(Editor’s note: In 2013, CNN selected me as one of their top iReporters, out of more than 11,000 reporters. This is part of a series of articles that share how to be a good iReporter and how to make CNN iReports a vital part of your crisis communication and media relations strategy.)
In his song Dirty Laundry, singer Don Henley says, “crap is king,” referring to the fact that television news often gives more attention to silly things, rather than the serious. Likewise, the audience also likes those silly things, like the water skiing squirrel story on the news. You may have seen that video clip in the movie Anchorman.
While I’m encouraging public relations professionals, spokespeople and Public Information Officers (PIOs) to share their stories of breaking news, I want to also encourage you to look for side stories about the fascinating side of your event.
During Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, I filed numerous serious reports, which each received several hundred views. But the side story about the Rare Frigate Birds received more than 99,000 views in about 12 hours. I find that amazing.
In crisis communications we focus on the serious, but often there are stories of human victories that are sweet and need to be told to the media and the media’s audience. Keep your eyes and ears open for these stories.
This link will take you to my tutorials on the CNN iReporter website. I hope you take the time to view, study, and share all 23 videos and articles.
If you, like many others, think this information would be valuable as a workshop at a conference or corporate meeting, please call me at 985-624-9976. You can also download a PDF that outlines the program, Social Media iReports.pdf, so you can share it with your meeting planner or training manager.