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The Media Revolution is ‘Iterative’ and Social: Experts Share How Not to Get Left Behind

Earlier this year, Bruce Hennes and Thom Fladung spoke at the American Bar Association’s Annual Mid-Year Conference, held in Miami, Florida. Their remarks were captured by Marilyn Cavicchia, writing for the ABA’s Bar Leader Magazine:

“You’re all living in a media revolution,” said Thom Fladung, vice president of Hennes Communications. “And you don’t even know it.”

Offering a window onto one aspect of that revolution, Bruce Hennes, president of the same crisis communications firm, said, “I don’t think there’s a reporter in the country who’s not using Twitter to crowdsource what people are thinking about.”

Speaking at this year’s Midyear Meeting of the National Association of Bar ExecutivesNational Conference of Bar Presidents, and National Conference of Bar Foundations, Hennes and Fladung helped attendees understand how they should navigate in a world where, as Fladung put it, “The media has changed more in 10 years than in the past 100.”

What’s new? Iterative reporting

It used to be that a news article was a single item, published once, Fladung said, and reporters were expected to get every important source into the story, even if it meant trying to reach them six different ways before giving up.

Because articles can, and are, updated easily online, the typical news story is now given out “piece by piece, over time,” Fladung said, noting that this is called “iterative reporting.”

As a source, Fladung added, this means you are no longer indispensable—so you can’t make yourself difficult to reach, or you’ll miss the chance to put your association in its best light (whether the story is good news for you, or bad news).

“If you don’t pick up the phone, you’re not in the story,” he said, noting that Google’s analytics give priority to whichever news outlet broke a story first—which has put pressure on reporters to work faster than ever, and not to spend too much time chasing down sources.

While you could still make it into an update to the story, Fladung added, that’s not really where you want to be. “When is the last time you went back on your phone to see if there’s been an update to something you read?” he asked, noting that 60 percent of all news content is now consumed via smart phone.

What if you really can’t make the reporter’s deadline, or you find out after the fact about a story your bar should have been part of?

For the rest of this piece, click here.

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