,” said Jhaveri.

In college, she majored in media arts and had a tech background. She minored in English – because she liked to write.

Hemal Jhaveri QuoteBut, she did not start out in media.

Jhaveri’s first jobs were in customer service, where she quickly fell victim to layoffs and eventually unemployment. It wasn’t until her next stint at a lobbying firm that she took a chance on an email from a friend. 

The prompt: Trying her hand at an unpaid gig at a budding DC website, DCist.com – because she liked to write.   

The experience spring boarded Jhaveri into digital journalism, working for places like the now-folded DC Style magazine and AOL.  She also got her master’s degree in cultural studies to help sharpen her expertise for culture-focused pieces.

But again she faced layoffs and struggled to find passion in her work. “My writing wasn’t going anywhere. I wanted to give up,” she said.

So, with the staying power of her writing career in question, she made yet another change. Jhaveri left her writing behind for a role at POLITICO Digital, dealing in SEO and mobile strategy.

After a few years in a new field, with grit now intact, her calling became clear. She missed writing and followed her voice – and happiness – over to sports.

LIFE LESSONS IN HOCKEY

In short, Jhaveri’s early career was full of transition and riddled with failure. “It’s not a path to be replicated,” she emphasized. But, Jhaveri’s experiences allowed her to find her resilience and ultimately unleash her success.

She spent some time with us recently to share the details of her career journey. And while she doesn’t consider herself a role model, Jhaveri has an enviable level of badassery.

For anyone considering a change, or charging ahead into the unknown, here are some of her top tips for embracing change and failure.

1. Success is an up-and-down journey. “Don’t be so future focused that you forget what you have to do in the meantime,” says Jhaveri. For her, every job she took was a stepping stone to something she’s always wanted to do, but it involved a lot of compromise. “Success is not a continuous peak,” she says. There are a lot of ups and downs and those experiences are formative.

2. Listen to your unhappiness.  While your passion may be the fire that drives you, your passion can change and your passion can burn out. This was a major factor for Jhaveri in both leaving and returning to writing. “If you are not happy in what you are doing – and you have these ambitions or you’re not moving in the direction you wanted to – you should look into that unhappiness,” she says. “Be willing to do whatever it is that you are passionate about.”

3. Make a mindmap. To visualize the year ahead, Jhaveri suggests drawing a mindmap of your goals. She drew for us an example of her own 2016 mindmap, with objectives ranging from traveling more often to landing an interview with a major name in hockey. The power of the mindmap really lies in its simplicity. Start by branching out your goals and underlying passions, hang it in a prominent location, and revisit it regularly to help keep your plans and wishes top of mind.

Mindmap

4. Don’t be afraid to take the risk.  Fear is boring. Jhaveri learned this as she sat on the email from a friend about the potential writing gig at DCist. “I was so scared to have to prove myself if I did get hired,” she says. But by taking the risk, it turned into this amazing thing where she built the foundation of her writing career. The same happened for her when she came across her current role. “You have to have a willingness to fail. I wanted something so bad that I was willing to fall flat on my face,” Jhaveri says. If you’re thinking of trying something new, focus on the “skillset you have that other people don’t,” she added. Even if you aren’t the most qualified.

5. Let go of the results. Reward the effort instead of the results, says Jhaveri.  Find your own metric of success and stop wondering what other people will think. The fear of failure is what stops many of us from pushing forward. “Try not to view failure as a value judgment,” she says. “Take value judgment out of it and you can move forward.”

6. Don’t resent your decisions.  It’s all part of our path, so no choice should ever truly be considered wrong. “The decisions we make are all practical,” says Jhaveri. “Whatever choices you made, you thought about it and took ownership.” She quoted a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

7. Be nice to people when you don’t need something from them. This is sage advice Jhaveri got from a former POLITICO colleague. It’s human nature that we’re all more likely to help a friend before helping a stranger – and you never know when you might need someone’s help. Better to be remembered for being a kind and familiar face. Show up and connect on something simple. It’s as easy as that.

8. Failure = resilience = success. Finally, this is the formula that Jhaveri came up with as a result of her experiences. “Resilience is the key to success in everything you do,” says Jhaveri. “When you fail a lot you build resilience – you’ll get grit.” Don’t take it easy on yourself. “You have to start, fall down, start and fall down. And then you keep going,” she says. That’s how you hit the finish line.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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0
The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Tech-Loving Journalists, Bloggers and Storytellers Holiday Gift Guide For Journalists and Bloggers

See the original post on Beyond Bylines. 

What do journalists, bloggers and other storytellers really want for the holidays?

Aside from some much-needed downtime – and a magically clear email inbox – they may be dreaming of some of the latest gadgets to hit the scene to help up their game in the new year.

