Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Social Media - Here We Come!

When I went to Journalism School we typed stories on an electric typewriter using hard copy paper. Electronic word processing was just coming in, but the old school method forced you to organize your thoughts in your head. The functions of cutting and pasting were literally that ... cutting with scissors and pasting with rubber cement. Following that, a typesetter manually set metal type for a printing press to put ink on paper that would then be shipped from the printing plant to the news stand.

It doesn't seem that long ago, time-wise, but it terms of technology, it might as well have been back with the Flintstones in Bedrock. We are now moving at the speed of light. That has been evidenced most recently in the reporting through Twitter to the outside world (and to each other) by the political protesters in Iran. That was after Iranian officials shut out traditional Western media.

Another obvious example was the reporting of Michael Jackson's death. Websites reported the death before the ambulance even made it to the hospital. Tweets and text messages instantly sent the news rocketing around the globe.

It's definitely a new era and social media’s role in the rapid distribution of significant news around the world will continue to be discussed and debated (frequently by "mainstream" media).

From a business standpoint, these social media tools are great opportunities to share information and insight about a product or service. In our case, the Harlem Ambassadors two units are touring throughout North America and the World, meeting and interacting with new and interesting people, and seeing new communities every day. Those people, those communities, and our show basketball team bringing joys to new faces, is an opportunity to utilize social media that's too good to pass up.

So, in conjunction with a tremendous re-design of our Harlem Ambassadors website , we will be launching three great initiatives to establish a closer connection between the Harlem Ambassadors and our fans and game organizers.

Each touring unit will be posting Tweets (a posting of 140 characters or less) on Twitter with interesting news or day-to-day accounts of life on the road with the Harlem Ambassadors. The links are on our website and on this blog. Lade Majic will be sharing news from our Red, White, and Blue Unit which primarily tours east of the Mississippi. Jesse Whintly and Ashley Wilson will report for our Stars and Stripes Unit in the west. Additionally, both Units will have video cameras and will be posting on a new Harlem Ambassadors You Tube page any interesting videos they can shoot along the way.

Being the former Journalist, I can't be expected to limit my thoughts to under 140 characters, so my forum will be this blog. We hope that these Social Media tools will help you have a much closer relationship with the Harlem Ambassadors, before, during, and after we come to your community this season. You say we are NOT coming to your community this season? It's not too late to call our office and schedule an event!