I have always held that the relationship between communications professionals in the media and PR can be a symbiotic one. As much as PRs rely on media, journalists can rely on PRs to provide good angles, insights and access.
Social media, in particular twitter, is demonstrating more than ever the strength of that relationship with public relations practitioners and savvy media taking to the forum with gusto to exchange information and leads.
Now I should qualify, that what I call “warm human body” contact, as in face-to-face relationships will always remain paramount. But the speed with which news can be told and questions answered via social media, means developing connections online is more important than ever.
This means that the reach of any newspaper, radio program or news bulletin, goes well beyond those engaging directly in real time.
And the most savvy media are also demonstrating their abilities to understand the PR / marketing paradigm by using social media to promote stories they or their news organisations have published. They are also promoting other sections and programs from their own stable.
This means that the reach of any newspaper, radio program or news bulletin, goes well beyond those engaging directly in real time. Via twitter, I can be alerted to tune in to a talkback radio trend, read a particular article published or posted, and know to tune in to an evening TV news or current affairs program to see a particular piece.
As well as providing critical public relations support to their respective employers, these journalists are also positioning themselves as the ones to go to with a particular news angle, by virtue of their social media clout.
If I have a story to tell on behalf of a client, a journalist who actively engages on twitter may be the one I speak to first.
Likewise, if there is a breaking story or issue where the dissemination of regular, accurate information is paramount, those journalists who are “connected” will be the first to receive vital news updates.
If the survival of traditional news is all about encouraging conversations with readers, listeners and viewers, it looks like the journalists themselves will be the ones who save the day.