To the bosses at the New York Times;
Two months back, you appointed Jennifer Preston as your social media editor. The internet was abuzz with excitement as to this progressive step on your part; as a flagship newspaper, it’s important to be a trendsetter in your field and to jump on the bandwagon, right?
Whatever Preston has been doing, I don’t know if I’d call it social. There is over a month-long gap in her personal twitter timeline (from here to here.) It’s almost if this Mashable post that called her out on her lazy Twitter behavior made her (or her bosses) realize that internet has her under its gaze. (Note that post coincided with the day she started tweeting again.)
Now with the New York Daily News‘ interest in hiring their own Social Media Editor, I have to wonder if these posts are actually being used to improve strategy. Has Preston improved social media relations for the New York Times that name recognition alone couldn’t do? So far, I haven’t seen evidence to prove so. (Meanwhile, my hometown paper is kicking butt with social media, after appointing Robert Quigley as the Social Media Editor.)
But I think, and popular opinion agrees, that a social media head should be visible on and offline. They should engage in discussions, follow people back, come to tweetups, and post thought-provoking tweets and blog posts. After all, the first word here is “social”, and if you take your personality out of it, what do you have? A glorified online editor sitting behind a desk who doesn’t know who their community is.