I can’t help but cringe when I see a traditional media outlet (TV, radio, newspaper, etc) resist engaging their audience via social media. The number of media outlets that aren’t online are becoming fewer and fewer, but they still exist. Granted, these are probably the organizations who still believe this whole internet thing is just a fad. So, when I learned representatives from the news media would be speaking to my COM 509 class, I knew it would be very interesting. Brad Belote and Lauren Matter from KY3/KSPR gave the class of future PR professionals great insight into how news outlets use social media.
I was already aware that KY3 did a great job reaching their viewers via social media. I have always been impressed that the tone the social media posts took matched what you’d expect from a KY3 news broadcast. However, the one aspect I enjoyed most from Brad and Lauren’s presentation was how PR professionals can use social media to help relationships with the news media.
Any PR student can tell you that it is important to have a strong relationship with the media. However, I feel that oftentimes the particulars of how to begin and maintain that relationship are lost on new graduates. Thankfully, Lauren helped define the rules of engagement, at least when it comes to social media. It is okay to contact news media via social media with a story idea (sending a personal Facebook message or Tweet) IF you have already established a relationship with that specific media contact. This may seem simple, but for me, it was very eye opening. Most importantly, it was a step in the right direction to understanding how to build meaningful relationships with the media.
I understand that navigating relationships with the media is all a part of the first year on the job for PR professionals but listening to a reporter’s perspective on relationship building via social media was very enlightening. Chalk that up to one more way social media is changing the way the world is interacting.