Twitter Now a Crisis Tool of Choice

Twitter has become the tool of choice in a crisis. Reporters and law enforcement use it to broadcast updates. Organizations use it to show how they are dealing with a crisis. Sources use it show bad behavior.

Hashtags, which make tweets easier to find, are a major reason for Twitter's emergence as a critical crisis communications channel. Now Twitter's ability to convey images and video adds to its utility and power.

A less obvious advantage is that Twitter is a perfect companion for people with a smartphone that can capture and publish information in real-time. That advantage becomes a necessity in environments, such as the riots in Ferguson, Missouri following the police shooting of an unarmed black youth, when cameras are banned.

Stock Online Newsrooms with Visual Assets

A new survey shows corporate online newsrooms are underperforming, in part for lack of trying to meet evolving news media needs. 

Traditional newsrooms are running with smaller staffs as newspapers and magazines try to convert or at least adapt to digital platforms. As a result, there is heightened interest by news reporters and editors in images, video and links they can use as part of stories. TV stations share in this interest as they seek to build strong web presences.

However, managers of corporate online newsrooms often fail to provide this kind of content, resulting in lost opportunities for more dominant coverage of their story pitches.

Sally Falkow, president of PRESSfeed, which conducted the survey, says 83 percent of journalists surveyed wanted images to accompany text. But only 38 percent of corporate online newsrooms included visual assets. The disconnect, Falkow told, reflects a sluggish response by PR professionals to a more visually oriented news environment.

Big Ideas in Small Packages

Placing your big idea in a small package is a great way to reach a wider audience.The best way to get your big idea into the mind of your target audience is to deliver it in a small package. The human brain only can absorb information in small doses, so packaging your content is critical to being seen, read and rewarded.

Social media blogger Jay Baer asked in a recent post whether it is more likely for someone to view a 90-second video or a 32-page e-book. In the 140-character world beget by Twitter, Baer said bet on the video to attract more viewers. The same can be said for presenting your big idea in a stuffy white paper instead of a neatly organized package of information that catches your viewers' attention and allows them to discover your idea in the level of detail they want.

It is really a numbers game. More people are likely to read a tidbit than a tome. The more eyeballs that read your content, the more likely you are to generate a response, be found in an online search or have your big idea shared with an even wider audience. However, it also is about quality. You may get noticed then dismissed unless you offer real value.

Complex subjects demand richer explanation. Luckily, digital media offers many options to accommodate that need.

I Know There's a Story in Here Somewhere...

(Reposted with permission from the Wave One Group.)

There’s a certain trajectory our projects typically follow: story discovery; project planning; pre-interviews; filming; story production; editing; client review; final delivery. Most of the time the path from planning to completion is pretty smooth. But there’s a moment during our process where we can predict, with pinpoint accuracy, when a client’s story begins its slow slide from memorable and meaningful to mediocre. It’s the moment when the client looks at a story for the first time.

“I love it! It’s perfect!” exclaims the client. “But I just have a few things I'd like to add."  

Let the slide begin.  

"Can you add a couple more interviews? What about adding more pictures? How about we throw in some more facts so people will really understand what we’re talking about?”

Whenever you cram your story with extra facts and figures and there’s no compelling reason to do so, you quickly turn your emotionally compelling piece into a long, boring video brochure.