So for you last-minute holiday shoppers struggling to find the perfect gift, we rounded up some of the top tech gifts for the wordsmiths and storytellers on your list. Be it for your blogging friend or futurist family member, these tools could be the little nudge they need to inspire their inner influencer.

Don’t worry if your gift is a little late. These folks appreciate the struggle of meeting a deadline.

1. For the livestreaming newsmaker

In the age of FOMO, journalists and citizen reporters are turning to livestreaming mobile apps like Periscope and Snapchat to share news that is instant and unfiltered.

The challenge in broadcasting street journalism is making a steady video that looks credible. To keep the livestreamer in your life on top of their game, there are a number of tools that can help.

selfie stick or tripod is practical and allows for better visibility and a wider array of shots. A handheld microphone, like the iRig Mic, makes for better sound, too.

2. For the unflinching investigator

For a reporter in a digital-first news landscape, the desire for enterprise storytelling has to be balanced by a need for expediency. But accuracy remains important, too.

Thanks to technology, journalists no longer must be put in the awkward situation of getting their hands on a hot scoop, only to learn they have no time to get back to the newsroom or that their source won’t give up their lone documentation.

A handy portable scanner can read and store images and documents on their devices in just seconds. To ensure they can stay plugged in while following a story, a power bank also is a must-give.

3. For the booming blogger 

The blogger has transformed into a personality all its own, and is very much a force to be reckoned with.

In order to gain credibility, traffic and shares, a consistent spread of quality content and imagery are a must – and not just for their blog, but so they can diversify on their social channels as well.

For the emerging or seasoned blogger, a new camera like the Nikon 1 J5 with selfie-ready screen could help them re-energize and polish their work. If efficiency is a concern, try gifting a voice-recognition program. Programs like Dragonallow bloggers to talk through their thoughts and craft posts via dictation.

4. For the future futurist 

Though we aren’t (yet) riding our hoverboards to work, drone journalism and virtual reality storytelling aren’t so far future. These emerging programs made big strides in 2015, bridging the gap between readers and content for a more immersive and emotional news experience.

For those who want to familiarize themselves with the future of storytelling, a wearable VR headset – like the P2 by DodoCase or Gear VR by Oculus – could aid understanding, while a 360° camera allows users to get more hands on with spherical photography.

For the drone curious, a video flyer like the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition or the more cost-friendly QuadForce Video Drone can help users hone their skills with the next major tool in the journalism toolbox.

2015 Gift Guide for Journalists and Bloggers

5. For the inspired infopreneur

Today’s influential writers are many times seen extending their efforts well beyond the written word to create their own online business or brand out of their information.

But, it’s not an easy feat. In order to be truly successful, wannabe infopreneurs must arm themselves with key business school elements – such as how to create a sustainable business by playing to their strengths, while also appropriately monetizing their expertise.

For someone looking to take on this self-managed role, an e-workshop could be a welcome gift. The Infopreneur Ninja course by Regina Anaejionu of By Regina is a great premium option. Or you could opt for the scaled down 4 Part Entrepreneur Cocktail by Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society.

6. For the mobile photographer

Photography has progressed radically from its crude beginnings and complicated chemical process.

Today, demand trumps quality to meet the changes in how people consume and share news. That means photographers must be ready at any moment to point, shoot, and upload an image from a scene.

Luckily, there are tons of mobile apps and add-ons that make photo-taking from cell phones more attractive. A Mini Photo Pro Lens Kit or a Zoom Lens and Tripod for iPhone are solid gift options for DSLR-loving photographers who want to keep a mini studio in their pocket.

7. For the on-the-go audiophile

So many journalists and bloggers today are on the go, zooming from assignment to assignment or event to event.

Whether they’re in the car or on a train, listening to someone else talk can be a great distraction or – even better – the perfect inspiration, especially if reading another word feels daunting.

If you’re sensing commuter fatigue, a subscription to audible.com could do the trick. Membership provides access to one audio book per month, plus 30 percent off additional books. Perfect to listen to on the road, and in between their favorite podcasts.

8. For the aspiring author

With the ability now to self-publish on sites like Kindle and CreateSpace, getting published isn’t the lofty goal it once was.

However, the steps to planning and plotting a novel pretty much remain the same. For first-time novelists and more seasoned scribes, idea generation and story plotting are key to busting through writer’s block.

Software like Scrivener can help your writer hammer through their first draft.  For those who like to put pen to paper, theEvernote Smart Notebook is a fun option that allows for digital upload of any handwritten notes or drawings.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Thu, 10 Dec 2015 13:45:43 -0600 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/12/10/the_ultimate_holiday_gift_guide_for_tech-loving_journalists,_bloggers_and_storytellers http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/12/10/the_ultimate_holiday_gift_guide_for_tech-loving_journalists,_bloggers_and_storytellers Holiday Gift Guide For Journalists and Bloggers

See the original post on Beyond Bylines. 

