Today, I’m turning over my blog to a guest poster, Amber Hensley, who writes about the online college. Amber freelances for online education Web sites and offers some tips for social media. She welcomes your feedback at AmberHensley1980@yahoo.com.
She’s writing about one of my favorite topics: Twitter and journalists. It’s a topic I’ve written about quite a bit in the past, but I think a reminder is always good. Twitter is fun, and can be useful for journalists — if they let it be.
Here are Amber’s thoughts on the topic:
As journalists are continuing to be pushed to explore new media as a platform for personal branding as well as news sharing, research and professional development, Twitter is also exploding as a citizen-journalist site that transforms the way the public accesses news. Some believe that Twitter undermines the integrity of responsible journalism because it is vulnerable to sensationalism, viral gossiping and knee-jerk reporting from questionable sources. Others view Twitter as a valuable source for making global news stories relevant and giving the public an opportunity to reflect on issues as a community.
Whichever argument you support: Twitter is actually a valuable tool for journalists. It can boost your readership and following, giving you a significant edge over the competition as media outlets suffer losses and make cutbacks. Twitter also connects journalists to the everyday users who experience news stories first-hand, which can help reporters broaden their perspective on a story and make it easier for them to get quotes, feedback and insight. Even if you’re a traditional-minded journalist who resents new media’s transformation of old-school reporting, take a look at these Twitter tips that can help you build your career.
- Reach out beyond your comfort zone. Don’t just follow your fellow journalists; cultivate a relationship with people from all over the world across different industries who can serve as valuable sources of information and inspiration.
- Update regularly. Become a resource for others to tune into by updating your feed with first-hand accounts of your reporting, personal analysis of a story and more general news updates.
- Post a photo. Adding a photo of yourself to your Twitter profile makes it easy for readers to relate to you and feel more loyal to you. Think of it as adding a photo to a personal column in a newspaper or magazine.
- Retweet and join the conversation. Instead of merely posting your ideas and stories, understand that Twitter is about joining in the conversation and paying it forward. You’ll come across as a nicer person and a more credible, engaged resource.
- Post a link to your blog or news site. If you’re out of work, use Twitter to network and send followers to links that display your writing skills. If you’ve got a regular job, share your news source’s website for extra credibility.