Sponsor Spotlight: Six Questions with the San Antonio Express-News

May 7, 2009 at 5:00 am | Posted in San Antonio, Sponsor Spotlight, Sponsors | Leave a comment
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mysaIn addition to listing them on our Sponsors page, TweetCampSA sponsors will also be featured on our blog so we can introduce you to the companies making TweetCampSA possible. Check them out and follow them on Twitter! TweetCampSA sponsors are the cutting-edge businesses in our community who understand, appreciate and make use of microblogging as part of their overall communications strategies.

Introducing TweetCampSA Sponsor San Antonio Express-News / mySA.com (questions answered by Eric Braun, director of digital media at MySA.com – @ebraun and @mySA).

1. How does the Express-News use microblogging?

We use it in several different ways. We push breaking news stories and weather forecasts out on a regular basis, but we don’t find that that’s really a huge traffic driver for us. It does drive a few extra clicks but it’s not a game-changer unless it’s something that takes off across networks. We really use it more as a CRM tool. It’s been much more about connecting with our readers and developing relationships with them. It provides both instant feedback and helps reporters develop sources. We also use Twitter as a way to aggregate sources of information quickly. During the swine flu outbreak we used CoverItLive to aggregate feeds from official and non-official sources including our medical bloggers.

2. How has microblogging changed your business?

Twitter has been the first application that has really grabbed the imagination of the newsroom. I don’t recall any social interaction tool that has been more widely accepted in newsrooms, not just at the Express-News but across the industry. Story comments and forums have always been something reporters have hesitated jumping into, but because the dialogue on twitter is more controlled, civil and ultimately useful, our staff has engaged with it in a big way. You can see by our staff list of twitter accounts how true that is.

3. What makes you follow some people/businesses over others?

I avoid twitterfeeds and people who promise to make me rich. I generally avoid a lot of rough language because we like to break tweets out in various places on the site.

4. Who would you like to see on Twitter who isn’t there already?

The rest of our staff who isn’t using twitter yet. I’d like to see more local politicians use it beyond campaign seasons. Maybe after this election they will. I’d also like to see more restaurants and clubs talking about specials and schedules. Half of the time when I think of someone I’d like to see on twitter, I search for them and they are there.

5. Why is the Express-News sponsoring TweetCampSA?

We’re always interested in learning best practices on how to use Twitter and other social media apps. We also desire to be a part of the social media community in San Antonio because it’s good for us as a business to be connected to people who are making a difference in our city. These things are hard to make happen without funding, so we’re happy to help make it work.

6. Give us an elevator pitch about the Express-News.

The E-N and mySA.com combined have third deepest market penetration of any newspaper in the country, we have the largest newsroom in town by a large margin and day in and day out provide relevant, important content on a variety of platforms. Not only do we provide a wealth of content day in and day out but we are also interested in helping our community reach broader audiences. Users can contribute blogs, tweets, photos, videos and stories to our site to tell their stories and deliver their messages. Of course, selling advertisements is another way we help our customers reach a broad audience and we have a lot of very bright sales people who can help plan an ad campaign on our sites and help devise a search engine marketing campaign.

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Colleen Pence is one of three organizers of TweetCampSA. A Twitter addict since summer 2007, she previously managed marketing and public relations campaigns for the San Antonio Symphony, Marmon Mok and BluePhoenix ASNA. She now owns Social Media Mentoring, a consulting company teaching businesses and individuals the benefits and nuances of using social media. She’s authored her personal blog for four years and blogs for the San Antonio Express-News.

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