What do journalists, bloggers and other storytellers really want for the holidays?

Aside from some much-needed downtime – and a magically clear email inbox – they may be dreaming of some of the latest gadgets to hit the scene to help up their game in the new year.

So for you last-minute holiday shoppers struggling to find the perfect gift, we rounded up some of the top tech gifts for the wordsmiths and storytellers on your list. Be it for your blogging friend or futurist family member, these tools could be the little nudge they need to inspire their inner influencer.

Don’t worry if your gift is a little late. These folks appreciate the struggle of meeting a deadline.

1. For the livestreaming newsmaker

In the age of FOMO, journalists and citizen reporters are turning to livestreaming mobile apps like Periscope and Snapchat to share news that is instant and unfiltered.

The challenge in broadcasting street journalism is making a steady video that looks credible. To keep the livestreamer in your life on top of their game, there are a number of tools that can help.

selfie stick or tripod is practical and allows for better visibility and a wider array of shots. A handheld microphone, like the iRig Mic, makes for better sound, too.

2. For the unflinching investigator

For a reporter in a digital-first news landscape, the desire for enterprise storytelling has to be balanced by a need for expediency. But accuracy remains important, too.

Thanks to technology, journalists no longer must be put in the awkward situation of getting their hands on a hot scoop, only to learn they have no time to get back to the newsroom or that their source won’t give up their lone documentation.

A handy portable scanner can read and store images and documents on their devices in just seconds. To ensure they can stay plugged in while following a story, a power bank also is a must-give.

3. For the booming blogger 

The blogger has transformed into a personality all its own, and is very much a force to be reckoned with.

In order to gain credibility, traffic and shares, a consistent spread of quality content and imagery are a must – and not just for their blog, but so they can diversify on their social channels as well.

For the emerging or seasoned blogger, a new camera like the Nikon 1 J5 with selfie-ready screen could help them re-energize and polish their work. If efficiency is a concern, try gifting a voice-recognition program. Programs like Dragonallow bloggers to talk through their thoughts and craft posts via dictation.

4. For the future futurist 

Though we aren’t (yet) riding our hoverboards to work, drone journalism and virtual reality storytelling aren’t so far future. These emerging programs made big strides in 2015, bridging the gap between readers and content for a more immersive and emotional news experience.

For those who want to familiarize themselves with the future of storytelling, a wearable VR headset – like the P2 by DodoCase or Gear VR by Oculus – could aid understanding, while a 360° camera allows users to get more hands on with spherical photography.

For the drone curious, a video flyer like the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition or the more cost-friendly QuadForce Video Drone can help users hone their skills with the next major tool in the journalism toolbox.

2015 Gift Guide for Journalists and Bloggers

5. For the inspired infopreneur

Today’s influential writers are many times seen extending their efforts well beyond the written word to create their own online business or brand out of their information.

But, it’s not an easy feat. In order to be truly successful, wannabe infopreneurs must arm themselves with key business school elements – such as how to create a sustainable business by playing to their strengths, while also appropriately monetizing their expertise.

For someone looking to take on this self-managed role, an e-workshop could be a welcome gift. The Infopreneur Ninja course by Regina Anaejionu of By Regina is a great premium option. Or you could opt for the scaled down 4 Part Entrepreneur Cocktail by Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society.

6. For the mobile photographer

Photography has progressed radically from its crude beginnings and complicated chemical process.

Today, demand trumps quality to meet the changes in how people consume and share news. That means photographers must be ready at any moment to point, shoot, and upload an image from a scene.

Luckily, there are tons of mobile apps and add-ons that make photo-taking from cell phones more attractive. A Mini Photo Pro Lens Kit or a Zoom Lens and Tripod for iPhone are solid gift options for DSLR-loving photographers who want to keep a mini studio in their pocket.

7. For the on-the-go audiophile

So many journalists and bloggers today are on the go, zooming from assignment to assignment or event to event.

Whether they’re in the car or on a train, listening to someone else talk can be a great distraction or – even better – the perfect inspiration, especially if reading another word feels daunting.

If you’re sensing commuter fatigue, a subscription to audible.com could do the trick. Membership provides access to one audio book per month, plus 30 percent off additional books. Perfect to listen to on the road, and in between their favorite podcasts.

8. For the aspiring author

With the ability now to self-publish on sites like Kindle and CreateSpace, getting published isn’t the lofty goal it once was.

However, the steps to planning and plotting a novel pretty much remain the same. For first-time novelists and more seasoned scribes, idea generation and story plotting are key to busting through writer’s block.

Software like Scrivener can help your writer hammer through their first draft.  For those who like to put pen to paper, theEvernote Smart Notebook is a fun option that allows for digital upload of any handwritten notes or drawings.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.

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