Here is the one-page handout I gave newsroom leaders Saturday at a workshop on Twitter for newsroom leaders at the Mid-America Press Institute. I referred participants to my slides for the workshop as well as to my earlier blog posts on leading your staff into the Twitterverse, Twitter time management, Twitter tips for journalists and Twitter’s value in breaking news.
I don’t know how long Twitter will remain important and useful for journalists in the swiftly changing digital world. But right now a journalist who doesn’t use Twitter is running a huge risk of missing something important.
Leading your staff into the Twitterverse
- Follow staff members and encourage them to follow you.
- Arrange a staff workshop on Twitter (led by an active tweep).
- Encourage tweeting links to fresh content and note how it boosts traffic.
- Connect with some other newsroom leaders and share tips.
- Using Twitter shows the staff that you are learning, changing and growing, too.
- Lead discussions (and workshops) of ethical challenges and decisions involving Twitter (you can use my online handout).
Twitter basics for journalists getting started
- Use your real name, either in username or in your profile. Identify yourself by position and organization in your bio. Use a photo, too.
- Include your blog link in your profile, too, if you blog. If not, include a link to a company web site or to a site that tells more about you.
- Don’t protect your updates. Twitter works best when you are open and transparent.
- Post some updates before you start following people. You want to give them some reason to follow you back.
Using Twitter in news coverage
- Reporters should follow feeds of any officials on their beats using Twitter.
- Reporters should search hashtags and keywords when news breaks and connect quickly with eyewitnesses and people who shot photos or videos.
- Photo editors should search for photos of news events posted on Twitpic.
- Encourage staff to crowdsource stories and story ideas using Twitter.
- Use Twitter and CoverItLive together to provide live coverage of events.
Engaging the community
- Check Twellow, NearbyTweets, Trendsmap or TwitterLocal for people to follow in your community.
- As you follow people in your community check their followers to find more to follow.
- When someone follows you, check the profile and the recent tweets to see if this is someone you want to follow.
- Check out the people your followers retweet.
- Follow the community conversation on Twitter and be alert for tips and ideas.