Phoenix-Area Media Discuss Popularity of Social Media

September 30, 2010

by Heidi Mayer, Account Executive, & Billy Russell, Client Services Representative, Business Wire Phoenix

On Friday, September 24, Business Wire Phoenix hosted a lunch seminar that provided local companies with an opportunity to meet the media and discuss how reporting has evolved amid the popularity of social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook.  Chad Graham with The Arizona Republic, Keith Yaskin with FOX 10 and Shawn Martin from ABC15 News discussed how social media has affected traditional news reporting while Cindy Kim of JDA Software provided her own unique insight on pitching stories from a public relations perspective.  The seminar was moderated by our own Regional Manager Grant Armendariz.

L-R: Grant Armendariz, Cindy Kim, Shawn Martin, Chad Graham & Keith Yaskin

Here are some key insights from the discussion:

Why they use social media
Both Kim and Yaskin said that they use social media as a tool to build relationships. According to Kim, it’s a way for her to not only reach the decision-makers – analysts, bloggers and journalists – but also to raise brand awareness with her clients and prospects. Martin talked about a new show on ABC 15 that will experiment with integrating social media and news, with the goal of giving the audience a voice.  His greatest challenge is to get viewers to interact on three screens: TV, computer and mobile. Graham mentioned that AZ Central has been using this year to develop a strategy for using social media and train reporters on its use. He’s found social media an effective means for the immediate exchange of information, and has also discovered benefits to geo sharing.

Changing the way people approach the media

In today’s environment, Martin pointed out, the PR professional who has to make a pitch is often at a loss: social media is so new that there are no rules or guidelines to using it effectively. However, there are many right ways to go about it. Graham made the point that good stories are always going to be good and will get coverage no matter what. He considers social media as more of a tactic than an overall strategy, and sees it being used to make an end run around reporters to get word out on a particular topic immediately. Kim said that social media has broadened her approach and allowed her to be more creative with traditional channels. She added that it’s also created some great relationships and made possible good conversations to create better fits for stories. Yaskin agreed, saying that relationships matter. He’d be much more likely to help out someone he’s made a connection with through social media than a random pitch off the street.

The rise of citizen journalism

While the rapid rise of citizen journalism is sometimes considered a threat to traditional sources of news, the three journalists on the panel all agreed that they see it as a positive change. Martin said that AZ Central is embracing the trend, allowing audiences to drive the news. Because reporters can’t be everywhere, ordinary bloggers and tweeters can play an important part in bringing stories to the public’s attention. Yaskin, meanwhile, finds himself becoming a citizen journalist. People aren’t willing to wait for the news anymore, with so many platforms available to them, so he acts as a “mobile newsroom,” reporting on additional aspects of the story (i.e.  A reporter was being mocked by a fireman for wearing too much makeup). From the PR perspective, Kim said that her company sees this trend as an opportunity as well. When a cyberhack story broke, JDA started a “lessons learned” blog which was then covered as part of the story. However, Graham, while excited about “man on the street news,” warns that it should be taken with a grain of salt. Journalistic standards still apply, which means: always check the facts.

What not to send through social media
All four panelists had suggestions for anyone using social media to disseminate information. Kim recommended thinking about personal branding when posting, because how a person communicates is just as important as what that person communicates. The three journalists talked about the kinds of stories they didn’t want to be pitched through social media: immediate, breaking news, which should always be called in (Martin), anything that’s already been covered (Graham) and any legal information (Yaskin). Yaskin also cautioned about tweeting story ideas that others can figure out and pitch for their own benefit. Other than that, he said, anything can be sent.

Here’s a terrific video clip from panelist Keith Yaskin at FOX 10, speaking on how social media has changed the way he interacts with public relations professionals:

Thank you to all those in attendance and especially our panel for a lively and entertaining discussion about this new trend.  We look forward to our next event in Arizona, Business Wire Holiday Open House, which gives everyone an opportunity to meet our newsroom and learn about our product offerings while enjoying a festive holiday breakfast.  Look for your invitation and don’t forget to RSVP!

