Tech & The District » Journalists Tech the way we see it: insights and musings on technology PR, policy and the District, from H&K’s D.C. Tech Team. Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 en hourly 1 PoliTwitch! Fri, 07 May 2010 20:36:39 +0000 Lauren Wilson

Last Night I attended PoliTwitch!: Public Relations and Politics in the Age of Social Media hosted by Mopwater PR + Media Notes.

On the panel:

•Peter Cherukuri, Huffington Post-DC Bureau Manager
Mark Preston, CNN-Political Editor
Patrick Gavin, Politico-Staff Writer
•Rachna Choudhry, National Partnership for Women & Families-Policy Manager
Jackie Kucinich, Roll Call-Staff Writer

Theme: How social media and new media technologies have influenced news making.

I’ve been to a thousand and one of these panel discussions with top notch journalists usually saying about the same thing. The discussion typically focuses on how Facebook and Twitter are changing/revolutionizing how we receive news. For the first time, I witnessed a group of panelists crush this notion. While social media has impacted the discourse in politics and has advanced issues such as the Tea Party Movement and Haitian relief efforts, last night’s panelists believed that social media was still at its infant stages and by no means the way these journalists receive leads on news stories.

Patrick Gavin, Politico’s staff writer remarked that journalists are still not sure how big of a deal social media is and that most reporters don’t pay attention to comments on a blog. Interesting, I disagree. I think most journalists KNOW that social media is a big deal, considering many are asked to blog in addition to writing print stories and many journalists have twitter pages. I think what Patrick meant was that many journalists aren’t sure how to use social media as a platform in creating their own news stories.

On Twitter— These panelists were right on when they said that “you’re getting the message out to a room full of your friends.” You choose who you follow which lends itself to a bubble of followers. Jackie Kucinich from Roll Call gave an example that Republicans are tweeting to Republicans and they aren’t getting their message out to other groups who they want to influence, i.e Independents or Democrats. When used correctly, Twitter can be successful in building yourself as a brand. However, it is much easier to be a candidate than an elected official using Twitter. There is no filter when it comes to twitter and tweets aren’t fact checked. Some politicians have accidentally disclosed sensitive/private information on Twitter without their press secretaries in sight which has gotten them into trouble on a National level.

All and all, did I learn something new? –Yes! I learned that there are 123 Republican Congressman on Twitter and only 61 Democrats. But really, most importantly I learned that not all journalists think the same way about social media. Some think social media is at its “infant stages”, some think social media is becoming traditional media, and others are over social media all together.

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Open House Not Just White Noise Fri, 13 Feb 2009 14:58:24 +0000 Saskia Stegeman Earlier this week, I had my first browse through the White House Web site and thought it was a good signal of how the new Obama administration is likely to change the way the White House communicates to the American public.


The active integration of new media tools is not surprising given how the Obama campaign harnessed communications technology and social media  from the start , although adapting to White House infrastructure has posed some challenges – as Obama spokesman Bill Burton told the Washington Post, it was “….kind of like going from an Xbox to an Atari.”


In addition to regular background information, press releases, statements and agenda items the site features a blog which is frequently updated and links to Obama’s weekly video address.  Most interestingly perhaps, the Web site lists the White House agenda on key policy issues such as economics, healthcare and technology. This promotes transparency and holds the administration accountable to what they set out to do and in some cases contains some very tangible metrics, particularly in the area of energy and the environment.


A key objective on President Obama’s technology agenda is to “… ensure the full and free exchange of information through an open Internet and use technology to create a more transparent and connected democracy”  and the administration seems to be taking active steps in that direction.


But a comment made by a friend who is a foreign correspondent here during a recent dinner party also got me thinking about a potential flip-side to this development. He said that he had found the Obama campaign and, to date, the Obama administration, less accommodating towards the press than the Bush administration or other campaigns, and attributed it to the fact that they weren’t as reliant on journalists to reach key target audiences. 


The growth of online communication tools is having a dramatic impact on the media landscape as all of us working in the field can see. This can lead to new and exciting opportunities for those of us working in PR, as Bill McIntyre of Grassroots Enterprise noted in a recent article that was published in PR Week.  However, in a democratic society, the press plays an important role in maintaining balance between state, business and societal interest – in part by asking tough questions and filtering information. Care must be taken to safeguard that role.


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Week in Events: January 5-11, 2009 Tue, 06 Jan 2009 15:34:00 +0000 Sharla Lane

Welcome to 2009!  We hope everyone enjoyed a great holiday season.


For those of you looking to bring new life to your career in these slow economic conditions, a few organizations around DC are prepping workers for job hunting by hosting a few different networking happy hours. After you’ve expanded your circle of contacts, why not go sing the blues away and cheer on your favorite reporters as they battle it out to be named the Best DC Media Band? Happy New Year from H&K.


·         January 6- Women in Technology “Ready to Work and Wondering Where To Go.” Networking hour

·         January 7- The Digital Road to Recovery: A Stimulus Plan to Create Jobs, Boost Productivity and Revitalize America

·         January 7- American Marketing Association Networking Happy Hour

·         January 8- IABC’s Overcoming the 7 Barriers to Social Media and Word-of-Mouth Marketing Success 

·         January 8- The Advertising Association of Baltimore and The American Marketing Association’s - After Holiday Party

·         January 9- Journopalooza – First Annual Charity Battle of DC Media Bands




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D.C. 2.0? Wed, 17 Dec 2008 22:09:00 +0000 duncanburns Web 2.0. A much used term, but one which many communicators
are still trying to grapple with – knowing they need to embrace it, but not
sure how. Knowing that this is the future, but not sure how to persuade internal
colleagues and executives that the potential risk is worth the potential reward
just yet. I thought this WSJ article was a pretty good primer for marketers.

Increasingly those of us in PR are seeing “traditional”
journalists producing more and more for their organizations’ web outlets, not
just the “hard copy”. They’re establishing brands online and are finding their
feet with it. What’s their beat, how do they cover their beat while also
ensuring they’re producing enough online content – where hits are tracked by
their editors, where salary is often affected by the number of people reading
their story. When media companies like the Tribune are going into bankruptcy,
one can’t really see the trend towards measurement abating. Can you?

We’ve seen a lot of this in Tech PR, just look at some of
the sites we’ve linked to on the left of this page. But I wonder what impact
the arrival of a new, famously web-enabled, Administration will have on how DC
journalists ply their trade – online and offline? Beyond blogging, I wonder how
they will engage in the two way dialogue that is the hallmark of web 2.0. And
what then happens those first few times when it’s the not “right” sort of
response? How will the government respond when there’s less protection in the
polls and as tough choices start to have an impact? Much more to come on this
topic, but I think it’s going to be a fascinating story to watch in 2009.

What do you think will happen with D.C 2.0? Or is that just all too much hype?

p.s. Congratulations to our Pro Bowls Skins! And Happy
Holidays all!

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