This week, co-host Sarah Wurrey joins host Jen Zingsheim in discussing the possible roll out of branded Twitter pages, whether social media is distracting PR pros from PR work, and the role of photojournalism when everyone is armed with cell phones that act as still cameras and video.
Today’s show is 30 minutes in length.
- First, Jen and Sarah discuss the news that Twitter might be considering offering “Facebook-style” pages. The story first appeared on Marketing Magazine, and was later featured on Mashable. Jen points out that she rarely visits anyone’s actual Twitter page, noting she reviews most content through the TweetDeck application–but she also acknowledges she might not be the typical consumer of Tweets–so she isn’t sure that this idea would really amount to anything substantial. Sarah says she had a similar response, but that it is interesting and might be used as a type of further “verified account.” Jen thinks it could be useful to deliver coupons or something that drives customers to an advertising message or something along those lines, which might be a better way to monetize for Twitter than in-stream ads. Jen adds that in general she is finding all of the cross-attempts at replicating other social networks irritating: Facebook adding questions like Quora, Twitter adding Facebook-style pages, and so on. Sarah agrees that Facebook questions are irksome. Jen points out that Twitter does have to figure out how to effectively monetize the site, and if this moves them in that direction, it should be tried.
- Next, the two discuss a post written by Lauren K. Gray titled “Is social media hindering us?” Jen mentions that social media continues to dominate the discussion in PR and Marketing meetings and forums–and by this point, it shouldn’t. By now, she argues, social should be a fully integrated part of the PR toolbox, a component, but why are we still fixated on it almost to the detriment of any other discussion topics? Sarah points out that some people are still becoming acclimated to social–they know what it is (so we’ve come that far), but don’t necessarily understand the role it should play in a total communications strategy. Jen says that it’s the pendulum swinging that drives her nuts: that people go all in, focus 100% on social to the detriment of other communications efforts, then the pendulum swings the other way as people blame any advertising or sales failure on social, so we get the posts that say social doesn’t work. Sarah suggest that it might take the advent of the “next new thing” to get companies to focus on the social aspect–interacting with customers–rather than the two dominant platforms that currently dominate to get companies beyond counting Facebook fans or Twitter followers.
- Finally, the two discuss how social has changed photojournalism. It’s often noted that social media–blogs in particular–have changed journalism. So what about photojournalism, in an era when everyone with a camera-enabled cell phone can record video or shoot pictures? An article in the Atlantic tackles this question, and Jen says the piece raised some questions that had not occurred to her before–such as verifying the authenticity of the photos before acting–or reacting–to them. Sarah points out that it’s very interesting to realize the impact of differing content has had on journalism–and asks if the future of media will be the beautiful professional photos of years past, or if it will come to be dominated by grainy or blurry iPhone shots, snapped by individuals. The ability to have photos from those “on location” in an area of unrest before journalists have a chance to get there is compelling. Jen wonders about the protection of those shooting the images: a photojournalist working for a media outlet, like the AP, has the rights to the photos protected. What happens when an individual’s photos are used–are they compensated?