RAQ: How Can I Find Journalists in Twitter?

From the mailbag:

I met you a few months ago when you came to speak at my PRSSA meeting, and now I graduated and am working in PR and realize how important everything you talked about really is. I have been enjoying SMUG, and have since passed on the links to my co-workers, and we are loving it…what a great resource. I was looking through the Twitter curriculum, and I am having a hard time finding a specific answer, so I thought I would ask. I am trying to find journalists from North Dakota who have Twitter handles, but am having a tough time. Do you have any suggestions, or is it a pretty lengthy process?


Google is always a good place to start: when I searched for Journalists in Twitter, I found this MediaOnTwitter wiki and another wiki with sections for journalists using Twitter and media outlets using Twitter.

Those don’t get you too far in finding North Dakota journalists (and I always think it’s funny when people build wikis that are alphabetized by first name.)

So another good step is to use Twitter.Grader.com to find the “Twitter Elite” in a particular geographic area. You can search for North Dakota or any of its cities, such as Fargo, Grand Forks or Minot. These won’t necessarily get you journalists, but you might find some. 

Another suggestion would be to look on news media Web sites within the state, to see whether any of them have Twitter listings.

Based on my quick survey, it doesn’t seem there are a ton of North Dakota journalists on Twitter, but I did at least find the Fargo Forum’s account.

It’s probably going to be a long process to find twittering journalists, with you adding them to the list of those you follow as you gradually discover them (and as more join the service.) As you do build your list, though, you may want to add them to one of the wikis listed above, so you can work together with a community to build a worthwhile resource. The MediaOnTwitter wiki seems to be the best organized one, at least from my initial review.

OK, fellow SMUGgles: What other advice would you offer for finding journalists on Twitter?

My Ragan/SAS Presentation

Here’s the presentation I’m scheduled to give this afternoon at the Ragan Communications conference, Corporate Communications in a Web 2.0 World.

Updated: Shel Holtz is liveblogging the conference on his blog.

Here’s the information about how you can enroll in SMUG. I would appreciate any comments or questions from those participating in the session. Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below. You also can leave a recommendation on LinkedIn, or “friend” me on Facebook (be sure to mention that you attended the Ragan conference.)

Here are links to our:

Mayo Clinic News Blog

Mayo Clinic YouTube Channel

Mayo Clinic Podcast Blog

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“Days of Rage” for Weathermen, Other TV Newsers

When I first heard about Paul Douglas losing his job at WCCO-TV as part of the nationwide layoffs at the CBS owned-and-operated TV stations, my first thought was that this is the worst day for Weathermen since 1969.

Paul will be just fine; he’s a natural entrepreneur who has already started and sold one successful business. But the layoffs aren’t just among weathercasters like Paul. A $2 million-a-year anchor in Chicago, and 17 of her WBBM colleagues.  WBZ in Boston laid off 30, and the layoffs are affecting all 29 CBS O&O stations.

As part of this trend, news organizations will be increasingly inviting readers and viewers to become writers and producers.

And at KCNC-TV CBS4 in Denver, where last week the CBS O&O laid off at least nine employees, including NPPA member and Video Editor of the Year Shawn Montano, the station is this week heavily promoting their new feature called “YouReport.”

Going beyond the “VJ” or “one-man-band” new wave of video journalism, “YouReport” urges viewers to use their home video cameras and cell phone cameras to shoot spot news when they see it and then deliver their citizen photojournalism to the station, as as quickly as possible, by uploading it to the KCNC-TV Web site. They’ve even written and published a “YouReport Users Guide” to help citizen journalists.

I’ve written repeatedly (here, here, here and here, for example) about the dislocations in the mainstream media. If TV rock stars like Paul Douglas can’t bank their futures solely on mainstream media, it just illustrates that people in PR need to diversify, too. In our increasingly fragmented world of communications, we can’t count on mainstream media being sufficient for “getting our message out.” And even more than that, we need to understand that it’s not a one-way world. It’s not just about getting our messages heard; it’s about hearing and responding to what those formerly known as the audience have to say.

SMUG Extension Class in Green Bay

I’m on Packerland Drive in Green Bay at the corporate headquarters of Schneider National, a transportation firm with lots of orange trucks, for the monthly meeting of the NE Wisconsin chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Here are the slides I used for my presentation, which was entitled Not Your Father’s Media (Yet).

Here are five immediate steps the PRSA members can take to dive into social media:

  1. Comment on the presentation in the post below, and ask any questions we didn’t get to cover.
  2. Join Facebook and “friend” me.
  3. Sign up for Twitter and “follow” me.
  4. Sign up for Google Reader, take the tour, and subscribe to some RSS feeds (including SMUG’s). If you want it by old-fashioned e-mail, get that here.
  5. Enroll in SMUG by joining the Facebook group.

This should all maybe take another 30 minutes or so to get started, but it hopefully will launch you on a lifetime of social media exploration.