As I’m writing this post, I’m listening/watching streaming video on CNN tracking the massive Japan earthquake while also watching my Twitter stream with new information, photo links and Tsunami updates. Its surreal watching it all unfold, and is a powerful reminder of the power and impact of technology and social media. Millions of people around the world are gathering and sharing information in realtime. While major TV networks such as CNN are still important (indeed, half of all tweets seem to be focused on video footage shown on the network), there is now the ability to aggregate news and information from dozens of sources – including eyewitnesses who are tweeting messages worldwide.
So it’s somewhat ironic (or great timing) that my Feature Friday Profile this week is a member of the media: Amy Wood (or @TVAmy as she’s known in the Twitterverse). Amy is a self-described “Interactive Anchor” for WSPA Channel 7 covering Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson South Carolina. She was one of the first broadcasters I found on Twitter when I joined the community almost 3 years ago. At that time, very few broadcasters (or members of the media in general) were using social media. But Amy dove in headfirst, and quickly built a network using Twitter, Facebook, a blog and other platforms (see below). As you’ll see, she uses social media in all aspects of her job and life. She receives news tips, interacts with viewers and builds new relationships on an ongoing basis. She is a great example of the new generation of broadcast media who now are learning to incorporate these rapidly changing tools into their profession. It’s going to be fascinating to see how the broadcast media will define its role in the months and years ahead – and I have no doubt Amy will be on forefront of these changes.
Which social media networks do you use consistently?
Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, Linkedin, Tumblr http://retaggr.com/page/AmyWood for full list
What was your “Aha” moment regarding social media (when/why did you decide
to become engaged)?
The first night I chatted live with a viewer during a show 3 years ago, and saw the power of instant feedback and engagement
How did you first get into broadcasting?
The old fashioned way, by starting at a local newspaper in New York where I grew up.
What do you like most about being in the news/broadcasting business?
I’m always learning and no two days are alike.
Does Social Media play a big role in your job? Do you have any interesting
success stories you can share?
HUGE transformative role, it’s changing my industry and made my job a constant two way exchange
How did you come up with @TVAmy? Are you going to trademark it?
Hmm, why didn’t I think of that!
How much of your social media interaction is with colleagues in the media
Much more with viewers than with industry folks. Sadly my real life friends never tweet or facebook me. It’s all my TV and internet peeps
Has social media helped you expand your professional network?
100 fold. It’s incredible the huge players I’ve developed friendships with in the social media world, like Chris Brogan, Gary Vaynerchuk, Olivier Blanchard and Trey Pennington
Has a PR person successfully used social media to pitch you a story? What
tips do you have for PR professionals?
I get all kinds of pitches. And many of them turn into stories. LOVE getting tips and story suggestions.
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in the broadcast world during your
career? What changes do you anticipate in the next couple of years?
More of what I do and less of what I used to do.
You are the ultimate multi-tasker. You started tweeting during newscasts and
even posting to Facebook. You were one of the first broadcasters I saw do
this (now many do). What prompted it?
Wanting to have real time exchange. We’d tried a blog but it did not work. So I stumbled onto google chat starting chatting in small room and eventually that crowd of viewers led me to MySpace and later Facebook and Twitter
What tool(s) do you use to manage your social media accounts?
Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, PingFM
Have you been consciously thinking about using social media to help build
your “personal brand?”
No that was never the plan, I just wanted to connect and get to know my audience better and listen to what they were concerned about and cared about. It’s the ultimate nightly focus group. The big surprise has been how a personal brand developed. But I saw it early and recognized its significance right away. When our personal brands shine our company brands shine with them, so it’s a huge win win.
How has social media changed your life in general? Personally and
Made it very busy, but very satisfying too.
How do you see social media impacting the broadcasting industry?
It’s a game changer and it will only get more pronounced. People no longer wait for the news to come on. You’ve already seen the viral video by the time we turn it around for a show. So we’ll have to re-think our approach to teasing, and telling the news. It’s got to be more than just that video. We’ve got to now tell you the story behind it, we’ve got to give you more.
Do you recommend all media professionals tweet? What about other social
media channels such as Quora?
Not familiar, but I will look into it now for sure. I do think every broadcast professional can benefit from using social media. It’s HOW they use it that is important and they must have a commitment to being responsive and real/transparent if they want to succeed.
Have you used Quora? What kind of potential does it have?
Have you made many professional connections through social media?
Absolutely and some have developed into my closest professional friends and confidants.
How do you use Twitter? How about Facebook? Do they serve similar or
different roles for you?
The audiences are different but they are both powerful places to be. Twitter is short and sweet, Facebook can get more involved and you can really get conversations going in an easy to follow fashion.
It seems like you have a million things going on – how do you manage your
Keep on trucking, prioritize oh yeah and PLENTY of caffeine.
How do you decide who you’re going to follow or become friends with on
I follow everyone would NEVER want to miss an opportunity to get a tip from someone in breaking news. Many of those come to me via DM
What is your most memorable social media experience?
What is amazing to me is the sense of community that develops when you care – I have seen my online crowd rally around me when someone gets on my case, or posts something inappropriate. I’ll start getting phone calls, DM’s messages galore from people trying to protect me. The other night they goofed and kept my cam and mic up during a commercial break and I had dozens of messages from folks trying to protect me from saying anything wrong. They have my back. And that loyalty and connection is priceless.
Who is a better tweeter – you or @thenewschick?
We’re all awesome
Rumor has it your husband is an ACC basketball referee? Does he dare call
any fouls around the house or does he leave that to you?
LOL He WAS he retired and now supervises officials in a few leagues.
Are you a big sports fan too? Which sports and teams are you most
We have no favorites at our house.
South Carolina has gained a reputation as a haven for golfers. Do you golf?
No, and if you don’t believe me just ask my husband
For visitors to South Carolina, where is the one *must go* activity/place to
The new Children’s Museum in Greenville or if you don’t have kids, the BMW Performance driving center.
Have you been to Seattle?
No would LOVE to come visit.
Have you met any fun/famous celebs?
Kathy Ireland follows me, I was one of the first folks she followed and I always send a blog out to new twitter friends in case they’ve just joined because of all my twitter talk on TV, I never want anyone to be lost on twitter, so I try to help them from the start. She loved my blog and contacted me and has always been very kind.
Do you think most celebs are good tweeters?
They need to spend a little more time writing back, Kathy is one of the best. Gracious giving and responds ALOT.
Funniest Social Media moment?
When my tweets wound up on video on my competitors station, during a story that involved a cell phone #LOL
Biggest Social Media pet peeve?
Not following back
Any parting shots?
Thanks for including me on your list. See you soon in the Twitterverse
Thanks for participating! We’ll be sure to host a special Tweet up for you when you visit the Emerald City!
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