How the Media Uses Twitter and Tips for Tweeting Them

Tips for Tweeting the Media on Twitter

It’s 7 a.m. You’re enjoying your morning cup of joe, preparing breakfast, and turning on your favorite morning show. One of the hosts shares a thought-provoking segment and you immediately tweet your social love for the story. Before you can put down your coffee, your iPhone is alerting you to dozens of Twitter RTs and favs. The story has gone viral.

The media is savvy to its audience’s need to digest, communicate and share bits of news and trending stories at all hours of the day. Learning to connect with media on Twitter can help you to pitch a story, idea or product. Now there are no guarantees that you’ll get a response on your first or 50th tweet, but knowing how to participate is a good first step.

Journalists and producers are using Twitter to engage with their audiences, track down stories, and build their personal brands. With approximately 255 million monthly active users, a 140-character tweet is one of the most valuable resources in the 21st century. In Oriella PR Network’s report, “The New Normal for News” it was reported that 59% of journalists worldwide currently use Twitter.

Most news organizations and television programs have Twitter accounts. You may have noticed a news anchor’s Twitter handle pop up on the bottom of your TV screen or the stream of live tweets shared during popular shows like FOX’s American Idol, Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, and The Oscars. For the 2014 Oscars, an astounding 19.1 million tweets were viewed 3.3 billion times worldwide within a 48-hour window.

Rachael Ray, best known for her thirty-minute meals and her syndicated daytime talk show The Rachael Ray Show, which has 1.13 million Twitter followers, has used Twitter to connect with viewers since 2009. The show’s social media team shares a range of content, including recipes, segment highlights and scoop on guests. They also make social media fun by engaging their audience weekly. On “Tasty Tuesdays” viewers tag @RachaelRayShow and share what they’re cooking up on that day. As an intern for the show last summer, I thought it was fun to see that some of these recipes were featured on quick segments at the end of broadcasts.

Recently, I spoke with Rosanna Scotto, Co-anchor of WNYW’s Good Day New York, about her thoughts on Twitter as a tool. “I use Twitter to promote what’s coming up on the show,” she said. “It’s a great way to engage viewers during the show and gauge what’s working or what’s not.” With 37,400 followers @rosannascotto, Rosanna uses the hashtag #GDNY to engage viewers and share teasers on upcoming stories.

She also loves receiving instant feedback from her viewers. She recalled one of her favorite Twitter moments with me. Before a live airing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Rosanna and the Good Day New York crew spontaneously decided to play a game they created called, “spot the hipster.” They spotted a man walking by with facial hair, carrying a cup of coffee with a phone glued to his ear. They yelled “Oh, definitely a hipster!” while catching it all on camera. Instantly, viewers were tweeting Rosanna about how much they loved the segment. “I told my producer don’t pull the camera away let’s continue and play ‘spot the hipster’ throughout the show.”

Rosanna also added that Twitter makes it possible for viewers to give her helpful feedback, which, in turn, helps her to become a better journalist. She also uses Twitter for breaking news situations, but makes sure she is careful to avoid misinformation. “I have used it during the Boston Marathon bombings and other large breaking news events because you can get resources and information very quickly,” she said.

Twitter is also a valuable resource for media professionals behind the cameras like Ivy Charmatz @ivycharmatz, News 12 New Jersey’s Executive Producer of News and Special Projects. I am currently interning with News 12 New Jersey and had the chance to speak with Ivy about the ways she uses Twitter. “Twitter is a great way to reach a large group of people with a shared interest,” said Ivy. “People who follow me or News 12 New Jersey are interested in keeping up with what’s going on in our state. Twitter allows us an opportunity to share information quickly and very effectively.” Not only does Ivy like to use Twitter to research story ideas, she also uses it to interact with colleagues and viewers by incorporating popular hashtags into her tweets. “Hashtags are always changing, but two of my favorites are #NJOnTheRoad, which refers to News 12’s On The Road weekly summer series and #NJMorningShow,” she said. With approximately 9,000 users tweeting per minute, it’s possible for tweets to get lost in the timelines. “Using hashtags related to our shows gives viewers a chance to tweet about what they like or don’t like and for our producers and anchors to notice the tweets and respond,” she said.

Ivy also uses Twitter to connect with publicists. “There are several publicists I follow,” she said. “It’s great when we follow each other because it makes sending a direct message to follow up about something quick and easy.” The way we interact and how we receive information has changed drastically. Ivy thinks the social media network brings together people from different businesses. “If you have a great idea and you want to pitch it to me, you don’t have to try to find my email address or phone number,” she said. “When used the right way, Twitter has the ability to bring people and ideas together-140 characters at a time.”

