Hungry for Films

Metro’s Social Media Campaign

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DC’s Metro system isn’t the most popular.  It’s difficulties have become the subject of music videos and the system faces constant scrutiny under social media.  While Metro has sent out email updates and uses its NextBus technology to keep people informed of Metro status, people still complain that the system is slow and inaccurate.  Thankfully, the Washington Post reveals that Metro is launching an aggressive social media campaign to help address the challenges they face in social media.

The article caught my attention because of the devoted following that chief spokesman Dan Stessel has after his long engagement with Twitter after joining the Metro in May.  Stessel has become such an important part of Metro’s social media presence that people became concerned when he didn’t instantly respond to their tweets about Metro issues when he was caught up in a long meeting.  It’s this kind of presence that Stessel wants to use to improve Metro’s standing with the digital masses.

I think this kind of interaction could be used to help build a rapport between reporters and their audience.  There will always be times when unpopular articles will be released, if the comments section on any news website is any indication.  I have yet to see a single article with only positive responses from the readership. Stessel’s interaction with the public has shown that he is important to Metro’s public image and that his willingness to interact with the public probably has a positive effect on their opinion of the system.  Reporters could set up a similar image with the public which will help mitigate the negativity surrounding articles with news that could be divisive.

Print reporters are traditionally the unseen, unmemorable men and women that keep an eye on current events in the background, but social media and personal branding is making it necessary for them to make a public face so that their audience can see them as more than just a name on a byline.  The public image is no longer just the realm of broadcast reporting, it’s an aspect of all reporting that we should embrace and learn to use as an effective tool.


Written by Christopher Siler

2011/07/19 at 21:39

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