Tag Archives: EricaAmerica

West Wing Week: Direct-to-Voter Videos From The White House

I was completely intrigued when I stumbled upon this new weekly staple of the Obama Administration – “West Wing Week” – a six minute video, packed to the max with b-roll, substance and soundbites of how the President spent the last week. I have yet to see anything as pithy and tightly produced by the news outlets in the Press Corps targeted at to the 18-35 year old demographic – a demo growing in influence and worth an estimated $200 billion in consumer spending. Or, for the political world, a demo with the power to deliver enough votes to say, swing a reelection campaign. Smart man our President is.

The video only shows about 2,685 views on YouTube. (The White House does not release traffic data for WhiteHouse.gov.)

Posted via web from ericaamerica’s posterous

National Press Club: How to "Pitch" Journalists in the Digital Age

This Friday, I will join a group of journalists on a panel about how to “pitch journalists in the digital age” at the National Press Club.

Hosted by the Adfero Group, the delightful Cindy Boren (Washington Post), myself, and others, will talk about how we interact with folks who have story ideas. From my perspective, it isn’t so much how people “pitch us,” but rather, how we can better listen and crowd source ideas and issues that matter to our key audiences. That is, if you follow the maxims of new media.

I’m definitely the most hybrid of the group, having worked in both digital strategy PR and placed my own content through CNN and MTV. I hope I’ll be able to make some insightful contributions as to what’s worked and what hasn’t for the group that attends!

Mobile Producer – Ideating a Job Description


Important Qualities

Originally uploaded by ericaamerica08

Today I applied for a job as a Mobile Producer at Allbritton Communications – the parent company of Politico that is about to launch a new news organization, one that will serve the Washington, D.C. metro area and work to shape the “future of local news.”

Not long after I applied, I received a note back from Steve Buttry, Director of Community Engagement at Allbritton. He wanted to know – what are my thoughts for the job description, his or her duties and the process of the producer? Luckily I think I have this one down – and I’m so glad he asked.

Job Description: Mobile Producer

• Must have ability to produce multi-platform stories
• Must be technology agnostic
• Must demonstrate editorial judgment
• Must have story instinct

The Mobile producer must demonstrate the ability to combine traditional values of journalism (integrity, fairness, balance, pursuit of truth and focus on the facts) with the social media code of conduct – transparency, collaboration, crowd sourcing and audience interaction, among others.

The Mobile producer must be in tune with the rapid changes in the media and adapt, every day, testing new newsgathering, production and story telling techniques. He or she must be able to (1) develop original content (2) aggregate that content and (3) provide deeper context to select stories in the format of research-based blog posts, long form videos, interviews, etc.

The Mobile producer must be aware that distribution of the story is just as important as the newsgathering process. Working with the social media producer and strategists, the Mobile producer will assist in listening to the target audience, seeding the stories in communities and be nimble enough to identify and react to the best distribution techniques. The Mobile producer must take seriously the responsibility of being an intelligent filter and creator of news to the residents of metro D.C.

The Mobile producer is fearless. He or she must always have gear in pockets and be ready to catch or chase a story.

The Mobile producer must care about providing information to the residents in the Washington, D.C. metro area, a city that is unique in that it has no vote in Congress, experiences high crime, low high school graduation rates, and is seat to the most powerful government in the world.

The Mobile producer, in an ideal world, is Erica Anderson!

What else should I add? Do you think I have what it takes?

THOUSANDS OF IMMIGRANTS LINE UP FOR CHANGE

Thousands of illegal immigrants fearlessly met  today on the National Mall. With an estimated 100,000 people in tow, the presence of illegal immigrants and activists from states like Illinois, Rhode Island, California and Florida, seemed to offer a physical reminder that they want to be next up for change.

In 2008, Hispanics, a large sub group of the Latino population in the U.S. voted for Obama 2-1. His promises to bring them out from the shadows, keep their families together and recognize them as legitimate contributors to the U.S. economy got them out to vote. Yet more than a year into his Presidency, immigration reform hasn’t taken priority – yet.

There is an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the nation’s shadows. Continue reading

My Afternoon with the Newspaper

Saturday I took a step back – from my laptop – to catch up with the newspaper. I chose the New York Times and forked over $2.12, a small price to pay for what turned out to be three hours of reading, writing and ideating. Each time I wanted to pull out my iPhone, I dug deeper into Sections A and B, determined to have an uninterrupted afternoon with what Devin Coldewey, a CrunchGear blogger, called “delayed media,” aka the ink newspaper.

Delayed media is 1/3 of the concept that is part of the “present media triumvirate” theory coined by Coldewey. Helen Thomas once told me that the benefit of the print newspaper is that you end up reading much more than you would have if you were searching for something online. I found that to hold true during my experiment. I read about how labor shortages in China will make their exports more expensive and I learned that Citigroup is about to launch a PR campaign aimed at revamping their image with Wall Street and Washington. Neither of which I got from my Twitter feeds and the cable news loop that I typically keep on during the days.

While I love the newspaper (I starting delivering them in fifth grade), they haven’t kept up with the pace of the web and so they haven’t kept up with me. Even though I have worked to keep them in my life, I know that the average newsreader hasn’t. And I don’t blame them. But I am trying to figure out a way to apply the best of traditional media (epitomized by the delayed media) and combine it with the best tactics and tools of the new. Continue reading

Big Ideas Big Action: Capital Ideation

Thanks to Peter Corbett of iStartegy Labs, Goldy Kamali of FedScoop, and the other hosts, sponsors and participants at Big Ideas Big Action (BIBA). The conference was filled with people from the private and public sectors, non profits, academic institutions — and entrepreneurs who spanned across each. They key to the program was coming up with the next BIG ideas – ones that can provide social, economic or cultural good.