No doubt, Twitter has become a powerful tool for media, and if you’re pitching a story, service or product it’s time to get tweeting.

Here are inBLOOM’s 5 tips for tweeting the media:

1. Follow media personalities on Twitter. Be cautious and watch out for fake accounts. A blue check next to their name will help you to know the account is official.

2. Pay attention to their activity. The more active they are on Twitter or the more personal their tweets are, you have a better chance of getting them to interact with you. Whether it’s a Q&A or live chat, take a chance and tweet them! You never know.

3. Use hashtags they use and retweet their tweets to your followers, especially if they’re promoting something about the show they’re on. If they ask a question, respond to their tweets with your thoughts. Believe it or not, they may remember you and follow you back. Just be sure to time your engagements well and don’t respond to every tweet.

4. Make your tweets stand out. Be humorous but respectful. Make them interesting because nobody wants to respond to a boring or tasteless tweet!

5. Timing is everything. Sending a random tweet won’t increase your chances of getting noticed. If you’re on at the same time they’re responding to viewers or fans, it’s a great time to reply because you know they’re online reading tweets at that moment.

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Social Media Strategies Inspired by Reality TV Star Power

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Reality television has become a guilty pleasure for many people, whether they admit to it or not. In fact, our digital landscape is saturated with people who when they’re not watching the shows, they’re reviewing the recaps, reading the gossip, and following the social networks covering it all. And, fueling the frenzy, are the reality show personalities from housewives to food network stars harnessing the power of social media networking to keep their shows in the forefront of pop culture. 

So, how can you learn to effectively promote your brand by watching reality stars market to and communicate with fans on social media?

Let’s start with Twitter. This powerful platform presents reality stars with the opportunity to tweet at any minute of the day to millions of people around the world. They use Twitter to live tweet during episodes and promote products. For example, Real Housewives of New Jersey star Kathy Wakile retweets and responds to fans, frequently promoting her cookbooks and dessert line Dolci Della Dea. On Pi Day, Wakile tweeted out a photo of her cookbook Indulge with the caption “It’s Pi Day! Did you know my cookbook #Indulge will have a variety of different #mini pie recipes?” The reality star harnessed a holiday, a few hashtags and enticing pics of sweets to market her cookbook. 

Then there’s Facebook, which gives you the opportunity to write more than 140 characters about your business. Although new data shows less words are more when it comes to engaging fans. Andy Cohen’s show Watch What Happens Live uses Facebook to share photos, special guest news and sell merchandise. The show engages fans by asking them to post their questions for  guests and sharing memes.

Here are a few tips for rocking social networking like a reality star:

  • Link people to your company’s website frequently. Like Kathy Wakile, if you have a particular product that can relate to a national holiday, news or event, post about it so your followers will share it.
  • Have one-on-one conversations with the people who follow your account. If someone asks you a question, respond to them directly by clicking the “reply” button. Offer up questions to start conversations and get to know your followers.
  • Be consistent and relevant. The more you post and tweet, the more opportunity you have for connecting with people and growing your number of followers. If you’re engaging people, you’ll want to be pretty active on your accounts throughout the day.
  • Always be on trend. You’ll see reality stars tweeting and sharing news, fashion and food that has gone viral. Check out hashtags.org for news of trending hashtags and use them in your content, but use no more than three in your post or tweet or you’ll look desperate.
  • Be courteous. While there is always tons of drama happening on reality tv, the stars always give shout outs to fans and wish them a great morning and good night. Thank them also for sharing and retweeting your content and offer small rewards like discounts or branded merchandise to thank them for acts of social sharing kindness.
  • Invest in your brand. If one of your posts or tweets is receiving a lot of attention, promote it to reach an even bigger audience. Like any marketing campaign, you should allocate a budget to support your activity on social media. Events and product launches will need that extra push. Let’s face it, once you engage your circle of friends, existing customers and colleagues, you’ll want to consider tools like TwitterCounter and Twitter for Business to boost your number and attract newbies. Just be weary of spam followers because having bigger numbers is not necessarily better, unless people are engaged.

Instagram takes on a different approach to connecting with fans through photography. The popular app may seem more personal than marketable; however, reality star Snooki uses Instagram to promote her television appearances, her book Baby Bumps and her sunglasses line. Taking photos of your products being used and displayed creatively goes a long way. When posting photos of your products on Instagram, be sure to snap a pic like Snookie:

  • Post a caption that tells your followers what the product is, how it can be used and post a link to buy it. If the product is not available online, mention the alternative method for customers to get the product.
  • Just like Twitter, use hashtags to tag the name of the product and your company’s name. Instagram users will be able to find your photo just by searching your company’s name.
  • Engage by following others and liking their photos. If you push out content without participating, you’ll find little success marketing on Instagram.
  • Run a contest. For example, post a photo of one of your new products and ask your followers “Whoever can name this product first, wins it for free!” Followers get excited about engaging in a competition and other competitors may want to buy the product if they don’t end up winning it. Plus, who doesn’t love free stuff?