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Upcoming Business Wire Events – Sept. 14 Edition

September 13, 2010

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Join Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out some of our upcoming events in your area:

PR with a Punch – Maximizing Your Press Release

Hosted by Business Wire Houston

Join Business Wire Houston team for this practical session on maximizing your press releases’ chances of being found, seen and shared online and get on the fast track to becoming a PRO (Press Release Optimizer). We will take a look at the relationship between your company’s overall SEO and Press Release Optimization strategies. As we walk you through the steps of building an optimized press release you will have the opportunity to pick up a few tips and tools as well as learn the long term benefits of being a PRO. This event is free for all attendees.

Wednesday, September 15 at 8:30am CT
Houston City Club
One City Club Drive, Houston, TX 77046

To register: RSVP to Jessica Anderson at 713-871-1900 or email Jessica.Anderson@businesswire.com

Social Media ROI: Being Seen is Not Enough

Hosted by Business Wire Cleveland [Columbus Event]

Your organization has started blogging, tweeting and updating your Facebook status, but is it working? If you’re like many communications professionals today, you may not be sure how to quantify the success of your social media efforts. Join our expert panel in Columbus for a discussion on setting goals for your social media campaign and arming you with the tools you will need to generate both quantitative and qualitative results. Bill Balderaz, Founder, Webbed Marketing will moderate the panel, which also includes: Dave Culbertson, Owner, LightBulb Interactive; Lora Deeds, Senior Public & Analyst Relations Specialist, Quest Software; Amanda Murphy, Assignment Editor, WCMH-TV; and Nate Riggs, Principal & Lead Social Web Strategist, Social Business Strategies. This event is free for all attendees.

Wednesday, September 15 at 8am ET
Fawcett Conference and Event Center – Alumni Room
The Ohio State University, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH 43210

To register: RSVP to Melissa Chambers at 800-769-0220 or email Melissa.Chambers@businesswire.com

“Does your Tweet Count?” Journalists and a PR Professional Talk

Hosted by Business Wire Phoenix

Join Business Wire Phoenix for a free luncheon and meet the media event about how reporting has evolved amid the popularity of social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook. Chad Graham with the Arizona Republic and Tim Vetcher from ABC 15 News will be discussing how social media has affected traditional news reporting while Cindy Kim of JDA Software will be providing her own unique insight on pitching stories from a public relations perspective. This event is free for all attendees.

Friday, September 24 at 11:30pm PT
1475 N. Scottsdale Road, Alliance Room #365, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

To register: RSVP to Billy Russell at (480) 990-9942 or email billy.russell@businesswire.com

Meet the Media Breakfast and Panel Discussion with DC-Area Technology Journalists

Hosted by Business Wire DC

Join Business Wire’s DC office for breakfast and a panel discussion featuring technology journalists from some of the area’s top publications. Listen as they share their thoughts on what makes a good story and learn how your organization can increase its chances of being covered by the media. Panelists include: Paul Sherman , Editor-in-Chief, Potomac Tech Wire; Cecilia Kang , Technology Reporter, The Washington Post; Nick Wakeman , Editor-in-Chief, Washington Technology; Gautham Nagesh , Technology Reporter, The Hill; Bill Flook , Staff Reporter/Technology, Biotech, Venture Capital, Washington Business Journal. This event is $10 for all attendees.

Wednesday, September 29 at 8am ET
Marriott Tysons Corner
8028 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182

To register: RSVP to Neelima Yelamanchili at neelima.yelamanchili@businesswire.com

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Phoenix-Area Media Pros Offer Perspectives on Social Media at Business Wire Event

March 25, 2010

Business Wire/Phoenix recently hosted an event with a panel of local print and broadcast media professionals, on how social media and online search have affected news reporting.  Moderated by our own Malcolm Atherton, the event was attended by — among many others! — Linda VandeVrede of Valley PR Blog, a group blog covering PR, marketing and social media topics in the Phoenix area.  Check out Linda’s writeup on the event, with insight from all of the panelists.

Don’t forget to look for Business Wire events in your own area, as well as register for our free webinars on PR, IR, SEO, monitoring and more.


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