On Tuesday, Jan. 22, we hosted our latest #ConnectChat titled "Trends in Media -- From Traditional to Social" with Brett Simon (@savsimon), media relations manager at PR Newswire.
Brett discussed how journalists today use social media, the pros and cons that come along with it and how social has actually become the "new" traditional.
Please follow @profnet and @editorev on Twitter for more information on future chats or check back right here on ProfNet Connect for details.
@ProfNet: Hi, Brett! Thanks for being our guest on today's #connectchat!
@savsimon: Thanks Evelyn. Pleasure to be your guest today!
@ProfNet: Brett, please tell us about what you do at PR Newswire and about your experience as a broadcast journalist.
@savsimon: I help journalists identify best ways to access n use @prnewswire’s media tools whether they use web, email, social media etc. I help create customized news feeds on our media site prn.to/a5v3hf . I also tweet for @prnewswire and manage our curated industry twitter accounts too. I wanted to be on-air so after grad school I packed up and moved from NY to middle of the country. I worked for NBC stations for about 5 years reporting (my family thought I was crazy!) But working in TV news was a great experience. Learned a lot. Really had to hustle to find leads, find people. No @profnet back then. Long hours. Holidays. TV news isn’t the glamorous job some think.
@ProfNet: Thanks, Brett. When did you really start to notice changes in the way media gathers stories and leads?
@savsimon: I would say I started to see a change about 3-5yrs ago
@ProfNet: What did you notice that was different?
@savsimon: Twitter began to play a major role in getting news out and finding sources for the news.
@ProfNet: Do you think there are still a number of journalists who prefer the traditional way? Have they been forced to change?
@savsimon: Yes. What works for one may not work for another. Some media orgs make twitter mandatory, how active the journalist is depends. Some journalists feel that their traditional newsgathering methods have worked so why change.
@ProfNet: Can you provide an example for the non-journalists out there of a traditional way of searching for news versus the newer social way?
@savsimon: Reporter notebooks and rolodexes are traditional ways. Take notes, make phone calls. Now journalists send a tweet, post on Facebook.
@ProfNet: What dangers come to mind w/ journalists depending so much on social media as opposed to the way it was done just 10 years ago?
@savsimon: Misinformation. The message can get confused or totally incorrect.
@NABJDigital: Rush to be first; not doing old-fashioned reporting; not checking sources, facts; less face-to-face interaction.
@ProfNet: Welcome to #ConnectChat @NABJDigital!
@TeeJayV: Inaccuracy, knee-jerk reactions, loss of credibility, loss of ethics.
@savsimon: You are so right @NABJDigital. The competitive drive to be first can superceed getting it right.
@ProfNet: Thanks for joining @TeeJayV!
@Dan_Martin: Rules are the same. Us journalists still need to verify info whether on Twitter or face-to-face.
@ProfNet: Hello @Dan_Martin!
@ProfNet: Brett, how has social media changed sourcing for reporters?
@savsimon: When I was a reporter, I had to pick up the phone and call the PR person at the local hospital or organization to find people. Social media provides more resources to tap into. I see reporters on Facebook looking for people. Twitter too. And of course @ProfNet continues to be a great way to find experts.
@ProfNet: Do you think journalists fear the immediacy of reporting news using social media due to the errors that could be made?
@TechJournalist: I sure hope not. Live radio/TV has the same immediacy.
@ProfNet: Thanks for joining, @TechJournalist.
@savsimon: I think social media is more immediate than radio/TV.
@jgombita: Believe enough journalists/outlets have been burnt with social media imperative of "need for speed" that it doesn't happen as often.
@ProfNet: Welcome, @jgombita.
@Dan_Martin: Those journalists who do fear social media are at a disadvantage.
@LPT: There's usually more of a team involved in radio/TV to help check. Errors happen in both, though.
@savsimon: @dan_martin I was one of those who feared social media but learned to use it because I had to in order to be effective at my job.
@TeeJayV: As are most organizations who ignore social.
@anoasis: Hi Dan. Er, no they are ****ed.
