By Rachel Newman
A few weeks ago, I was speaking with a reporter; having emailed her a pitch for a news story, I was following up over the telephone. I was sharply informed by the busy journalist that emails and phone calls were rarely checked, and that all communication should take place through Twitter.
Did I doze off at my desk and wake up in a “Bruce Willis’ Surrogates-esque” world? I’m only 22. I was enjoying tweeting and poking on Facebook before every D-list celebrity got the memo. My objective here is not to say that I know more than anyone else (because I don’t), but rather to note an interesting transformation taking place in the marketing and communications field.
My issue: I am young (by the markers of the business world), and yet I have to wonder have we tripped and rolled down a slippery slope. I’d hate to work in time when the communications field is shuns actual communication between colleagues.
I wonder in a year’s time, will all communication that exceeds 140 characters be ancient, a dinosaur in the age of social media? And should we as consumers, as marketing and public relations professionals be pleased with the changing tides?
Like most change, I see it as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, sending a pitch that is only 20 words speeds up the process by which reporters can cull through the tens of proposals they see each day. This increased rapidity can speed up how fast important news stories reach an audience, but we most definitely sacrifice something for the haste.
Relationships are important in almost any professional atmosphere, but they are sacrosanct in the public relations and marketing world. It is because of relationships that reporters know a press release has been done honestly and is worth the time it will take to follow up and do research. Knowing that you have a source at a news station, or, for a reporter, knowing you have the stability of a trusted source for your beat, is crucial to shared success, and it is nearly impossible to foster that kind of faithful rapport online and in less than 140 characters.
My fledgling mind points me in one direction, a joint effort. A tweet can be a fast way to tip off a reporter, but phone calls and emails should always be not just accepted but expected.
Do you think the niceties and desire (or pushiness) to see a news story reach the public are what keeps our communications world alive? What do you think about the changes in how we interact with each other?
For more information about sharing your voice, take a look at the BBB’s Guest Blog.