Last week, Bravo staffers sat down to discuss the white paper “Did Twitter Kill the Boys on the Bus?”, a research paper that chronicled the Mitt Romney campaign trail in 2012. The paper took a look inside the decreasing physical presence of reporters on the presidential campaign bus and the increasing influence of Twitter versus traditional articles.
Reporters were formerly extremely present on campaign buses, because it was the way to gain the necessary insight for a breaking story. But in the 2012 election, they were far and few between, especially those who were consistent attendees. While there were still some reporters on the bus, they were notably young and inexperienced and have helped to create a new out-of-whack media system.
Twitter has become the gathering place for reporters, and it is now part of the job to tweet regularly. The casual tone of Twitter creates noise within today’s campaigns, but it ultimately translates into news. Candidates have to be vigilant of this evolution more than ever.
Here are some key takeaways from Bravo’s discussion:
Chris Getman : “Speed has overtaken accuracy” It is more important to be the first one to push out a breaking story, even if it isn’t fully accurate. Reporters are concerned with posting the story first, and then editing it later.
Sean Connelly: “You need to simplify everything so much so it can be packaged into 140 characters.” Reporters are much more concerned with knowing only what they need to know so they can push the story out as soon as possible. As public relations professionals, we have to break down complicated stories so reporters can get the information out there via Twitter.
Jeanette Krebs: “Corrections aren’t really corrections–they’re add-ons.” With today’s technology, it is much easier for a reporter to go on their website and make a correction to their story. Before, for PR professionals, asking for a correction was taboo. Now, it is ordinary to ask a reporter to fix the inaccuracy in the story.
Chris Bravacos: “A link is a link is a link.” The number of media outlets is growing rapidly, and this means more category and niche press. The outlet that posts a link to your story first on Twitter is the most important, because it leads to another link and so on.
To read the full white paper by Peter Hamby, visit: http://shorensteincenter.org/wpcontent/uploads/2013/08/d80_hamby.pdf