Friday, October 17, 2008

Social Media & Service Delivery: Part 3

The final installment of my social media presentation...

"My second example I wanted to share is the Library's online pressroom. I developed this with the help of my Communications Intern, Maggie Kierl. Again, we started by researching online pressrooms, and we used the Library's delicious account to share our research as we went. We found examples of other pressrooms that we liked and we found several great articles on how to build a pressroom. All of those links are still there in our delicious account, so if an online pressroom is something you are interested in, you can go check out our research there.

First we have the media contact information front and center, then we added links to the documents we get the most media requests for: our mission statement, organizational chart, stats, directions, past releases. We included basic information we thought would be useful: hours, personal directory, policies. Under Background, we have items that help our beat reporters generate story ideas: a link back to our current headlines, events calendar, high res photo and logo to download, and links to our current publications. Then you can also choose how you want to receive news from us: you can be a fan of our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, get an RSS feed from our Twitter account or an RSS feed from anything we tag as news in our delicious account.

The real highlight of our online pressroom and the piece that I was really excited to get off the ground is our electronic press kits. Each one is a little different; some are more in depth than others. But we've been trying to do one for all major events (and we leave these posted for about a month post-event) and we have some on our special collections.

If you pop one open and take a look, you'll see we start with contact information and a standard media advisory. Then we have links for more information. We try to present electronically the kind of things you might include in a more traditional press kit. So, there are links to photos, online invitations, online ticket sales, a full press release on the topic, and we try to include in each press kit a purpose-built delicious page, which means that link will take you directly to the Library's delicious bookmarks and open a list of everything we have tagged for this topic.

The great thing about using delicious as opposed to including the list of external links in the press kit is that you can send it out and still continue updating. So I can email an electronic press kit at 5 pm, and then find 3 more great links. I tag those new links in delicious and I've just update a press kit I already sent out. And if you have a really big story or something that is going to play out over time, people can subscribe to an RSS feed of your delicious tag and get an update anytime you bookmark a new page.

Just like our Facebook page, there are several big things I'd really like to add the press room, but I got it to the point that I thought it was a valuable tool for our reporters, and I put it up there. I really think you can't obsess over the idea of being finished, because it's never finished. You have to think of it as a living document that will continue to evolve. You put out something that is quality and worthwhile even if you don't consider it done."

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