Twitter is a reporter’s dream, per Janine Gibson (@janinegibson), Editor in Chief of the Guardian US, speaking today at the Social Media Summit presented by the New York Times, Knight Foundation, and the BBC Academy’s College of Journalism.
“Twitter is always first with news now,” New York Times President,
Mark Thompson, told the Summit, “TV news is a poor second.” Rather than
tweeters sharing CNN reports that the suspect had been captured on
Thursday night, it was just the opposite.
Rather than MSNBC TV relying on only their own reporters in Watertown
on Thursday night, their anchor called on citizen journalist, Andrew
MSNBC located Kitzenberg via Twitter and hooked up with him via Skype to
provide first hand reports, with video, of a gun fight and explosions
out his window.
Kate Meyer, product manager, social media atNPR, (@NPRKate) shared on Twitter,
during the Summit, that “Journalists are biased towards @twitter
because we can see almost everything out there on Twitter. Facebook is a
Sure, as offline, there is information shared on Twitter which turns
out to be false. When sourcing via Twitter, reporters have to make the
same judgment about sources they always have, per Thompson.
Twitter represents a wonderful opportunity for lawyers who are
committed to sharing, on Twitter, news and information regarding their
niche area of law or locale. I don’t mean sharing your blog posts, I
mean monitoring news and the law, and being a source of regular updates.
In addition to sharing information, “connect’ with relevant
reporters, editors, and publishers. Follow them on Twitter, sharing
items they are tweeting. Connect with them on LinkedIn. Get to know the
information and stories which pique their interest. Get to know them as
people, just as you build and nurture relationships with others on
Sure, it may be niche reporters or publishers for you, not reporters
with the national press or even major local newspapers or TV stations.
Reporters and editors with BNA, ALM, Reuters Legal, and Bloomberg Law
may be a good fit. So may local business journals. Maybe it’s a
reporter with a trade publication which covers the industry in which
your clients are doing business. Take time digging, it’ll be worth it.
You’ll not be able to rely on others in making connections via
Twitter. Traditional PR connecting lawyers as authorities with reporters
is quickly dying. Authentic and real engagement that builds trust will
require your personal participation listening to and sharing on Twitter,
not using a ghost.
Everyone is just beginning to learn how to make Twitter work for
them. This goes for reporters as well as you, a lawyer. You’ve got an
opportunity to learn alongside reporters who have similar interests. You
can get to know them and then can begin to trust you as a reliable
Twitter can be a Win/Win for you and reporters. Lawyers quoted in the
mainstream media as authorities in their field enhance their word of
mouth reputation. Reporters are looking for experts they can trust —
often on a very short deadline.
Twitter is a reporter’s dream. Take advantage of it — in a real and genuine way.