I just read a blog by one of my tweeps @jenniferlaycock. Jennifer is an online marketer and a professional blogger, so she is somewhat of a social media guru. In her latest blog post http://www.searchengineguide.com/sage-lewis/jennifer-laycock-brings-business-back-to.php Jennifer talks about how social media didn’t change business.
Good business hasn’t been changed by social media, because good businesses were already connecting with people. Social media is just one more tool businesses are using to reach people. The difference between good business and bad business is what they use that connection for. Good businesses know that reaching people is important so that they can establish a relationship of trust first, before they ever talk about their product. Bad businesses try to connect with people using the message of their product as the reason for making the connection. Good businesses leverage the power of their employees to make a difference in peoples’ lives, bad businesses tell people that the business will be the difference in peoples’ lives.
Since I’ve been in TV the only real relationship we seem to have with people is our product. The problem is, the television media product, by nature, is tainted in 2008. People believe we are biased or out of touch with their concerns. This is the result of not finding a way to connect with these people first. We are so busy filling hours of tv news that we don’t take the time to really listen to our community and hear what they have to say. Telling someones story and listening to a community’s concerns are two different things.
Social journalism is one answer. But we have to do it in order… social then journalism. We have to find a way to connect with our potential customers first. To talk to them, to listen to them. We have to make that connection with our individual journalists, like @jason_wcmh has done. People want to connect with people; people are hesitant to connect with NBC. Jennifer Laycock agrees, “…people trust people, not corporations.”
So how do we stop this behemoth operation long enough to make those connections. Well, we can’t. At the end of the day we still have bills to pay. But we have to focus each and every one of our minutes of the day on finding and taking advantage of opportunities for our people to connect with the people of Central Ohio, not just when they have the story, but every day. We can change the way we do our journalism in the mean time by making it more of a conversation and less of an anchor moment.
I would love to hear ideas you might have about how we can better connect with you. I am passionate about connecting with our community and listening. Please contact me in any way you can. I’m @NBCSquire on twitter.