"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

#clarkclass Twiiter advice from a pro

Mike Sherman, @MikeSherman, sports editor of The Oklahoman, spoke to my Twitter for Journalists class at UCO today. He brings enthusiasm, experience, sound advice, honesty, humor and much more.
As far as I @Okieprof am concerned, he's a starter for this course from now on. 
In the wake of the newspaper's recent controversial headline, "Mr. Unreliable," and last nights controversial Thunder victory, the timing couldn't have been better, because all students were interested in everything he had to say. It might not have been ideal for him, since he didn't get to bed until 3 am, and will be up late again tonight. He's a UCO grad and former Vista editor. We have great students.
He called this class a conversation, and it was, but most of all, Mike Sherman is a compelling storyteller, immensely quotable and fun.
I took six pages of notes myself and will write about this for The Oklahoma Press Association Publisher next month. After he spoke, the class debriefed, with each student emphasizing something.
Here's the summary of some of his advice, mentioned by the students, notes compiled by #clarkclass student @JenniferHasel:

  • Just be real, not everything is the end of the world
  • Be yourself and be genuine with tweets
  • Very informative, didn’t leave questions unanswered
  • Offered lots of resources for twitter, things you can do
  • Forget the technology, let it be an extension of yourself-you’re not going to be a different person because of twitter
  • Use twitter to find news tips
  • He’s a storyteller with lots of stories to share
  • A journalist who doesn’t post or use social media to promote their writing is outdated
  • Twitter posts are just a tip sheet for the audience
  • You have to leave a footprint on Twitter
  • He won’t hire anyone that is not on Twitter and doesn’t promote their work
  • Technology is constantly changing and you have to adapt to change
  • You’ll only be remembered for 5 seconds for breaking news but you’ll be remembered forever for breaking ground
  • Every media is an a death struggle for relevancy
  • Oklahoma is different, it’s not New York or LA, and so what works there doesn’t work here.
  • After the KD headline controversy, the “What’s the Headline” was presented as “we obviously need your help.”
  • Share information with followers
  • Twitter is like Sam’s club, it offers lots of samples
  • He referred to the good book
  • Context matters
  • Know your audience
  • A writer who doesn’t engage people are as outdated as black and white television
  • Twitter helps you connect with people—refer them and help them
  • Twitter accelerates media
  • Be relevant or parish
  • You can be global just sitting in your chair
  • He’s upfront, real, and doesn’t hold back
  • He uses sports to tell great stories
  • “Being human is more important than being a journalist”
  • His “What’s the Headline” has become a franchise
  • He’s passionate about being an Oklahoman even though he’s not from here
  • There is power in headlines
  • Take time to ponder before you post, write it and read it first
  • Use Twitter to help people
  • If we’re not generous, we’re not going to succeed
  • He said “I want to get it right”
  • Twitter can build credibility
  • What is small or big is determined by its relevancy to your audience
  • Ask yourself, Who Cares? When we can answer that, we can do great things
  • Make more lists, they are people to look into but like a garden, sometimes you have to weed them
  • “To thine own self be true”
  • Know what you want to say and be sure that’s how you say it
  • “Five years ago, someone dragged me to Twitter; I thank them every day for it.”

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