James C. Wong, Co-Founder & General Partner of Empowered Ideas
As social media technologies erode away at the foundation of traditional media, it seems imperative that today’s journalists capitalize on their personal brands. In the past, many journalists and reporters put great emphasis on associating themselves with the brands of the major media and news networks.
However, as social media technologies acquire more and more users, and as these technologies integrate into mobile technology, the need to build one’s own brand has never been more crucial. Media end users have a virtual smorgasbord of media consumption methods, and therefore, have devastated traditional mediums like magazines, newspapers, television, and even radio; which once stood as the medium giants of their day.
In order to truly be successful in today’s digital age, media professionals must begin to develop communities of followers, readers, and fans. Through social media technologies and communities, journalists can now receive instant feedback on their work, and even cater their work to meet their followers on a much more personal basis.
As more and more newspapers and media organizations downsize their mediums and staff, I predict that these media organizations will rely more heavily on contractors rather than hiring full time staff members. This was a key point supported by fellow panelist Sam Methany of the Capital Broadcasting Company.
A perfect example of niche journalism is the lack of Sports coverage in the Triangle area, especially in the area of High School athletics. Most of the area papers have reduced their sections so drastically, that High School sports have virtually no coverage compared to years past. Seasoned journalists could seize such a perfect opportunity and publish their own small town publication, or even a simple blog which could provide the coverage that consumers demand in that specific field of local journalism. In time, and the right usage of social media best practices, this small publication could attract enough online traffic and notoriety that larger news organizations could utilize the traffic and content from such a blog, and integrate it into their media on a third-party vendor/contractor basis.
The key to such a concept is simple: Personal Branding, Quality Content, and Effective and Streamlined Social Media Best Practices.