Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Newspapers and Social Media

I attended a Grady lecture today that has some interesting information relating to Public Relations. Jim Alred from the Rome News-Tribune discussed how this small town newspaper is moving to the web. Alred is the new media director, and he is working on putting video on the newspaper's website to attract readers.

Every video he posts has to do with what is going on in the community. Most videos accompany a news article, each having a teaser to the other. However, some videos are not big enough to have a story to go along with it. For example, he filmed an elementary schools carnival where students dressed up as circus animals and performed. This story was not big enough to be in the paper but the video allowed parents and relatives to catch a glimpse of their child on the web, drawing them to the newspaper. The biggest video is the weekly high school football show that Alred creates.

Alred's work is paying off. Rome News-Tribune is growing (unlike most newspapers in the state and country), and its website is getting more and more hits. This move is important for Public Relations professionals to note. Newspapers want a community angle that will relate to its readers, and it does not just want information but video, audio, and pictures. In order for our stories to be published, we need to give journalist a variety of options to work with. Maybe something is not newspaper story worthy, but it might be video on the website worthy. The video will probably be seen by the same amount of people if not more.

Every aspect of business is using new technology. We, as communicators, need to realize this and use it to our advantage.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Good comments and analysis. I can honestly say that there are times if we received usable video or multimedia from pr people on upcoming events, we would probably post them along with previews.

I think it's a great way to get more word out about events and something few people are doing right now.