Alice M. Fisher
Jeff this is a great question. You are correct, the old shot gun approach is not the way to do it.
First and foremost, media relations is all about developing important personal relationships with key media figures.If you have a specific topical area and you want to drill it down to specific geographic areas covering such things as the environment. I would find those reporters blogging, and tweeting about that topic or issue.
Ultimately from a strategic stand point you want to:
“Build “Living” Bridges across Blogs, Networks and Groups People”
Why is this important? The buzz word of the day is that of participation and citizen engagement, transparency.
But, we can not do that in a vacume, nor top down, nor as a blanket shot gun approach
These media lists increase you chances for continuous two-way communications and engagement with the public, the everyday citizen who needs your information. And, if you are going outside of your network, this GovLoop network and your ageny’s network, then in essence you are dipping your toes by connecting outside of your hand built inner circles.
We can’t do it just top down. Did I say that again?
We must use all channels available to us in a strategic manner. Top down and bottom up, simultaniously
With these lists, you can track and comment on what topics important to you, and the specific media person you have developed a relationship with and what they are covering, you can strategically raise awareness real-time via the current media channels through these specific gate keepers. You can create and begin a dialog on important issues for the public.
They are your folcrum point to the Joe or Jane citizen on the street and the replication of your message, your information via RSS in blogs, Tweets. That is strategically important to you and it is the point->
– The live replication of a message, link or issue through RSS.
They are your potential “bridged” partner to funnel your critcal important information to the community, to the people they connect with and the people you connect with. A circle of relative relationships.
Have any of you mapped that from a visual stand point?
With these meida lists, they make use of multiple channels, you make use of multiple channels and they can help you do that for you free with earned meda coverage and live conversations,
if you develop those relationships strategically.
Secondly, if you have developed good realtionships with them then you increase and raise your opportunity for other published free earned media/converasation from them across their other new media channels, HDTTV, Video, Facebook, Hardcopy newspapers, Websites, Links, Blogs, Tweets, distribution through news aggregate sites they publish out to like Topix.com. You want to create a bridge for market saturation across their new media channels and across your new media channels which you use.
The point is that we want citizen engagement/participation. To do that you have to build the bridge.
But we can also do the reverse and participate with the media to get important information out to them and engage real time, they have followers and citizens tracking and reading them. So we can comment, engage, talk about the issues important to us, important to them, important to the citizens who follow and read the news via these channels.
This dual circular engagement will then also trickle out to the public creating an enlarged engaged circle of participation involving everyone creating a more rich user experience with the potential for rapid ripple effect.
Innovative agencies and companies that apply and pick up on this insight and perhaps extend it even further, will make their mark on the web.
The lesson: Bridging the networks effects both a company, and agency, the media and the citizen user with information and contributions that are key to market saturation/dominance in the Web 2.0 era. It raises or percolates to the top, so to speak.
“One of the most highly touted features of the Web 2.0 era is the rise of blogging. If its strategic importance is not recognized, then you miss out on a real strategic opportunity. Personal home pages have been around since the early days of the web, and the personal diary and daily opinion column around much longer than that, so just what is the fuss all about? At its most basic, a blog is just a personal home page in diary format. But as Rich Skrenta notes, the chronological organiz
ation of a blog “seems like a trivial difference, but it drives an entirely different delivery, advertising and value chain.” And if you are blogging, the media is blogging and the citizen is engaging and blogging the possibilities are very very dynamic indeed.
One of the things that has made a difference is RSS. RSS is the most significant advance in the fundamental architecture of the web since early hackers realized that CGI could be used to create database-backed websites. RSS allows you, the media, and the citizen to link not only just to a page, but to subscribe to it, with notification every time that page changes. Skrenta calls this “the incremental web.” Others call it the “live web”. I call call it continous communications.
Now, of course, “dynamic websites” (i.e., database-backed sites with dynamically generated content) replaced static web pages well over ten years ago. What’s dynamic about the live web are not just the pages, but the links, and the people linking up and all of them engaging and talking. A link to a weblog is expected to point to a perennially changing page, with “permalinks” for any individual entry, and notification for each change. An RSS feed is thus a much stronger link than, say a bookmark or a URL link to a single page. “Repitition is the mother of all learning”, or should I say saturation and engagement.
Engaging the media who post out side of your agency are using blogs, tweets, RSS which also means that the web browser is not the only means of viewing a web page. While some RSS aggregators, such as Bloglines, are web-based, others are desktop clients, and still others allow users of portable devices to subscribe to constantly updated content. Now we have tagging, and semantic search enginges evolving to capture all of it throught this RSS linking.
RSS is now being used to push not just notices of new blog entries, but also all kinds of real timedata updates, including stock quotes, weather data, and photo availability, Tweets, Facebook updates, real time media updates.
It may seem like a trivial piece of functionality now, but it was/is effectively the device that turned weblogs from an ease-of-one off-publishing phenomenon into a conversational mass of overlapping communities. For the first time it became relatively easy to gesture directly at a highly specific post on someone else’s site and talk about it. Discussion emerged. Chat emerged. And – as a result – friendships and partnerships emerged or became more entrenched. Are you a partner with some key media?
The permalink was the first – and most successful – attempt to build bridges between weblogs.”
We indeed have evolved, are evolving and I hope you will continue to build bridges the will connect you to the public and to the media.
If it were merely an amplifier, blogging would be uninteresting. But like Wikipedia, blogging harnesses collective intelligence as a kind of filter. What James Suriowecki calls “the wisdom of crowds” comes into play, and much as PageRank produces better results than analysis of any individual document, the collective attention of the blogosphere selects for value.
While mainstream media may see individual blogs as competitors, or simple one-off publications, what is really unraveling is that the connectivity/networking is within the blogosphere as a whole. This is not just a competition between sites, but a competition between business models. The world of Web 2.0 is also the world of what Dan Gillmor calls “we, the media,” a world in which “the former audience”, not a few people in a back room, decides what’s important.
Are you strategically building information bridges to what is important? And from the ground up?
This lists can help you do that. I hope some of this has helped.
Live News Value: Case: Tracking Fires by the Minute: http://www.centernetworks.com/california-fires-social-media
Agencies offering pages and info how to do it to their staff and volunteers http://www.servicelearning.org/instant_info/marketing_101/index.php