Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Media Wildfire

By Tanya Ledesma
UTSA PRSSA

My first experience at a PRSA luncheon was fun, educational, and I won a raffle (not too shabby, huh?). I had the pleasure of meeting an awesome group of individuals from fields including: news, organizations, and businesses. And like me, these individuals wanted to know more about how to catch the interest of the public.
Nathan Cone, director of marketing and digital content at Texas Public Radio, spoke about how we can create content on our blogs, websites, social media, etc. worth sharing. He explained that at the radio station, there are three channels they use to create engaging content for the public: on-air, online, and through public programming. Along with these programming types there are several types of stories that can engage an audience:
1.       Place explainers
2.       Crowd pleasers
3.       Curiosity stimulators
4.       News explainers
5.       Major breaking news
6.       Topical buzzers
7.       Feel good smilers
8.       Provocative controversies
9.       Awe-inspiring visuals
Cone continued with the three ways they at TPR tell a story: on-air promotions, through social media, and with outside marketing. As the luncheon went on, and my food slowly began disappearing from my plate, I found myself thinking about how everything I do on a daily basis in social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) is exactly how PR is adapting to expand its horizons. After a few more examples on storytelling, it was dessert time! For the final course, Cone served up seven steps on how to dominate Twitter.
1.       Identify your focus
2.       Compile your twitter source and influencer list
3.       Tweet with pace and consistency
4.       Live tweet events
5.       Use hashtags(when the time is right)
6.       Have conversations
7.       Share your work with important people.
As the luncheon began to wind down, Cone said something that got me thinking. “You are a curator for information. You need to be actively engaged so that the readers know you are reliable for the subject matter you do, and make it so that people can read it, but not too simple where you use abbreviations or emoticons.” This rang true to my own experiences. With blogs, tweets, and Facebook updates I’ve read, the content has been readable, yet not anything like how my friends tweet or post. They are simple and don’t feel like a PSA or commercial. All in all I was very grateful in having the opportunity in going to the PRSA luncheon and encourage current and prospective public relations practitioners to attend one and learn from those whom have experiences we hope to one day have.

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