social media virginia

Fostering Community Conversations in Education and with Media

By Communications, Media, Social Media

It was a really exciting week for the Jaggers Communications team. On Tuesday, we hosted area leaders in education communications in a roundtable discussion that was so inspiring and gratifying. We’re big fans of education and fostering good digital citizenship so it’s exciting to be part of the evolution of our community adopting social media from students to parents to faculty and administration.

Last night we held a tweetup — a public gathering of folks who know one another from social platforms (mainly Twitter) but have not necessarily met “in real life.”

The purpose of the tweetup was to introduce members of the Charlottesville media to those in the social media community and generate discussion about the intersection of social and traditional media. As members of the community who depend on news organizations and who often represent or help generate news ourselves, it’s important to foster healthy discussion about transparency, timeliness, and how evolving technology affects our ability to both consume and produce news.

Our panelists, from left to right included (that’s me, in the purple, moderating): Brian Wheeler from Charlottesville Tomorrow, our co-host for the event, Rick Sincere, columnist at Examiner.com, Graelyn Brashear, news reporter for C’ville Weekly, Amanda Williams, executive producer, NBC29, Travis Koshko, chief meteorologist, the Newsplex, Carter Johnson, anchor/reporter at the Newsplex and Nate Delesline of Work it, Cville, the Charlottesville Business Journal and Daily Progress.

We had such great feedback from both events this week and are excited about planning future conversations.

Amy Eastlack joins the Jaggers Communications Team

By Communications, Jaggers Communications News

I am beyond thrilled to announce an addition to the Jaggers Communications family. You might know her from SuzySaid in Charlottesville or as a television star on C’ville Plugged

Amy Eastlack

Amy Eastlack

In, a segment that aired for more than a year on CBS-19, WCAV.

She’s Amy Eastlack, my good friend, a fantastic writer, a social media engagement specialist and the newest member of our team!

Amy has devoted her time to developing business and personal relationships in our community. Her background spans environmental health, health care, retail marketing and nonprofit work, making her experience a perfect fit for our business growth model. Her involvement locally has given her a broad network of contacts and numerous followers in the social space. Having her join the team just makes good sense! (Plus, it occurs to me just now that she’s the fourth team member with roots in the Midwest. We’re good old common sense, down to earth people at Jaggers Communications from a land where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average,” as Garrison Keillor would say).

Amy will be providing support in client web monitoring, content development and plan management.

Please join me in welcoming Amy on board and say hello when you see her around Charlottesville!

Maintaining a Social Presence as a News Professional

By Media, Social Media

 I had the great pleasure of returning to my old stomping grounds at the Newsplex, today. For more than a year I was the social media correspondent and blogging segment guest on-air on CBS-19. Great fun, that, but my time on TV has been very limited in the last couple of years.

In addition to being included with the “talent,” (ha!) I did some consulting behind-the-scenes to help the news and sales staff with their social strategy. I returned this week, to both provide a refresher and update for the more seasoned staff members and social media orientation for the new folks.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/schuttedan/status/182560714345549826″]

News professionals, whether in broadcast or print, all seem to have the same issues:

  1. Creating definition and separation between their personal and professional personas and online lives.
  2. A lack of comfort in sharing what’s personal (not private) online.
  3. How blogging, generally thought of as a venue for opinion, can be done as an objective journalist.
  4. How to deal with the really nasty and downright rude comments left by viewers/readers.

A couple of approaches shared today include the concept that there is a CLEAR difference between what is considered private and being personal (and personable) online. Never mistake one for the other. Your comfort level in engaging online is important — watch how someone else you admire conducts themselves online and let that be a guide to your own behavior.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/carterjohnson/status/182483092517294081″]

Blogging as a journalist is commonplace. If you’re telling the story behind the story, you’re providing another perspective for the audience. It should enhance the experience, not replace it. Bloggers do not have to share opinions (being a blogger and being opinionated are only coincidentally common). Bloggers are, like journalists, expected to tell the truth. What would happen if a journalist who blogged didn’t blog about their beat or the news they cover, but blogged about their life as a journalist, or their personal interests?

Whoa, right?

Trolls, or the nasty mean people who leave anonymous (or even named, public) comments on blogs, websites and Facebook pages, are really awful. No one likes to read that kind of unfiltered, sometimes WAY over the top criticism. It’s hard to simply thank them for their feedback and walk away. Establish a policy (as the Newsplex has done) that you will delete obscene and inappropriate comments. Make sure you’re showing up and entering the conversation regularly. Turns out that even trolls are more polite when they know you’re in the room.

I encouraged the team members to keep an eye on their Klout scores and set some personal goals for influence and engagement. I think it’s great to see a local news team so genuinely interested in professional development and community engagement.

You can find the Twitter handles of all the on-air staff as well as News, Weather and Sports on the group’s website.


Defining your Brand Position: Hint; it’s Not About You

By Communications

A logo is a brand image; not the position or definition of the brand.

Ask five people in an organization what the company’s brand position is and you’re likely to get five different answers. Ask five of their customers and you’re likely to get the same answer all five times.

Why is that?

What your brand position is not:

  • It’s not your mission statement
  • It’s not your logo or your “look and feel”
  • It’s not your service or product offerings
  • It’s not what you think it is
My friend Ken Mueller of Inkling Media summed it up nicely when he wrote Word of Mouth is THEIR Mouth not Yours.  Similarly, your brand position is what your customers believe it to be.

Your Brand is the Promise you Make and Keep When Interacting with Your Community

First, let’s define your community. It is those you serve, those interested in what you do, your employees and by extension, often, the families and friends (and sometimes neighbors) of those employees. What’s the promise? It is what you do and how you do it. If the community values what you do, that’s part of your brand. If they think you’re awful at it, well, that’s part of your brand, too.

What’s your promise? Is it what you want it to be? If not, what’s your plan for making a change?