Posts Tagged ‘Quill magazine’


Can you really engage a community by telling them to “follow” and “like” you?

Sometimes the most obvious answers are the hardest to find – or at least require an “aha!” moment before they’re revealed.

That happened yesterday as I was writing an e-mail message to Quill subscribers and SPJ members about the new digital e-magazine version being available.

At the end I initially wrote: “Follow us on Twitter and Facebook,” giving links to SPJ’s accounts on those networks.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “community engagement” lately, no doubt fueled by following numerous community engagement managers and social media editors on Twitter. (Steve Buttry and Craig Kanalley to name just two.)

It struck me there: What about true community engagement is embedded in terms like “follow us” and “like us”? In short: nothing. I can’t think of a time I’ve felt deeply connected to or an equal part of a group by being told to “follow” or “like” something else.

So, I changed the construction in the e-mail to:

If you’re so inclined, join Quill and SPJ in discussing and reviewing journalism news and conversations on Twitter and Facebook.

If news outlets really are becoming greater partners with their audiences – if community engagement isn’t just the buzzword of the year (which I don’t believe it is) – then perhaps it’s time to re-examine how to interact with community members on the most basic level. Sure, having tweetups and hosting live-chats are essential and incredibly rewarding. But what message are you sending by telling audiences that they’re “followers” and that THEY should “like” YOU?

News and information sharing is a team effort. It takes a village to raise a child, we’re told. And it takes a collaborative community joining together to report, share and discuss the stories that are important to them.

Scott Leadingham is editor of Quill magazine. If you’re so inclined, you can join him in discussing, sharing and commenting on journalism and media issues on Twitter: @scottleadingham.

Connect

Twitter Facebook Google Plus RSS Instagram Pinterest Pinterest LinkedIn


© Society of Professional Journalists. All rights reserved. Legal

Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789 | Contact SPJ Headquarters | Employment Opportunities | Advertise with SPJ