News Leadership 3.0

June 09, 2009

Social media essentials: Inclusion, aggregation, engagement

Paul Gillin sees big opportunities for traditional news organizations to play a critical role in the new media ecosystem

What are three critical ingredients of successful social media projects for traditional news organizations? I’ve asked faculty of Knight Digital Media’s “Using Social Media to Build Audience” class to offer their lists.

Here’s social media marketing expert Paul Gillin:

- Inclusion. News organizations must realize “You’re not the oracle any more. You are part of a community and a critical, central part of a community of information providers that include people form all walks of life,” Gillin says.  “A lot of people have news to publish these days. And your role, increasingly the vital role of news organizations is to assimilate the information they are contributing ...  Nad to realize to… so you need to include a lot of different voices in what you’re doing and reposition your role as being the one who makes sense of it all.”

- Aggregation.“We an’t afford to be too tied to our own original content any more as the be all and end all. There’s lot of good content out here and the value that we can provide to our audience is to point them to the best content. .. We’ve gone from an information desert to an information deluge and the role of media organizations, a very critical one, will be to aggregate lots of options, lots of observations, first hand accounts, analyses, the stories told by people who are players in the news and to form a holistic picture of what happened based upon this very rich and these multiple sources of information.

- Engagement. The key to engagement, Gillin says, is “playing to people’s particular interests. So the special interests that they have in what’s going on in their town, on their block, in their school system, in their local businesses, at the chamber of commerce, in the park system, in their local museums, that’s what gets people really excited, that which touches them at a very personal level.” And today, online groups and other digital tools offer the capacity to gather people of like interests like never before.

What’s on your list of critical ingredients for creating communities online? Please share your ideas in the comments.

Here’s a full podcast of Gillin’s remarks. I’ll have additional installments from JD Lasica and Amy Gahran coming up.

Gillin also will be presenting the third and final installment of the KDMC/NewsU Webinar series on social media and building audience next week. “New Revenue for News Organizations” will air Tuesday, June 16 at 2 p.m. Eastern. Gillin will discuss ways that publisherrs can diversify their revenue sources, including highly localized advertising, information services, demographic editions and alternative delivery mechanisms such as audio, video and mobile devices. You can register here.

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Exploring innovation, transformation and leadership in a new ecosystem of news, by journalist and change advocate Michele McLellan.

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