Newsrooms CAN Use Twitter

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Brittney Gilbert is someone you need to be following and listening to what she says.

There are tons of reasons. She is living about what most people are pontificating.

And she has some sage advice for newsrooms utilizing Twitter.

This is just a few things that she is telling you should and (in my opinion) will work.

  • to link, sparingly – Go ahead, link to yourself. You want traffic, and there is no shame in that. Making your Twitter feed a link-stream only is poor form, but there is nothing wrong with linking to your work, provided that is not all you do
  • to entertain – If people don’t enjoy reading, they will quickly stop doing so. Make your Twitter updates engaging. Don’t underestimate the allure of a well-crafted tweet. Jazz it up.
  • to humanize – This is highly important. Your news organization is viewed as a gargantuan, soulless corporate entity. Trust. Take this time to let the awesome humans who work in your newsroom share a little of themselves. Mention that the leftover pizza from the meeting in the morning was snagged in under 45 seconds. Mention that it is the anchor’s birthday. A little humanity makes people invested in what you’re pedaling.
  • to find story ideas – They are crawling all over Twitter. Ignore them at your peril.
  • to search in real time – Perhaps the most important of the points, Twitter Search is where I see Twitter finally monetizing (barf) their product. When a Muni train collided with an 18-wheeler in SF Twitter had a pic of the accident in under 10 minutes. You can’t get Google to rank items that fast, but Twitter can. That earthquake in the Bay Area Monday? All your “man on the street” reactions were coming in at a rapid fire pace.

You can read the rest at her personal blog, Sparkwood and 21.

As I said, BG gets it because she has walked through each phase of blogging, social media and news as the Internet evolves.

Incidentally, you can follow NewsTechZilla on Twitter as well.

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  1. Paul Chenoweth said April 7, 2009 | Permalink

    Great advice from Brittney!

    I’d love to see corresponding advice to the business users of Twitter who want to claim the territory as the new PR/Marketing playground.

    Can news, marketing, and humanization co-exist on the same platform?

  2. Trace Sharp said April 7, 2009 | Permalink

    Paul, I’m thinking that in the next few weeks we really need to be watching Katie Allison Granju on your question.

    She’s already revving it up.

  3. Paul said April 7, 2009 | Permalink

    Katie’s customer service use is already in play…and we definitely need to hear the rest of that story.

    I still see peeps on Twitter who seem to be interested in making ‘the sell’ rather than engaging in either the conversation or building relationships.

  4. Trace Sharp said April 7, 2009 | Permalink

    I agree with you on that completely. People who are smacking me around with their sales pitches and not conversing with the twitterverse gets a bit tiring, imho.

  5. brittney said April 7, 2009 | Permalink

    Aw, shucks.

  6. Backroadsnews said April 9, 2009 | Permalink

    I couldn’t find Brittney’s Twitter handle. What is it?
    Anyway, I definitely agree with her points. The news orgs who solely use Twitter to link their headlines are a waste of Twitter’s potential.
    She mentioned making the personal connection and I think that is key.
    Would Shaq be as popular if he only linked to his box scores? No.
    I definitely prefer the Twitter folks who throw in some personality. I think this is similar to why people are so dedicated to certain cable news personalities like Glen Beck or Bill O’Reilly. They throw in some personal enthusiasm/opinions about stories, rather than purely reporting on stories.
    Good or bad, I’m betting the future of newspapers will have some resemblance to this celebrity journalist style. And news folks who use Twitter to its full capacity in this way, will be at the forefront of the movement.

2 Tweetbacks & Trackbacks

  1. newsrooms (spike ryan) on April 11, 2009

    #newsroom time for newspapers to stop using lame, robotic tweets. simple hedline don’t, time to jazz up, says Brittney

  2. Newsrooms can use twitter


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