It’s happening with greater frequency – traditional media using social media not only to share their stories, but also cultivate new stories and sources. As an added benefit, they are also deepening relationships with their audience and creating more loyalty.
While some organizations have been slow to adopt social media, others jumped in feet first – treading new territory and figuring it out as they go, just as the rest of us are. One news outlet that has integrated social media into the show format is the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb. Though it was a collaboration among producers and talent, Today Show correspondent Sara Haines has become the unofficial social media correspondent for the show and is doing a lot to deepen interaction with viewers.
During the show, Haines regularly reads comments and questions from the Facebook page, and tracks trends and feedback to help shape the direction of the show. Now, more so than ever, viewers are helping source content and coverage.
“Whether they specifically lead to an idea or shape the route I’m taking….they (the viewers) contribute everyday,” Haines said. “It happens everyday in every post, it influences what we’re thinking and which way we’re leaning.”
This is completely changing the way we communicate with mass media. For the first time, we are seeing more opportunities for two-way interaction, rather than the one-way street we’ve grown accustom to.
“Having people ask questions, and knowing you can give it back, means it’s not a one-dimensional thing,” she said. “Back in the day we could feel we knew someone just by tuning in each day. Imagine if you tune in each day and now you talk with them. It just deepens the bond.”
While not all news institutions monitor and utilize their social networks like the Today Show, more are seeing the value. So what does this mean to you?
You now have the potential to have your voice heard, either by sharing a story idea, interesting news or trend you think journalists and producers would be interested in; joining the conversation – you could have your comment read on air; or you could even be called on as a source for a feature story. Take advantage of the fact that this barrier is slowly coming down and start interacting with the media…but remember to keep it relevant, because spamming will work against you.
**For the entire interview click the video below or download the audio version.
Question of the week:
What online tools are you using to connect with traditional media?
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