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Tomorrow Can’t Wait

February 13, 2009

If you watched the news coverage regarding the Buffalo plane crash late enough into the evening, you may have experienced first hand how the methods news organizations use to gather news are evolving – FAST!

Some of the first video we had of the crash came to us through YouTube.com.  Then, scrambling for an eye witness, FOX News Channel anchor Julie Banderas went onto Twitter.com and found Keith Burtis – and called him up.  Burtis, a social media guru for BestBuy.com, agreed to the interview and was was thrust center-stage into the middle of the tragic story, sharing what he saw, felt, and knew about this small community.  Before the end of the phone interview, the national news organization asked him to see if he could Skype them so they could interview him via live computer video feed.

Amazing.

Back in the “good ol’ days” a national news organization relied on local news networks to deliver the video, photos, interviews, press conferences, and first person accounts of what had occurred in the early hours until they could get their own reporters and photographers/videographers there.  Bringing it down to a more micro-level, local news crews scrambled to try to find someone who has something relevant to say and is willing to be interviewed – often going door-to-door and making dozens of cold calls. 

The emerging new technology, or Social Media, is quickly changing all that, reducing the news gathering lag time by delivering solid resources and information in real time.  A few quick strokes on the key board, and you not only have a knowledgeable person willing to be interviewed, but video as well. 

People frequently say to me “I don’t get the value in Twitter, or Facebook, or <insert other social media site here>.”  I was among the greatest skeptics just 2 years ago and initially resisted jumping into the social media game.   Sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and others have now become an important part of my work day, and I’m convinced companies can not afford to operate without a presence on such sites any longer – at least if they want to stay relevant and be included in tomorrow’s conversation.

-Jeannette D.

PS – follow me on Twitter at jkduwe

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