One way to know you’re getting older: When you hear the word “branding” and cattle come to mind. But if you’re at all plugged in, you know that today the word is typically used to refer to a product’s – and now a person’s – identity. Who you are. What you’re known for. Your uniqueness. What one writer called your “digital footprint.” Some of the more traditional journalists still shy away from “branding” as applied to individual reporters – they see it as a concept that applies to cereal or soap, not journalists. But actually, many journalists have been branded for years, though they never thought of it in those terms. One reporter might be known as the go-to guy for public records and making sense of data in a way that related to readers. Another might be a word-person – her prose full of voice and the type of writing that made you want to read sentences out loud. But it’s more than that, and this is why you need to read Steve Buttry’s blogpost (Steve is also a consultant to TCCJ). This article will help you think through what your brand is, and what you can make it. And as an added bonus, at the end of the post he also refers you to a number of other postings that will help you to develop your personal brand. This is a must-read, especially for younger journalists.
If you’re a reporter who uses Twitter (and if you aren’t, why aren’t you?), take a few minutes to look over this list of six suggestions on how to make Twitter work for you. No obscure techie-stuff here, just concrete, practical ideas you may not have thought of. Reminders include suggestions about upgrading your bio and your photo to ideas about how to use Twitter to prepare for interviews. And if you get really interested in Twitter as a reporting tool, there are lots of useful links to help you dig deeper.
So if you think the Twitter trend is overplayed or just “don’t get it” when it comes to the microblogging service you’re not alone. A Harris poll indicates 69% of adults don’t know enough about Twitter to have an informed opinion about it. Mashable has the full report posted. If you’re curious about Twitter, just click the Twitter tag under the Topics section on our Around the Web page for some Twitter info.
Steve Buttry from the from Gazette Communications in Iowa posted a tip sheet for journalists on how to use Twitter. He covers everything from breaking news to linking to figuring out who to follow on the service. If you don’t have a Twitter account, read Buttry’s post then check it out.
Ann Handley has an great how-to about using journalistic writing skills on Twitter. “… news journalism works best when it’s simple and direct, at least in the story’s lead sentences. And simplicity (and other tenets of good journalism — like brevity, and clarity, and immediacy) are now cornerstones of how many businesses, brands and individuals communicate on Twitter,” she writes.
The New York Times has hired a “social media editor” who is going to be connecting with users on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. The first link is a blog post from Mashable, a blog about social media trends. The second link is to the new social media editor’s Twitter account.
In a short video interview, Kevin Hessel from the Marin Independent Journal shares some of the ways he uses social media at the Marin (Cali.) Independent Journal to engage readers.
Leah Betancourt, the digital community manager at the Minneapolis Star Tribune shares some tips for journalists on how to use Twitter, the popular micro-blogging site.