The political, technological and economic shifts in the last two years have made Washington, D.C. a hub of idea generation and industry change. Look no further than Nigel Ballard, Director of Federal Marketing at Intel, who made the trip from Portland, Oregon, to talk at the BIBA conference.

Big Ideas Big Action Conference D.C. from Erica America on Vimeo.

The Social Media Swing State: MA's Special Election

2008 was a year for Democrats. Led by President Obama, Obama for America utilized social networks, text messages and online organization to get a record number of people out to vote. But today, it looks like the Republicans are about the pull out the social media win. The real question is: will the Senate seat come with it too? Contestants in today’s special election race for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s seat, Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Martha Coakley, are about to find out.

CNN’s Audience Interaction Producer, Eric Kuhn, wrote a post Monday morning “GOP Candidate Dominates Social Networking in Massachusetts,” and pulled numbers of Brown’s Facebook and Twitter accounts to make the GOP case. Kuhn was right, and today Brown’s numbers continued to grow. (Below are the most up to-date stats).

At this moment, more than 110,078 people on Facebook have taken sides and more than 15,338 people on Twitter are tuned in. Brown leads Facebook with 92,964 fans compared to Coakley’s 17,114. He also has a clear lead on Twitter with over 7,000 more followers and listed nearly 600 times. Brown’s approach to social media is also more effective, especially in his use of Facebook. His campaign staff uses the page to funnels news, information, and behind-the-scenes campaign photos. Coakley’s Facebook Page reads more like a resume.

I left a comparison of YouTube out, but I should make one quick point. Brown is burying Coakley. Search for “Martha Coakley,” and you are likely to find, top fold, clips that Brown’s campaign have uploaded about her. Fatal flaw for Coakley’s campaign – to not play offense on one of the most searched web sites in the world.

The gamble is just as dire for the Democrats, who have 60 votes and health care reform at stake with today’s election.

Side-By-Side (As of 2:10AM Tuesday)

Scott Brown (Republican)
Facebook: 92,964 Fans
Twitter: 11,472 Followers

Martha Coakley (Democrat)
Facebook: 17,114 Fans
Twitter: 3,866 Followers
ActBlue (Fundraising): Raised $1,276,289 from 14,668 supporters

Pulitzer Worthy (IMHO) Video from Haiti

This is an incredible piece of video journalism from Canada’s Globe and Mail photo journalist, Peter Power. Using the subtle fade of still photos, he narrates the story of Port-au-Prince through his eyes. His description of buildings collapsing like pancakes and survivors rolling into clinics in wheelbarrows is NPR worthy. No, wait, it’s Pulitzer worthy.

Thanks, Pete. The deadline for Pulitzer Prizes is February 1, 2010.

This Week on The Hill: Twitter

We all know by now what a magnifying impact Twitter, the micro blogging sensation, has had on politics. Capitol Hill is no exception. Here are some key highlights from the week of Twitter on the Hill.

Trending Topics this week, according to Tweet Congress, a web site dedicated to  tracking tweets from Members of Congress, include: #haiti, #morejobs, #hcr and #tcot. (TCOT = top conservatives on Twitter). Remember, hash tags are tools that help you to follow a conversation. So if a user uses #hrc in their 140 character update, it will funnel into a conversation thread with more #hcr.

Some interesting hash tags I found from Republicans include #repealit and #KilltheBill, no doubt in reference to health care. From the Democrats, at least this week, I found less Twitter output.  Their hashtags revolved around #haiti, #hcr and personal state hash tags such as #MO for Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). It seems Republicans are finding more creative uses of hashtags, a smart and effective way of targeting messages…at least at this moment.

Continue reading

Web 2.0 Managed News?

Two things. First, I am reading a book.  For those political media junkies, it’s “The Boys on the Bus,” by Rolling Stone journalist, Timothy Crouse. Crouse, at the time, who was barely old enough to drink, got the assignment of a lifetime to cover the 1972 Nixon | McGovern campaign.

As I look at the shape of our news media – the ecosystem if you will – I always consider lessons of the past to find a new way forward. And what Crouse writes in Boys, gives us a glance into the relationship between journalists, the news agenda, and the White House.

Second, Helen Thomas makes several cameos in the book as the UPI correspondent along for the ride. My favorite line so far is when she lost her restraint and said to Ron Ziegler, Nixon’s Press Secretary: “Lies. We get nothing but lies. And someday those lies are going to catch up with this Administration.”

Ziegler responds back with a jab. She gives him a “hard look.”

“I’ll say one thing for you, Ron. You’re never lied to us directly. But I don’t know how you stomach your job.”

So why do I bring this up? Well, like I said, the keys to the future are in treasures of the past. And two of those treasures – Boys on the Bus, and Helen Thomas, are telling us where to go from here.

Deviating from the Script to Understand Motives

On January 9, Salon.com writer, Glenn Greenwald, wrote a post about last week’s White House Briefing, where Robert Gibbs, Janet Napolitano and John Brennan addressed the White House Press Corps, about the Flight 253 bombing attempt. In his post, Greenwald focused on the question from Helen Thomas, who once again, parted from the restraint her colleagues share… and said point blank to John Brennan, “What is the motivation of the terrorists – where does it come from?”

In other words, how do American policies fuel terrorism?

Right away I went back to my video archives and pulled out an interview I did with Helen Thomas in July 2009. I had wanted to do something with it earlier – but the timing wasn’t right – and as you will see, the quality – of the video, unfortunately blew. (My fault for needing to use my back up Flip Cam). But regardless, I think this is an important interview – one that will help folks like Glenn Greenwald consider what it means when a Press Corps is intimidated, what questions don’t get asked, what questions get shut down- and what we can all do to get the process back up to the standard.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvqK387jG0c[/youtube]