Wick Communications

Tips for tweeters

In Online media on 30 Jun 2011 at 4:02 pm

I’ve tried, in my own muddied way, to make the case for Twitter. Now Twitter itself has come to my rescue.

Last week, the micro-blogging site released #TfN – Twitter for Newsrooms. It’s quite simply genius and must reading for anyone who knows that hashtags and 140-character posts are part of the revolution of information delivery, but just not sure what to make of it all. And that includes me.

The new site lays out why Twitter is important to reporters and how it can be used to find sources, push information, drive traffic to your websites and just have fun. It includes search tips, reporting ideas, branding thoughts and an array of useful information.

As Twitter explains:

We know you come from different generations. Some are native to the pilcrow, others native to the hashtag. You began your careers in different media: radio, print, broadcast, online and mobile. But you share a common bond: the desire to make a difference in the world, bringing reliable information to the communities you serve.

The site includes a testimonial of sorts from Jack Tapper, with ABC News: …

The way (Twitter has) been most useful is in terms of following people. I’ve been able to use it for reporting and to find sources. Last year when a health insurance company raised its premiums in California and it affected thousands of people, I didn’t know how to reach any of them, so I sent a Tweet out to my followers: “Is there anybody out there who is a customer of Anthem Blue Cross who got their insurance premiums raised?”

@lemoneyes tweeted me that she had and so I followed her. I got her information through DM and then emailed her, we verified her situation and then we sent a camera crew to her. The next morning she was on ABC’s Good Morning America. There is no way I could have done that before.

I know some of you haven’t understood the utility of Twitter. I confess that I’ve done a terrible job keeping up with the account attached to the Kicker (though I do a much better job with the Half Moon Bay Review account, which we use daily to find sources and deliver info about traffic accidents and other breaking news.) Take a look at the link and see if you still don’t get it.

Oh, and there are other resources available. The folks at the Knight Center for Digital Media released their own primer last week as well. I’m told the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer made that required reading for all reporters.

— Clay



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