Did you know the media is watching what you view online?
With the increase of social media, news organizations are paying close attention to your interests, comments, shares and retweets.
In the late 90s, when I worked as a TV news producer, the best way to gauge interest came by way of Nielson ratings or sheer luck. Nielsen is the system used to measure audience size and composition of TV programming in the United States.
At one news station where I worked, we used the intelligence gained from ratings to determine how we can better reach our local audience. Recently, when I was talking to a television executive, I discovered a lot has changed in determining how TV stations can reach you and me.
He told me how his station created a tool that told them how many people have clicked and shared a particular story at their website.
I immediately thought how helpful that tool can be for producers and reporters who want to advance a story or localize a national story. I also thought about you. Even though you can’t use the same tool that TV executive uses to monitor news interest, there’s still a way to place yourself as an authority or expert in news stories.
Keep Your Eye on the News
Pay attention to what’s going on around you. What are people “sharing” from your local news station? Can you pitch yourself as a local source for a national story in the news? This is known as newsjacking.
My recent trip to the station where I worked also taught me one more thing: the power of Twitter. I will be the first to admit my Twitter use is limited. It’s not because I don’t understand Twitter but mostly because of personal preferences.
However, after meeting with this executive, my thoughts about Twitter changed, especially when he told me they do a majority of their storytelling and news gathering there. He said local fire and rescue workers tweet news about local emergencies before they contact the TV station’s assignment desk.
How to Connect with TV Reporters
What does this mean for you?
First, follow what’s happening in your local and national media. I know you’ve heard this before. But I want to encourage you as a person monitoring your own PR to make “watching” the media, reading blogs or engaging with the media part of your daily routine.
Second, follow your local television personalities on Twitter. Go where the people you want to connect with are, even if it’s a social media network that you’ve long ignored.
Finally, be patient. It takes time to build relationships and understand how the media work. It’s worth the investment.
Let’s help each other build our Twitter networks. I’d love to connect with you at @roshandapratt. Ask me a question. I’ll be happy to help.