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According to the press release “Cision will provide transcripts of every #journchat, the lively weekly Twitter chat for PR professionals, journalists and bloggers… It will work with her to produce white papers, webinars, conference and seminar discussions, and other thought leadership initiatives that explore the impact of online communications and new media.”
If you aren’t familiar with #journchat, every week on Twitter, the media and PR community come together via the hashtag #journchat, to openly discuss a number of topics and share ideas with each other.
Personally, I am a huge advocate of anything that opens up the dialogue between publicists and members of the media. Sarah took a break from her busy schedule to talk with the PRBC about this new agreement, and what it means for the future of #journchat.
PRBC: How do you think this agreement will continue to open up the frank exchange of ideas and improve communication among the PR and media community?
Sarah: It stems from a basic place. It’s just been “me” for so long. When you are running a business by yourself and donating a lot of your time as well, at some point you run out of things you can do. It’s nice when you can partner with an organization that enables you to have access to more resources. With Cision, I can continue to do #journchat and still have full creative ownership. I can also grow the #journchat brand with a partner that brings a level of expertise that can help analyze research trends and house the #journchat discussions.
PRBC: Will the webinars and white papers, etc. be free to non-Cision users? Or will only Cision members be able to take advantage of these resources?
Sarah: My whole online business is about providing as much information as possible at no cost. I believe it will be accessible for both.
PRBC: From all of the previous #journchat conversations, what has surprised you the most?
Sarah: One is that people actually want to participate. [Author’s Note: Currently #journchat has garnered more than 6,400 followers] Participants are so open and fluid, at the same time they are also sharing with their own network as well. Everything you say is visible. People will admit when they don’t know something; its great people really want to share.
Another thing is how it’s possible to have a chat, such as #journchat, on a platform [Twitter] that’s not necessarily built for something like this. It has also been really nice that people have agreed to let me moderate – which is a gift.
PRBC: For those of our readers that are unfamiliar with #journchat, talk a little bit about what happens during these conversations.
Sarah: During #journchat, people can have different points of view. Our main rule is to “play nice.” A lot of the chats have predetermined themes and every week the topics changes. What we are really looking for is insight. For example, we’ve had discussions on how new media is affecting a journalists’ role. We also recently asked what people thought about Toyota pulling its ads off ABC because they claimed ABC was covering the story too much. We not only talk about a reporter’s likes/dislikes, but we look at topics such as: How do we all work together to build back the trust in news and journalism? Not all questions have answers, but it’s great to get all kinds of perspectives.
PRBC: Aside from the agreement with Cision, do you have any other future plans for #journchat?
Sarah: There will be a natural evolution of #journchat. I’m planning a few really great changes to make the chat more accessible, and possibly using another platform that integrates with Twitter to make it easier for people to participate.
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