Breaking: Local journalist likes carrot cake

That’s one of the things we learned from Managing Editor Bobby Tanzilo at today’s PRSA luncheon.

Tanzilo sat on a panel of Milwaukee journalists including BizTimes reporter Alysha Schertz, The Business Journal Editor Mark Kass and WTMJ-TV Channel 4 anchor Susan Kim. After the event, Tanzilo tweeted about the cake served at the ballroom.

Of course, there were several other professional takeaways from how the journalists use social media — and interact with PR pros — as part of their daily work life. But the carrot cake tweet illustrated the group’s common theme that journalists are becoming more and more accessible because of social media.

Susan Kim said she likes tweeting while on the air because she can hear direct feedback from her viewers in real time and have a two-way conversation. Underscoring that point, Kim even tweeted and responded to people in the audience while on the panel.

In fact, the panelists agreed that they like getting story pitches in 140 characters because it forces the pitch to be direct and to the point — which is often preferable to getting stacks of long-winded press releases. But they emphasized building relationships before pitching, which is how they said PR professionals can find and cultivate opportunities using social media.

Schertz likened social media to a conversation at a party where business gets done, but not before getting to know one another first. Kim said she loves golf and made a connection with a PGA golfer by joking on Twitter about their shared last name. Kass said he is passionate about sports and talks about that on his account.

And that matters because it’s human nature to bond over shared interests — even over carrot cake.

-By Tim Cigelske, Marquette University Communication Specialist. You can follow Marquette on Twitter and be a fan on Facebook.