@Dan_Martin: Many PR’s have a long way to go when it comes to effectively using social media.
@jgombita: In my estimation, it's the media outlet that decides to "go social," not so much individual journalists.
@ProfNet: Hello @LPT!
@Dan_Martin: That wasn't the case for me.
@savsimon: @jgombita True but that's what makes them fear it, they don't know it, are being forced to use it.
@LPT: @jgombita If, as I believe, a media outlet functions like any other corporation, you can't force _real_ social participation.
@jgombita: I'm referring primarily to Canadian newspapers, magazines, @cbcradio & most TV stations. Doing social quite well, most.
@ProfNet: What are the benefits of social media when getting a story out to the masses? (May be apparent to some but not all.)
@jgombita: @LPT Ah, but journalists are providing INFORMATION for the most part, not marketing drivel. Social media is made for information exchanges.
@TeeJayV: One of the top benefits is having the ability to create you own angle and present it to a mass amount of people.
@jgombita: The same as any INTEGRATED COMMUNICATION effort, the more channels, the more possibility of being read/heard/seen.
@savsimon: It’s here and now. It's live, while it's happening. It's engaging, it's colorful.
@ProfNet: What should journalists be careful with in regards to getting interviews with people affected by a huge story?
@Dan_Martin: Getting immediate reaction from your target audience. Reaction can be used for folllow-up stories.
@jgombita: (To quote from Masters of Disasters) Do No Harm. Especially to vulnerable people. Maintain journalistic standards.
@ProfNet: Good point, Dan_Martin.
@savsimon: Remember people make the story. Journalists be careful not to be insensitive in rush to get the story.
@jgombita: Will you also be asking what is the downside to getting a story out to the masses through social media?
@LPT: @jgombita Some create accounts and only post links to their stories. [mktg] If told you *must* you do minimum. That's what I meant.
@Dan_Martin: Again, the rules haven't changed. Not being insensitive has always been important for journalists.
@jgombita: @LPT But that's true of any position/peeps forced to use/do something. BEST journalists realize how amazing is the #SM engagement.
@ProfNet: How intense is the competition among news media to be the first to land a breaking story with social media also providing regular citizens the opportunity to also break a story?
@savsimon: More competitive than I’ve ever seen it. Breaking the story is what it's all about.
@brainypintsizer: Too intense. Now I think there's no real remorse with mistakes. It's just, "Let's put an 'Update'" next to a news entry.
@jgombita: did you ever see my (Aug. 2012) Journalist Byte: Five Suggestions for PR 2.0 Relationship Building windmillnetworking.com/2012/08/30/journa... ?
@ProfNet: Thanks for sharing the post with us, @jgombita.
@savsimon: Everyone wants to be a reporter. The problem is there is years of experience that goes into really good reporting/storytelling.
@brainypintsizer: And now everybody with a mobile device or blog or whatever is a "journalist." There's such increased sloppiness.
@ProfNet: Welcome, @brainypintsizer.
@savsimon: @brainypintsizer I agree.
@brainypintsizer: Thanks. Sorry, I'm late, but great to be a part of the conversation.
@savsimon: Storytelling becomes the victim of the 140 character post.
@TeeJayV: If journalists are insensitive, it's across the board. Personality trait doesn't change with medium.
@jgombita: Don't you think that's changed a bit in last few months @savsimon? Breaking "story" without any proof/substance is rather meh.
@ProfNet: Do you think traditional sees social as a threat?
@IanGertler: Re: Breaking the story is what it's all about #connectchat > The challenge: Making sure it's breaking rather than broken news!
@jgombita: You made me LOL with that one @IanGertler. Kind of like the "broken telephone" game with the garbled messages?
@savsimon: At first yes, but I think traditional is learning how to use social media to its advantage. Using social media to help promote traditional.
@ProfNet: Thanks for being here, @IanGertler.
@JoshFrigerio: I think they see it as an uphill climb, confusing & unnecessary.
@brainypintsizer: Great question! Think there's a love-hate relationship. "Traditional" may turn up noses but they're using the medium too.