The more social media accounts you use, the more successful you will be at marketing to different users and communities. Reality stars are always consistent about sharing their news, pics and products on many accounts because just like anything else, people prefer different ways of communicating and getting their news.

Now that you know the dos, there are don’ts when it comes to using social media like a reality tv star. Here’s a few don’ts, which I’m sure publicists and agents share with their stars:

  • Never ignore your audience. Not interacting with your followers or failing to actively post will turn them off and you’ll lose them.
  • Think before you post. Make sure your content is free of profanity and negativity. If someone writes to you with something you might disagree with, be sure to respond professionally.
  • Don’t stray from content people have become accustomed to reading and sharing on your accounts. Your works may not come across as genuine. For example, Kim Kardashian was blasted on social media recently for taking a break from her usual selfies, belfies and pictures of North West to pass comment on the ethically controversial Syrian civil war. Her backing of #SaveKessab has received a mixed reaction from her followers, but her passive involvement has also been praised by the Syrian National Coalition.
  • Nobody likes a thief. Be sure to be creative and original. Stealing images or content is illegal and not a great way to start communicating your brand to people.
  • Don’t be repetitive. Many reality stars excel at reinventing themselves and staying on the social media ball with new pics and news related to their lives and brands. Spamming your audience constantly with the same information can be boring. And watch out for automated sharing tools on your social sites. They can come across as robotic.

If you’re a fan of reality tv or not, you can learn from how pop culture social media giants communicate and market their brands. Whether you’re following Nicole Polizzi “Snooki” with 6.94 million followers or the international advertising, marketing and public relations agency of Ogilvy & Mather with 94.3K followers, you’ll learn a thing or two about self-promotion.

 

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Tips to Landing Your Dream Internship in Public Relations & Broadcast Journalism

Tips to Landing Your Dream Internship in Public Relations & Broadcast JournalisminBLOOM’s Junior Publicist Julia Palazzo on the set of The Rachael Ray Show this past summer.

Picture yourself at the end of your senior year in college. You are graduating sigma cum laude, made lifelong friends and you have a long list of student organizations you were involved in on campus. With a stellar resume, you are wondering why you haven’t received any job offers yet. An immensely important piece of your resume is missing – the internship.

In this competitive economy, the internship(s) makes you stand out in the mountainous pile of employer resumes. Internships give students first-hand experience in their field or industry. In addition, valuable work experience is gained, several skills are developed, and students have the opportunity to get their foot in the door by gaining important networking contacts.

Communications and Journalism are two very popular majors because of the vast opportunities for employment. However, the competition for a spot at your dream job is higher than ever. In particular, Public Relations and Broadcast Journalism are popular careers for students in these majors. It’s essential that you start interning, as early as your Freshman year, so that you can build your resume with solid, internship experience.

For students living close enough to commute to NYC, broadcast journalism internship programs are available at CNN, NBC, ABC and FOX news with positions for shows including Good Morning America, The Today Show and Anderson Cooper 360. Talk shows like Live with Kelly and Michael, The Rachael Ray Show and The Wendy Williams Show also offer internships in production and other departments.

If you’re looking for an internship at a specific show, Google the name of the television show and write “internship” following it for your search. Sometimes these internships are even paid! But don’t get discouraged if you don’t start off with a paid internship. An unpaid one usually offers academic credit, which is equivalent to taking another college course.

Another great source for internships is your college’s Career Services office. Internship coordinators for your major are available to help you find the right position for you. Be mindful of application deadlines depending on which semester you want to intern in (summer, fall or winter).

Specializing in Public Relations opens doors to many opportunities. A large majority of corporations have a Communications department. Fashion, electrical, television and financial companies are all examples of corporations that have a PR department. Using Google to narrow down a specific type of company you want to work for will help you to choose which ones appeal to you the most!

