About 25 people came out to hear panelists discuss social media at the second in a series of Jump Start Workshops put on by the Society for Professional Journalists and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences held on Sept. 22 at the Jobing.com building in Phoenix.
Adam Kress. Phoenix Business Journal multimedia journalist; Abbie S. Fink, Phoenix Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America president and HMA Public Relations vice president and general manager; and Keith Yaskin, FOX 10 investigative reporter discussed different aspects of how they use social media in their day-to-day lives.
Yaskin says he’s mocked more than applauded at his desk for his use of Twitter. He got into it because he’s a gadget guy. Instead of waiting until 5 o’clock to give viewers an excerpt of what he’s doing, he does teases on Twitter. He found that some people find it more interesting to see the behind the scenes process he goes through to get a story. He also likes to talk to people so eventually they pitch him stories.
A member of the workshop audience, Eric Neitzel, a national all-risk public information officer, said he used Twitter during the coordination of the Schultz Fire and also posted photos during the fire.
Another member of the audience, Alison Bailin, HMA Public Relations account executive, said that Tim Vetscher, an ABC 15 multimedia journalist, covered the Schultz Fire and while he stayed in Flagstaff, he tweeted for restaurant recommendations. She said he eventually also did stories on the restaurant responses he obtained.
The Phoenix Business Journal is totally straight, says Kress, but he strays from opinionated things and enjoys tweeting about the Cubs and football. He tries to “casualize” it. He retweets information if he thinks his followers will be interested because he wants them to have the most information possible.
Fink believes people create their own personal guidelines for what gets posted. She admits she types 50 tweets that she ends up deleting. “I don’t talk politics,” she says. “Anyone that knows me, knows my opinion.”
If Twitter and Facebook become true profit centers or if people need to subscribe, Fink thinks everyone will go away. She believes that Twitter contains better search capabilities than Facebook. She doesn’t worry about the number of follows or followers because she thinks it’s more important to engage.
More people follow Kress than he follows, but he thinks if he follows too many, he dilutes the experience. He says, “When you start following people and watch who they follow, you continue to grow those branches outward.”
On the other hand, Yaskin says he’s like a child, so he likes big numbers.
“It should be fun to do this,” says Fink. “This isn’t going away.”