A brand of journalist

Below are a few links I pulled together for a pizza lunch (and I wonder why so many accepted the calendar invite) at the News Sentinel today on “Brand Me” for journalists.

Personal branding and the use of Social Media networks can be a controversial topic for journalists, after all more than one has been fired (euphemistically forced to resign) over something they said on Twitter or Facebook or in a blog.

Also, many journalists are uncomfortable about promoting themselves or their work even in the information overload world we live. The early adopters in our newsroom have had few concerns or issues about getting involved in Social Media buzz, but as more journalists are being encouraged to get involved, concerns or frets have surfaced that often don’t have easy answers.

it is clear many journalists, however, are using Social Media, the Internet, and all the digital media at their disposal to draw readers/viewers/audience to themselves, to enhance their credibility and reporting authority, and to find stories, even scoops.

News via social networks and having an identity on social networks is becoming a “must have” within news organizations. Just this week, Facebook published “Facebook + Media” to promote best practices for journalists, developers and media partners.

Where do you weigh in on “Brand Me” for journalists? Are there additional links I should have included below?

YouTube video – 7 Steps To Building Your Online Identity

Using social media for better journalism: @Sreenet at #ONADC � digiphile

Headlines and Deadlines: Some conflicting thoughts on Facebook

Facebook | Facebook + Media

SmartBlog On Social Media � Social media tips for journalists

Sree Sreenivasan – @sreenet, @SREENET’S SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDE – a work in progress

12 Tips for Journalists: My Semester on the Personal Branding Beat at Brand Me a Journalist

View your profile

It is NOT personal branding – it’s Just living your life online. � DigiDave

Building your career brand as a journalist | JobsPage

Teaching Online Journalism � Journalists must build a personal brand: 10 tips

As journalists, are we our own brands?  | Medill | Washington

Colonel Tribune: Chicago’s Unlikely Social Media Pioneer

Boned! – Age columnist sacked over Twitter comments – Digital Media

Octavia Nasr Resigns from CNN Following Controversial Tweet

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Just how did Benton’s Bacon become a craze?

Benton's Bacon

Benton’s Bacon has gone totally viral in the last couple of years.

Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams, the Madisonville, Tenn., maker of hams and bacon has become something of a food legend in the Internet age. At a recent checkup, my doctor recommended trying Benton’s Bacon (he was not extolling its healthful benefits, but, hey, compared to most cereal …) and then the bag boy at Butler and Bailey commented on how much he liked as he was bagging it at the checkout counter.

How did the albeit excellent products of the company, started by a dairy farmer in 1947 in rural East Tennessee, because a connoisseur item for serious foodies (and others) in places like New York City? Dunno. Good products and a lot of media sizzle is my best guess.

In the Knoxville News Sentinel’s electronic archives (which date back to September 1990), the earliest mention I could find of the company and its now legendary hams and bacon is a 1995 feature by reporter Morgan Simmons.

Today, it’s often mentioned when serious foodies turn to talking country hams and bacon.

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It was news, but was it working?

Long-time Knoxville radio news broadcaster Dave Foulk has built up 4,229 friends on his Facebook page. Maybe Foulk personally knows over 4,000 people and counts them as friends; I kind of doubt it. They were there for another reason.

They had grown accustomed to his frequent, short police-scanner type posts throughout the day.

Stalled car- Chapman Highway- southbound at Stone Road

Wreck: Maynardville Highway at Brown Gap Road   
Delta airliner blew a tire taking off from Atlanta for Portland blew a tire. Circled Alabama, then landed safely back at ATL

Traffic signals not working at Emory at I-75

All that ended Thursday when Foulk posted a Facebook post that said:

Dave Foulk saidThat generated 57 comments (at least by early this morning); most of them were sad, many of them thanked him for the service he had provided, several were mad at the radio station he works for.

I’m not privy to all (or any of) the factors the radio station’s management or Foulk considered, but discussions about the role of Social Media within news organizations and how it fits into newsgathering is a hot topic. How Social Meida fits into the organization’s image and how it figures into the company’s bottom line efforts are questions being discussed by news executives and publishers and general managers and station managers nearly everywhere.

If I had the answers, I’d be a Social Media consultant, or failing at that, a mere media mogul. Lacking answers, I do have some observations.

  • While Foulk’s posts to Facebook weren’t generating ad revenue for the station or even page views for its website, he had built an enviable following (over 4,200 friends) that 1) realized he is a radio news guy posting news to Facebook, 2) that accepted him as a “trusted source” and 3) valued his posts as a timely service.
  • From my outsider observer’s view, his posts weren’t detracting from his ability to do news on the radio.
  • If you read the comments, he was providing a news service where the audience wanted to read it.

This last point cannot be overlooked as much as news organizations would like people to go our website or channel or newspaper. The audience now wants news to come to them. Or as a college student told a market researcher: “If the news is that important, it will find me.”

Brian Ellis' commentUbiquity of the media organization’s brand is a smarter strategy than a “play in my sandbox” approach. If you don’t have audience as a media company, you have nothing in any media supported by advertising. But where’s the money? Hopefully, that ubiquity will draw users to your station or channel or newspaper or website where you do have advertising environments.

Where does the individual’s brand begin and the employer’s brand begin? Unfortunately there’s no bright yellow line because the person is the human face of the faceless company. How that is managed is an evolving exploration for both the people and the companies they work for with various strategies and policies being tried, modiied, abandoned and implemented.

I think Foulk, accidentially or intuitively, had hit upon an extremely powerful way to build the credibility of himself and by extension his station as a source of real time news with his Facebok page. As a competitor, I wish his company well with their new approach. If you liked his Facebook page, you might like this one.

Katie's comment

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Oh, no, not again Delta

Image of Kevin Slimp from Twitter

Image of Kevin Slimp

Knoxville-based newspaper consultant Kevin Slimp’s luck with Delta Air Lines continues to be a muddled mess of delays and cancellations.

A column Slimp wrote on a June trip to and from hell and the resulting customer service torture appeared on KnoxvilleBiz.com on Sunday (we also wrote about it earlier).

And so just yesterday on a flight from Knoxville to Bismarck, N.D. his Delta flight began to go horribly wrong in Memphis.

He posted a Facebook update yesterday:

OK. I’m flying on … you guessed it .. Delta today. Decided not to go through Atlanta. You just can’t get from Knoxville to Atlanta. So I took the Memphis route. Mistake. Big Mistake. I hope to see you good folks in Bismarck tomorrow. This might require another rental car before it’s over. Stay tuned …

Later in the evening, he said:

Latest Latest Update: My latest flight has been delayed from Memphis to Minneapolis. Yes, it’s been 6 lovely hours here. Unless my flight from Minneapolis to Bismarck leaves late, chances are I will be … yes, driving 8 hours in a rental car (from Midnight till 8) to be at my gig at 8 a.m. in Bismarck. Anybody got a s…pare tire? If anyone from Delta is reading this, go ahead and start writing the check.

Below is a post after he finally made it to Bismarck, six hours late.

Delta Again

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