The internship application process is time consuming. Developing an effective resume and cover letter are key to getting to the next stage in the interview process-obtaining an interview. In a large applicant pool, you want to make yourself stand out. Here are some tips on how to stand out from other candidates:

  • Freshen-up your social media profiles and content. Many intern coordinators are reviewing LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Facebook accounts to get a sense of the virtual you. If you want to maintain privacy, check your settings and inform friends and family that now may not be the best time to share those April Fools’ Day photos and tasteless jokes.
  • Upload a professional head shot to your social media accounts. Put your best face forward when applying for internships. You want to show your prospective boss that you are enthusiastic and savvy.
  • To accompany your application, create a video (one minute or less) introducing yourself, mention some of your experiences and skills, and share why you’re perfect for the position.
  • Join organizations on your campus that are related to your major. For instance, work at your school’s TV or radio station if you’re interested in broadcasting. Write about that experience on your resume and include glowing references.
  • If you had previous internships, explain in detail what you did for the companies in your cover letter and why your experience will benefit you at the position you’re applying for.
  • Read the job description. Mention any skills that they’re looking for in a candidate on your cover letter (if you have them). This will appeal to the recruiter because it shows that you’re qualified for the position.

Be sure to take your time revising and adding to your resume and writing a cover letter. If possible, find the hiring manager or the internship recruiter and address your cover letter to them. However, if you can’t find a name, your cover letter should say “To whom it may concern:”. In your cover letter, discuss your experiences and how your qualifications are perfect for this position. Always end your cover letter with “Sincerely”, be sure to write your contact information in your last paragraph, thank them and write you are looking forward to possibly hearing from them about interning at “XYZ.”  Your university’s career services has advisors that can help you write a resume and cover letter or revise one you currently have written.

When looking for internships, make sure to read the description of  the position. Make sure it’s something you’re interested in and won’t mind doing for an entire semester. Interns get amazing opportunities (i.e., working closely with leaders of the company and shadowing them while they do everyday tasks).

Never underestimate the power of networking and using your resources. You never know if one of your friends or someone in your family has a connection to a position you would be interested in. Last summer, I spoke to my Uncle about wanting an internship in the public relations or broadcasting field. He encouraged me to send him my resume because he might be able to speak to someone in his network about a summer position. A few days later, I received an email from inBLOOM Communications. That same week I started working for the company and continue to remain a part of its team, working around my school schedule and other opportunities in the broadcasting field.

inBLOOM has given me so much experience during the past eight months and I have learned a lot about the business that will benefit me long-term. Never hesitate to ask for help. In this competitive economy, connections and early experience are necessary to succeed.

During the Fall 2013 semester, I also had the opportunity of a lifetime interning in the Production and Audience department at The Rachael Ray Show in New York City. I was able to get a front row seat on how a daytime television show is put together. It gave me the opportunity to start building my professional network and even pitch segment ideas to the show’s producers.

In the Audience department, I assisted coordinators with the audience load-in-and out and helped distribute giveaways. The internship gave me the confidence to pursue my dream career in television. An internship is the best opportunity to discover the path you want to take in life.

Follow your dreams, plan ahead, and you never know where opportunities may lie in your life. If you have any questions regarding how to prepare for your own summer internship, please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll get back to you.

Good luck and get going, it’s time to start researching those summer internships!

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2014 Marketing Tip: Invest Time Posting on Event Calendars

2014 Marketing Tip: Invest Time Posting on Event Calendars

It could take several weeks or even months for your organization to plan an event: the date, the location and even possibly hiring a caterer. But some people forget the most important part about planning an event – informing the public about it. It’s essential that your company or organization posts upcoming events on print and online calendars.

Where can you post your event? New Jersey and New York City have a variety of different calendars to post your event on by topic. Some categories include kids, art, family, music, etc. Here are examples of calendars in these categories. For some, you’ll be required to create a profile, often at no cost, to add events.

Kids

Hulafrog

NJ Kids on the Go

Calendar for Kids

Kids Guide

Macaroni Kid

Art

NYC.com

North Jersey.com

NJ.com

Discover Jersey Arts

Family

Parent Guide News

New Jersey Family

American Towns

New York Times – Email event info to: njtowns@nytimes.com

Music

94.3 The Point

Time Out NY – Email your event info to: musiclistings@timeoutny.com

The Village Voice

Magic 100.1

How do you make your event stand out? Creating appealing graphics, well-written press releases and blogs will convince more people to come to your event. Make sure to use graphics that relate to the type of event or your company’s logo to familiarize the public with who you are. A popular tool that most event calendars require when posting your event is tagging specific words relating to your event. For instance, if your organization is holding a fundraiser for a children’s hospital, use words like children, benefit, fundraiser, food or whatever else will be at the event. Therefore, the public can search the type of event they’re looking for by plugging in specific words.

Lastly, most event calendars have deadlines for events to be posted. Some calendars, like NJ.com, require you to send them the information for your event three weeks prior so the event can be posted not only online but also in their newspaper. Meeting deadlines assures you that your event will get out to the public in time and guarantee their will be a high number in attendance. In 2014, make a New Year’s Resolution to tell the public to save-the-date for your events.

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