On Thursday, June 18, News Generation hosted “The New Rules of Engagement: Tips, Tools and Techniques for Building Radio Relationships in the Era of New Media” panel at Maggianos in Chevy Chase. The premise of the discussion was to find out how reporters are really using new media to communicated with their listeners, to grow their audience, and to handle pitches and break news. For about a year, I have attended many social media panels, and have heard that “reporters love Twitter and are using it more than anyone else out there.” I wanted to put that theory to the test, and the answer was “yes” and “no.”Leading our discussion, the panelists included:
- Mitchell Miller, Assistant News Director/Assistant Program Director, WTOP Radio, on Twitter at twitter.com/wtop
- Jen Richer, Web/News Coordinator, NewsTalk 630 WMAL, on Twitter at twitter.com/JenRicher
- Chilli Amar, Co-Host and Traffic Reporter, The Carson Show from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., MIX 107.3, on Twitter at twitter.com/ChilliAmar
- Leslie Bradshaw, Communications Manager, New Media Strategies, market leader in social media marketing and measurement, on Twitter at twitter.com/lesliebradshaw and her blog http://www.lesliebradshaw.com/
After a brief introduction of the panelists, each described how long they have been using new media. And, the discussion continued through the great chemistry of the panelists. Each gave great examples on how they started in new media, and how it was shifting the way they deliver news and entertainment programming. Mitch Miller explained that WTOP is now a “digital media platform” instead of a traditional radio station. We learned that radio has made a seemless introduction into the world of new media, and efforts will only continue to grow.
Chilli Amar gave a great visual example equating new media to real life example. She said when you are in grade school and Johnny tells you that if you eat watermelon seeds, you will get pregnant. “Johnny” in this example is all of the social media network users out there. And, after Johnny tells that tale, you run home from school and say “Mom and Dad, it is true that if you eat watermelon seeds that you will get pregnant?” Mom and Dad debunk the myth, and they are the WTOP and WMALs of the world. They are the ones that fact check and confirm details before making any information public, and ensure that the truth will get out through their platforms.
After hearing the stories of intergration of new media with traditional, I think reporters are the second biggest fans of social media. Second after PR professionals.
We encourage everyone who attended the panel, and those who did not, to post questions for our panelists to keep the discussion going at: http://tuninginradio.blogspot.com/ or post a question on Twitter at www.twitter.com/newsgeneration.