@ProfNet: Are journalists missing out on the storytelling aspect of it due to the competitive realities of delivering a story?
@IanGertler: Re: Kind of like the "broken telephone" game with the garbled messages? Exactly. Look at Sandy Hook issues.
@IanGertler: My pleasure, Maria. Thank you all for the great insight and perspectives around.
@irvineAP: When it comes to breaking news, yes, it seems to be happening more and more. Frustrating.
@TeeJayV: Had plenty of experience where they didn't want to invest more time into making the story better for expedition purposes.
@DanMartin: Insensitive journalist? @CNNJustin asks for pictures from student in #Texas shooting twitpic.com/bxf90s .
@ProfNet: I agree with you, @JoshFrigerio. It can be very intimidating at first when you don't know how to use social correctly.
@IanGertler: Re @PRNewswire RT @savsimon #Storytelling & victim of 140 character post. #connectchat > It's a component, not the whole thing.
@jgombita: Don't expect journalists to "tell stories" via Twitter. Just the basic/correct facts, m'am/sir. Use other channels for stories.
@ProfNet: Welcome, @irvineAP.
@savsimon: Depends. Some journalists do a really good job. As a news consumer, I never feel like I get the full story via social media.
@brainypintsizer: @Dan_Martin Like several reporters during the Newtown shootings. That "Oh, how sad, but hey can you come on camera with your wounds?"
@savsimon: @irvineAP How do you deal with it as a reporter?
@jgombita: It kind of worries me when people choose to get the BULK of their traditional media information via social media. So limiting.
@brainypintsizer: Consumers of the written word are also to blame. We've become lazy to read in-depth stories. #cliffnotes version
@savsimon: @brainypintsizer: Sad example of the type of insensitivity I was referring to.
@ProfNet: Do you think social can replace traditional or can each thrive?
@brainypintsizer: @jgombita Agreed! I still watch the news (and different channels to see diff perspectives) & read the newspaper and business press.
@savsimon: My traditional background sincerely hopes traditional will always have its place.
@brainypintsizer: I believe there is room for both if and only if people aren't given a reason by traditional to jump ship.
@KristenRidley: Late to this chat. Question: Do online newspapers count as social or traditional media?
@brainypintsizer: But unfortunately we haven't mentioned here (or maybe I missed it) threat is loss of adv. No ads. Bye-bye traditional.
@jgombita: In my #PRin2013 submission, I offered it was coming down to "paywalls vs. brand journalism" in terms of profile for many organizations.
@savsimon: I think each can build off of each other. It's a process.
@jgombita: @KristenRidley I'd say traditional media, but per my last tweet, the most respected newspapers/magazines are going behind paywalls.
@ProfNet: Wow, thanks to all of you for participating in today's #ConnectChat. A lot of interaction and a lot of information. Thanks to you, Brett!
@savsimon: Thank you Evelyn. What a lively chat! Enjoyed all the comments.
@ProfNet: Again, thanks to all who joined. We'll see you next time!
(The following is the conversation that took place once #ConnectChat officially ended.)
@KristenRidley: @jgombita good point. Though I do wonder how many simply won't pay for multiple publications online.
@jgombita: "In other words, traditional media relations as a function of PR is not going away." Ira Basen, in j.mp/M1iPhB . I want to point out that @McAllister_Mark who RT'd this is my first mutual-follow journalist. Mark is GREAT at #SM & TV!
@McAllister_Mark: Thanks as always @jgombita It's always great to see this kind of conversation taking place using #SM
@jgombita: You're welcome. #connectchat is sponsored by @ProfNet, so a good fit! Happy social! P.S. See this? windmillnetworking.com/2012/08/30/journalist-byte-five-suggestions-for-pr-2-0-relationship-building/ …
@KatieKSpeaks: Another benefit is the ability to open up a dialogue and refine your thinking.
@lisol_18: @jgombita I think, for most people, it's about convenience, which still makes it worrisome.
@ShashankHosa: You can measure the sensitivity of situation when it goes viral and also open up dialogue.
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