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‘Silver Fish Handcatch!’: Detroit Anchor Uses Twitter To Engage TV Audience

While many TV stations use social media like facebook or twitter to connect with their viewers, Detroit anchor Stephen Clark may have found a way to translate those clicks and tweets into viewership.

In the video above, the anchor for the Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ tells the story of his ongoing twitter conversation called #backchannel.  He relates how his eyes were opened to the power of twitter when a social media guru who goes by the name of @charliecurve threw down a challenge by tweeting, “I’ll bet if we can get 100 people to retweet this, @sclarkwxyz will close the 11pm news by saying “Silver Fish Handcatch!”  The phrase comes from an Old Spice commercial where the pitchman finishes a spot by catching a silver fish and saying, “silver fish handcatch!”

Much to Clark’s surprise, the tweet got the 100 retweets and opened Clark up to a wellspring of stories from the community that might have previously been overlooked.  Most importantly for WXYZ, Clark’s twitter conversations are changing the dynamic of how a TV station relates to its viewership. Read more

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6 Twitter Tips For TV Reporters

Has promoting your station’s stories on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and (yep, even) LinkedIn turned your pages into boring RSS feeds? You’re not alone.

According to Robert Quiqley, journalism professor at University of Texas at Austin and former social media editor at the Austin American-Statesman, one of the biggest mistakes journos make is to “just push out their content without actually interacting with anybody… So, they are missing out on a huge opportunity to engage their audience, get sources, and get feedback on their stories.”

Instead, try giving viewers a peek inside your world with exclusive content or tidbits they wouldn’t get elsewhere. In Richmond, Virginia, WWBT reporter Rachel DePompa tweets links to news stories alongside “Here’s what I’m working on now” previews and the occasional personal post, like rooting for NHL Caps or offering her condolences on the anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting rampage.

Get remedies for five other common errors in The Biggest Mistakes Journalists Make in Social Media.

ag_logo_medium.gif This article is one of several mediabistro.com features exclusively available to AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, you can register for as little as $55 a year and get access to these articles, discounts on seminars and workshops, and more.

WJLA’s Stephen Tschida Uses Twitter to Report on 11-Hour ‘Trip From Hell’

WJLA reporter Stephen Tschida found himself in the middle of a breaking news story last week while on an Amtrak train trip from Washington D.C. to New York City.  Downed power lines caused the train to get stuck on the tracks outside of Perryville, MD on Thursday evening, beginning what would become a tortuous 11-hour ordeal.

Tschida, who has been with the D.C. ABC-affiliate since 2002, used Twitter to report on the train’s progress. Tschida’s flurry of tweets throughout the night brought national attention to the broken down train and made him something of an internet celebrity, literally overnight.

The tweets began with the ominous announcement “En route phili. Train broke down. Terrrible, cold, no info. Better get what can from cafe. Looks like long night ahead.” Read more