Why I can’t sell a TV news story on Twitter

I wanted to do a television news story on Twitter.

I get at least one or two of my tweeps (twitter peeps) asking me when we will do a TV news story on twitter.

For the past year, we have focused the stories we do on news that is relevant and important to the people of Central Ohio.  I certainly think that twitter is relevant, and becoming more relevant every day that is works correctly.  I know that it has been an important piece of some of our stories, and can point to several, maybe a dozen instances in the last 5 weeks that we’ve used twitter to find or enhance a news story.

The problem and the power of twitter is that you only care about it if you use it.  I tried to get as many of our news people on there as possible, and for the most part, the people who joined use it to update what they are doing.  But not everyone.  The last thing I want to do is get everyone to get excited about twitter and join, befriend all of my tweeps, and then leave; and that’s rude.  The power of twitter is that it’s viral.  You hear about it from a friend, or come across it and tell 30 of your friends about it and they all start doing it because you are. 

Central Ohioans aren’t going to twitter because NBC 4 does.  They will twitter because the people they have a realationship with do.  So first we need to build relationships with people, then ask to be their friends.  After all, we are the evil biased media, or something.

Or this is all a big excuse and I just need to do the story.  But hold on.  It’s not just our viewers that have to buy in to a story that I would like to do.  I have to sell it to other managers and producers, too.  Some of these people have seen some of the value of twitter, but some still think it’s a joke.  I am trying, one-by-one, to knock down those pegs and get this story done.  Wish I had more time. 


Update:  After writing this story, I realized that I’ve never actually pitched the twitter story, so I’m going to stop blaming this on everyone else and take some responsibility.  Here’s what I need:  a Columbus area business that has seen an increase in business or some sort of measurable return from using twitter.  Please post it as a comment to the blog. 


1 Comment

Filed under Social Journalism

One response to “Why I can’t sell a TV news story on Twitter

  1. An increase in business? No, not yet.
    But an improvement in the way we do business? Yes, I think I can safely say that.
    For example, yesterday you (important media contact) Tweeted to see if any Fahlgren folks could get you information from McDonald’s about the tomato scare. I saw your Tweet and responded within about ten minutes, getting you what you needed. Was it quicker than email? Quite possibly. Emails can get stuck in spam filters. Inboxes can fill up and become overwhelming, allowing important emails to get backed up and lost amongst the clutter. Twitter is a shortcut to communications in realtime – it allowed me, a PR person, to help you, a media person. That’s my job and Twitter allowed me to do it better.
    Hope this helps! Just one of many examples, I’m sure.

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