Yesterday I attended a Basic Media Training course sponsored by our local Task Force. The course was very good, and I continue to have the same problems as always in front of the camera. It’s a process, they say.
What I wanted to pass along, though, was something mentioned in the handouts from the day. Developed by the Coastal Vitality Project, this PR Toolbox page is intended to give you and your agency some tools to up your PR game. The Media Relations Resources PDF is the handout that we got, and it included some really interesting tools that I didn’t know existed, mostly about Twitter.
More and more, members of the media are establishing presences on social media networks to allow members of the public to get direct access to their favorite reporters. From the public’s perspective, they now get to actually talk to the pretty guys and gals they see on TV every night and actually participate in the newscasts; from the media’s perspective, they can now get tips from thousands upon thousands of people. Win-win, as they say. For our agencies, though, this is great news because we now also can get that direct access to reporters. The problem is that it’s time-consuming to make all of those contacts.
(I’ve got two media lists on my Twitter account, national media and local media, that took forever to put together and are now horribly out of date. I’ll keep you posted as they get updated.)
So, how to manage all of that information? Use a (free) service like those mentioned on the Media Relations Resources PDF. The page explicitly mentions the MediaOnTwitter.com website, but that appears to no longer be in service. In the section, the Project also mentions two other services that are similar: JournalistTweets.com and MuckRack.com. I’ll make no recommendations on how good these sites are, but they exist, so someone finds ’em useful.
And while we’re on the topic, let me be sure to pass along the link to the always useful GovTwit.com, which allows government officials, agencies and workerbees to post and categorize their Twitter accounts for ease of finding.