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THE SPIN CYCLE — How journalists use social media to report the news, pinterest branding campaigns

A new report from the Indiana University School of Journalism shows how U.S. journalists are using social media to report the news. Based on online interviews with 1,080 U.S. journalists conducted last fall, the new report updates previous findings and adds new ones concerning the role of social media in journalism.

Key findings:

» 78 percent of US journalists check social media for breaking news

» 56.2 percent use it to find additional information about a topic

» 54.1 percent use social media to find sources for stories

» 40 percent of U.S. journalists said that social media are very important to their work.

» 34.6 percent spent between 30 to 60 minutes every day on social networking sites.

» 53.8 percent regularly use microblogs such as Twitter for gathering information and reporting their stories

» 23.6 percent visit blogs maintained by other journalists.

» 22.2 percent use Wikipedia

» 20.2 percent use YouTube

More than 80 percent say that social media does help to promote their work. Almost 70 percent say because of social media they are more engaged with their audiences. Sixty two percent say that social media allows them to do faster reporting of news.


The Need for Digital and Visual Media Training

Many U.S. journalists (68.1 percent) said that they would like additional training to cope with new job expectations. The largest group (30.5 percent) sought video shooting and editing skills, followed by 28.4 percent who wanted skills to improve social media engagement. The Spin Cycle thinks PR practitioners should follow suit! This lack of skill in the newsroom opens the door to providing visual content with your news stories. Digital skills and visual content training are some of the most valuable skills to master, whether you are a journalist or a PR pro.


5 Brand Campaigns That Bring Pinterest Into Real World

Pinterest, aka the Internet’s mood board, has become the standard bearer for brands that want to express themselves visually while simultaneously giving people content to use socially. Often this content has no connection to a brand’s brick-and-mortar business, so the Spin Cycle has rounded up five examples of retailers that are using the platform to tie the digital world back to the physical.

1. Kate Spade uses Place Pins feature to create city guides

For Kate Spade shoppers who worry that once they’re all dressed up they’ll have nowhere to go, the brand enlisted the new “place pins” feature. With the pins, they created city guides offering users places to check out in a number of socially acceptable locales in the U.S., Europe and Japan. The program includes a partnership with Fathom Guides, a digital resource for those seeking travel advice through itineraries with names like “It’s My First Time,” “Here on Business,” “Best Day Ever” and “With the Kids.” Culture and fashion newbies will appreciate these guides for their lack of tourist traps and focus on places the brand’s namesake might actually check out herself. Urban Outfitters created a similar place pin set called “The Fresh List,” which is essentially the same thing, just more hipstery.

2. Caribou Coffee asks mall shoppers to inspire a new blend

Sometimes connecting digital to physical is simpler than you think. Take Caribou’s recent campaign that literally rebuilt a Pinterest board in the Mall of America. The 64-foot-tall board included things that inspired actual people (i.e., “summer” and “my kids”) and was billed as an inspiration for a new blend, aptly named the “Real Inspiration Blend.” How the brand translated user submissions into the “bold, silky, bright and wild” blend that their brewers created from the campaign we’ll never know. But that giant board and the real coffee that resulted represent a new stage in, ahem, “phygital” brand work.

3. A “Backyard adventures with REI”

REI has since its inception had a section in every store where shoppers and employees would post pictures from their various adventures. Usually, these were 5×7 photos pinned to an old corkboard. The company has recently taken that notion to the Web with “Backyard adventures with REI,” a partnership with power pinner Jennifer Chong, who travels to national parks around the country and takes pictures with her favorite products. It’s a subtle twist on the print magazine sent to REI members each month, which includes — you guessed it — photos of products being used in the wild. The difference between old media and new is palpable: Chong’s images have gotten thousands of repins, while most of those magazines end up in trash bins. By the way, REI got into the place pin game as well with “Adventure Destinations.”

4. NBC, Lowe’s and the Ultimate Dream Builders

Here’s one that brings TV, the real world and the Internet together in an epic design-porn apotheosis. NBC’s Ultimate Dream Builders is a contest of 12 designers hosted by Nate Berkus. You’ve probably watched it and drooled. This effort follows the show’s template that pits a team red against team blue, only this time they serve up their vision in the same format that makes Pinterest pop in the first place. But in this case, the content here could very well translate to your actual home, resulting in real prize money for the winners. It’s also a great way for Lowe’s to show off the brands they carry: All of the images are from lowes.com.

5. Target collaborates with top pinners for party purposes

This ad sums up Target’s “Party with Pinners” campaign, which brought together top pinners to create custom party-planning collections. The Pinterest board dedicated to this campaign includes products that fit into the collection as well as inspiration from the pinners. In-store, customers can find special sections with the products. It’s a digital extension of the brand’s partnerships with top designers, meant to give customers the feeling that they can put on well-designed parties without spending a ton.


Golden Mic | Maya Angelou’s Voice Always Gave Flight To Caged Birds

Maya Angelou, a modern Renaissance woman who survived the harshest of childhoods to become a force on stage, screen, the printed page and the inaugural dais, gave voice to so many audiences in so many ways. Her recent death gave The Spin Cycle reason to pause and reflect on what an impact she has made on society.

Tall and regal, with a deep, majestic voice, Angelou defied all probability and category, becoming one of the first African American women to enjoy mainstream success as an author and thriving in virtually every artistic medium. The young single mother who performed at strip clubs to earn a living later wrote and recited the most popular presidential inaugural poem in history. Angelou wrote a million-selling memoir, befriended Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and performed on stages around the world.

An actress, singer and dancer in the 1950s and 1960s, she broke through as an author in 1970 with “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” which became standard reading, and was the first of a multipart autobiography that continued through the decades. In 1993, she was a sensation reading her cautiously hopeful “On the Pulse of the Morning” at former President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration. Her confident performance openly delighted Clinton and made the poem a best-seller, if not a critical favorite. For former President George W. Bush, she read another poem, “Amazing Peace,” at the 2005 Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the White House. Her poetry, prose and presence gave voice to the generations and hope flight to the masses. For that, she takes the Golden Mic.

Todd Smith

Todd Smith

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.



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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.