The plethora of news outlets available to the public is undoubtedly overwhelming. And so are the platforms that these news outlets use to reach their audience.
The St. Louis Public Radio in specific, has unsurprisingly, stayed up to date with the trend and has invested in one of today’s most profitable and universal digital networking forms, Social Media. Their Twitter account seems to be successfully and strategically managed as they are doing a great job keeping their audience engaged. Most of their tweets are posted during prime times (aka lunchtime), and the content is usually accompanied by visual/audio aids and gifs that always attract more engagements. Additionally, they ask for their followers’ opinions and feedback on different topics and retweet them showing that they care about what they have to say.
Their Instagram account isn’t as active but that is probably because they also seem to use it for a different reason. Barely any of the posts share the same content with the one that is shared on Twitter. That being said, the content seems to be more informational rather than newsworthy. They also post pictures from “behind-the-scenes” of their team, which helps them become more personable to their followers.
Their website is not solely focused on news articles but also offers information about their programs and other events that take place in the St. Louis area. Visitors of their webpage can easily access anything local making more it attractive that similar websites that are congested with information and ads.
I am one of many Twitter users who created an account, used it for a good while and then lost interest. Luckily, my #MPJ2015 class is here to prove me that I made a mistake and that Twitter is a platform that can be used for personal, educational, entertaining, informational, professional, and a variety of other reasons.
After looking at some analytics and reading a few articles, I was able to pinpoint a few things that can make me a better and more successful Twitter user. Content is undoubtedly the most important element, but if not supported properly, it can easily fail you. What do I mean?
- I need to think like a reporter and create original, newsworthy content that my followers will find interesting, relevant and useful. ALSO, being funny matters, which definitely creates an extra obstacle in my case.
- I need to engage in conversations with other Twitter users, that way my tweets are more likely to be seen and retweeted by gatekeepers.
- I need to retweet and favor tweets that I deem appropriate and purposeful to my field and professional interests.
- I need to think about the time of the day that I tweet, as some time frames are more prevalent to be reached by my Twitter followers than others. Aka, if I find a really good article at 11pm, it would be wise not to tweet about it until around lunchtime the next day (#thankfulforHootsuite).
Tweeting, retweeting, favoring, solely following or whatever else it is that it keeping you active on Twitter, make sure that it is meaningful.
Saint Louis University’s #MPJ2015 class “competed” against Lindenwood University’s #Virtual300 in a four-day Twitter Scavenger Hunt. Students reported on a variety of topics including university facts, city favorites and interactions with fellow Billiken.
There were only winners in the story.
BBC is undoubtedly one of the world leaders in news broadcasting. Rather than the content and topic of their articles, we shall look at how they distribute news through their social media platforms, and more specifically their mobile app, Facebook page, and Twitter account.
The company’s user-friendly mobile app allows easy navigation and access to news stories that are constantly updated – especially Breaking News – from their global network of correspondents. Each news story targets audience engagement through visual and/or audio aids and most article titles are 5 to 10 word long, which fulfills the necessary conciseness of a read on a small screen. The app also allows users to personalize the news they receive based on the topics they are interested in.
Their Facebook page takes a slightly different, but equally effective approach by following the recommended 40 character length parameters to achieve maximum engagement. To make them even more engaging, all news stories come with a picture and a lot of them match Facebook’s “trending topics.” On weekends, they are usually posted every couple of hours unless a breaking news story comes up and readers have the opportunity to share and address comments or questions on any given article.
Their Twitter account is updated every few minutes ensuring instant access to news that are ongoing or have just been released. The character count tends to deviate from the 71-100 recommendation (most are less than 60 characters long) and the use of hashtags seems unnecessary. The amount of retweets they get suggests that’s not a problem.
With millions of followers on all platforms, BBC is definitely doing social media right.
I like to consider myself a global citizen. My background, experiences, and traveling have shaped the person I have become, as well as the person and professional I aspire to be. I have found self-awareness to be a critical component in the process as it opens the door for self-assessment and discovery of things I need to change and steps I need to take in order to achieve my goals. In the “Authentic person’s guide to self-branding,” Elizabeth Segran emphasizes the need to create a big idea for yourself based on your personality. There’s a reason we are all different and don’t fit every job description.
As cliche as that may sound, my passion is to travel, meet new people, and step outside my comfort zone by overcoming the ethnic, linguistic, religious, political and any other differences that are likely to impede the process. My goal is to foster and facilitate communication between people of different backgrounds, cultures, and languages, and promote rather than hinder the creation of relationships that will benefit both parties and advance globalization efforts. There are a few different fields that would allow me to do that, but my desire is to exceed within Higher Education and/or the Travel Industry. In order to establish a personal brand that reflects my objective, I plan to:
- Observe the work of other professionals who have succeeded in the field, such as David Peckinpaugh. As the President of Maritz Travel, he has ensured to maintain a clean and professional digital profile. His LinkedIn account is up to date, he tweets mostly about issues in his industry and everything that pops up under his name once I look him up online, are articles regarding his successful career. There is even a YouTube video with a presentation he has given.
- Keep my LinkedIn account updated and share ongoing trends, changes in the field and other relevant material.
- Turn Twitter into a more professional platform of personal branding and tweet at least twice a week on non class-related material.
- Double the number of my Twitter followers from 150 to 300 and follow more professionals from my desired field
- Network and maintain connections through these digital means.
The last weekend of August is always saved in my calendar for one of my absolutely favorite events in St. Louis: the Festival of Nations. For the 15th year in a row the International Institute organized and hosted this unique multi-ethnic celebration in Tower Grove Park. Attendees of all ages had the chance to experience multiculturalism through music, food, crafts, dance, and folklore exhibits.
Attendees of the festival were able to pick between 40 different kinds of ethnic food. The Thai food booth servers stayed busy at all times.
Jamaican was among the food options as well.
Colorful shoes, clothing and jewelry from a variety of Latin American countries was displayed.
The Russian matriochkas attracted a lot of attention.
African masks and other decorations were featured at multiple gift booths.
We all have pet-peeves. I call mine “writing glitches” because they derive from writing, grading and editing on a daily basis. Whether you are a fellow-writer or solely fellow-reader of the blogging community, I’m sure you have your own opinion on what is acceptable and what is not in that regard. Even though our viewpoints on the topic may differ, there are a few elements that, I believe, we would all agree on.
Writing has been in existence for a few thousands of years. Its entity may have remained the same, but other aspects, including grammar, syntax, punctuation and spelling have changed and will keep changing throughout time. Let’s look at the top 5 tips that all members of the digital era should know:
- Use correct grammar – Some mistakes are more common than others. But this isn’t an excuse to have any in your text.
- Eliminate spelling mistakes – No need to be a spelling bee, but spelling mistakes can really sting and “injure” your credibility as a writer. Try your luck with “the 25 most commonly misspelled words” and you will thank autocorrect later.
- Use the Oxford comma – Being British is not a requirement. And neither is using the Oxford comma, but it does make you a more competent writer.
- Be stingy – In regards to length. Show the reader you value their time through conciseness and precision.
- Be catchy – But still accurate with your headline. You want to grab your readers’ attention and also make sure that the title corresponds to the information you promised to deliver.