Dear news sources on twitter
This post was originally published by Alex T. Cone on his blog “Condividiamo”. Alex is an activist, thinker, leader, and has quickly become the point man for social meda interaction for several charities. I’ve republished this post with his permission because this open letter to the news media deserves attention.
I originally bought into twitter as a news feed to fill my need for international political happenings. I followed @financialtimes, @berlaymont and some others who met that specific need. But as time passed I learned that twitter is more about interaction than it is about being an RSS feed. It’s a way that not for profits interact with their supporters. How businesses interact with their customers. How friends interact with friends. I’ve come to see first hand how valuable this interaction can be to all of these communities.
So I want to make a suggestion to my friends in the news biz. Yes, you get a lot of RTs because you break news. Lots of people follow you, and you provide an easy gateway to specific articles. Big deal.
You want to know what might make me want to purchase a subscription to your paper when your salesperson calls me this week? Interact with me. Don’t just be one sided. I’ve got RSS feeds for that. If I ask you a question every once and a while, answer it. If I mention you in a positive or negative way, shoot me a DM and follow up. I promise you that if you form this type of relationship with me I am actually going to think about buying your rag.
Twitter creates a unique opportunity to interact with potential customers. It levels the playing field. I dare you to quit being the only people on twitter who sit in the press box.