Today, sensational and fake news stories spread like wildfire thanks to the Internet. Facebook has moved from its original intent to connect people to a viral mechanism to misinform them. You can thank poor media literacy for that.
Jodi Gersh has helped guide the USA Today and Gannett’s other media properties from ground zero to today’s social savvy media house. See what she has to say about social media and journalism.
In the old days of “influencer relations” (you know way back when in 2009), PR professionals targeted the magic middle and top tier bloggers, which triggered larger blog coverage, and then more often than not traditional news media.
Since then digital media companies straddled the space occupied by both traditional journals and the top tier of bloggers. They use algorithms to detect hot news stories before they trend in the blogosphere, then break the news before traditional players and bloggers alike.
Specifically, Mashable, the Huffington Post, Forbes, Google and the others use algorithms listen to chatter on the social web. When hot trends bubble up they source the content provider, assign a reporter, or in the worst cases use narrative science — computer-based news writing — to break the story first.
This effectively takes power away from PR executives to affect the news cycle through traditional influencer outreach, and in turn, empowers the crowd to determine stories.
Some news outlets use the crowd to validate top stories, too. Validation is embodied by shares on social networks and comments.
For example, USA Today features stories on its web properties based on the posts that get shared the most. The old assignment editor loses weight in these scenarios.
Read More »Beating the Algorithm
Last Thursday night, USA Today celebrated its 30th birthday in grand fashion at the National Portrait Gallery. Media and Washington luminaries gathered to witness the introduction of the new multimedia USA Today, and discuss the future of media 30 years from now.
Olympians, politicians and even a budding rock star took the stage and weighed in from each of their profession’s perspective. Many focused on how technology was blurring the lines between in home and mobile, between small and large screen, and print and multimedia.
That was the big take-away for me, how convergence will force more fluid communication between people through media, even in politics. As this great discussion continued, I could not help but think about our side of the business, the dark side. Marketing.
Read More »The Advertising vs. PR Debate Won’t Exist in 30 Years
Ironically, USA Today never asks that question in its #America Wants Twitterathon to give away a free full page ad valued at approximately $190,000. Perhaps worse, USA Today never asked itself how the newspaper can use a full age ad… Read More »What Could Your Cause Do with a Full Page USA Today Ad?