'Twitter for Newsrooms' Launching into Media Hands
Twitter for Newsrooms, or #TfN, has just launched as a new tool for journalists to better utilize Twitter from the beginning to end of their research process. Citing famous reporters such as Katie Couric and Ann Curry as success stories, #TfN reveals the secrets to using Twitter in the media. Whether it be finding the right source, reaching your target audience, or sharing your Tweets on your own site, Twitter is simplifying the learning process and increasing user activity with this release.
Throughout the years with the addition of new social media sites, it has become increasingly important to utilize these sites for the most up-to-date information and trending topics. With hashtags, at mentions, and retweets, journalists of all sorts are now able to find sources, verify information, know what’s trending, and engage their followers. Twitter writes: “We know Twitter is a tool all journalists can use to find sources faster, tell stories better, and build a bigger audience for their work.” By breaking down Twitter into four categories (Report, Engage, Publish, and Extra), #TfN reveals more effective ways to use Twitter. From search tools to effective tweeting to support blogs, this “Twitter for Dummies” guide could just get your Tweets on the map.
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Mostly positive reviews were circulating Twitter’s feed with #TfN’s debut Monday. While some seemed overly joyous for the release of this helpful tool, others were less ecstatic but still saw the value—anything to increase followers will raise an eyebrow or two. It is refreshing, however, to see social media sites recognizing their role in the media and becoming a serious source of valid information rather than just celebrity anecdotes. One testimonial on the site comes from Jake Tapper, a correspondent for ABC News, who recalls finding a legitimate source for a story on Anthem Blue Cross insurance stating, “There is no way I could have done that before.” Social media is increasingly bridging the gap between the public and the media allowing up-to-date news to become instantaneous.
Keep an eye on Twitter as it has also been announced the 2012 Olympic Athletes will be able to Tweet during the competitions, hopefully this inspires last minute words of encouragement rather than strikes to their confidence!
Q&A: Professor Loredana Padurean, Asia School of Business
As someone who is creating Asia Pacific’s business leaders of the future, what do you believe are the essential skills leaders require?
In many ways, we need leaders who are Renaissance women/men or polymaths, as opposed to specialists of an industry or a field. A polymath is a person with profound knowledge, proficiency and expertise in multiple fields and today’s leaders have to be able to combine various ideas, look at problems in novel and useful ways, and develop a broad and yet still deep set of skills, talents, and knowledge.
You’ve coined ‘smart’ and ‘sharp’ as skills of the future. What are these?
They are replacements for ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills, a concept coined by a US Army doctor in 1972 who observed that his pupils had different skills: dealing with machinery required ‘hard’ skills, while dealing with people and paper were ‘soft’ skills. This concept has served us well since, but I find it too binary, not to mention the semantic implications of the words themselves.
Soft implies gentle, delicate, mild, quiet, tender, weak. However, there is nothing soft in navigating competing perspectives and cultures, handling and delivering critical feedback or dealing with office politics. Instead, I prefer to call these skills ‘smart’. Hard implies rigid, difficult, heavy, static. But how can we think of engineering or software development as static or rigid? I believe ‘sharp’ is more apt as such skills need constant updating or sharpening.
I think it’s time to reflect on these classifications, because we can drastically change someone’s perspective by how we choose to talk about and frame something.
How important are smart skills in leadership today?
Smart skills are more important than ever because we live in a world of extreme diversity: generational, ethical, value-based, gender, etc. Gone are the days when giving an order was an effective act of leadership. I personally work with people from five different continents and across five different generations, therefore as leaders, we need to know how to adapt, motivate, inspire and connect. We need to increase our investment in learning about them in action, especially as smart skills are more difficult to develop.
I believe that a successful leader today has to be both smart and sharp. Take cognitive readiness, one of my top 10 smart skills. In order to be cognitive ready, one has to master system dynamics, one of my top 10 sharp skills. Also, did you know that one of the primary reasons why digital transformation fails is not the absence of digital literacy, a sharp skill, but the need for more validation and adaptability, both smart skills. So, instead of thinking of these skills as binary, I prefer to think of them as the yin and yang; co-existing and complementing each other.
So, you can teach leaders smart skills then?
Yes, you can, via a combination of the classroom experience, plus an action component supported by deeply embedded reflection. At ASB we call this Action Learning, and we teach it both in the MBA and in the executive programs. For example, in teaching a leader emotional maturity as a smart skill, first they need to learn what it is, and then act on it, before reflecting on what we did and how we did it. And then to repeat it, but this time with more expertise and awareness. It’s not easy, but that’s why my favourite mantra is ‘the job is easy, the people are not’.
Discover Professor Padurean's successful skills for a digital transformation here