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Top 5 lessons from Poynter’s/James Janega’s Social Media Voice webinar

In this Sept. 14 Poynter webinar, James Janega (@JamesJanega) of the Chicago Tribune talked about developing voice in social media (something I’m always thinking about, as I tweet/Facebook as The Roanoke Times throughout the day).

Here are my top 5 takeaways, which I emailed to the newsroom:


Whenever you doubt the amount of time and energy we spend interacting with folks on Facebook/Twitter/whatever, remember this quote:


"Journalism is no longer a mass medium; it’s a series of personal connections that add up to millions."


Janega said this was the most important idea to take away from his webinar, and I couldn’t agree more.


Not sure what to tweet? I liked his Rule of Thirds (he stressed this was a guideline … not a rule.): One third your material, one third other people’s material (retweets), and one third personal highlights (showing your personality, what you’re reading, etc.).


How do you develop a social media voice without compromising your news credibility? Janega used the example of Chicago Tribune news reporter @StacyStClair, who tweeted pure facts from the recent Drew Peterson murder trial. BUT, she was able to develop a voice worth following by describing fascinating details about the jury (apparently they wore the same colors before verdict was reached), Peterson’s reactions, etc.


So look for the fascinating nuggets … or as I like to say, hunt for the tasty the Lucky Charms.


Want to see what’s trending on Twitter locally? Check out — this morning (Monday, Sept. 17), it was all sports around Roanoke: #steelersnation, cowboys, redskins, nfl and pittsburgh. I’m not sure how to use this information, but it’s worth bookmarking.


Cheat sheet! Some scribbles from the webinar provided by Janega:

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