What Storytellers Can Do In Real Time

Panasonic Green Press Kit lihd Yesterday, I went to the Panasonic press conference at CES09. (Reminder: I’m here as Panasonic’s guest). It was fun, as I don’t often go to to press conferences, and rarely to ones as large as that run by Panasonic. It was a really tight presentation, with over a half dozen speakers from different parts of the organization.

The press event was mobbed with people anxious to cover the news. I saw two guys from Engadget, and of course Steve Garfield was there, and all kinds of mainstream press, too. I was a bit claustrophobic, so I hid out way in the back with all the big cameras and machinery.

What excited me was this: I live-tweeted the press conference while the folks around me wrote their notes into paper note pads for stories they’d write later. Here were a few of the tweets:

Panasonic announces new hd camcorder with 70x optical zoom. #ces09 #lihd. 9megapixel, by the way.

Panasonic releasing 3 new BluRay players plus integration to Vieracast. Also new portable BluRay player w/Vieracast. #ces09 #lihd

Amazon video just announced deep integration with Panasonic on their Vieracast platform. 40000 titles. 1 click buy on demand. #ces09 #lihd

There was lots of news from the event. I’m sure it was covered very well by people like Engadget. What I liked, however, was that we, the bloggers, had the scoop on the mainstream press by who knows how long, and further (and this is the super cool part to me), I really loved that I had conversation coming back to me almost immediately about what I was posting. Example:

okhumane- @chrisbrogan I personally have a Lumix and LOVE it. Highly recommend. And we take pics of all our shelter animals with a Lumix!

catttaylor- @chrisbrogan keep up the updates. Bought my DH a Panasonic plasma TV for our anniversary. Camcorder would be nice.

mindofchester- @chrisbrogan James Cameron always wanted to do 3d and was willing to wait till the technology was perfect. Panasonic must be to something.

So, not only had we scooped them, but we already had conversations started, too. That, friends, is astounding and potent. I spoke later in the night to Panasonic CMO Bob Greenberg, and was really into the overall experience of “the conversation” and what that meant to the company. At a little dinner, he talked about what bringing bloggers into the story meant for him. (I’ll cover that in another post.)

My question is this: how have (or how can) you use social media tools in real time to capture the stories around us, in whatever form you want? Have you used video to catch something faster than other people? Have you snapped something with your cameraphone that was meaningful to you or a community, but wasn’t big enough for the evening news?

Journalists: do you see how live-tweeting a press conference might get the story into some kind of live action play faster that way?

What’s your take all the way around?

Oh, and thanks to Crayon for setting this up. So far, so fun.

Complete side note: look at the picture. That’s the “press kit” we got from Panasonic. As part of their commitment to green improvements, it’s just a card with a URL to download digital copies of the kit (and there were HUNDREDS of people crammed in that room- saving paper). But what’s really REALLY cool is that the card has flower seeds in it, and if you plant the card in the ground and water it, it’ll grow wildflowers. Nice touch.

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  • http://www.brandstoke.com Kirk Phillips

    Lisa Newton asked in her comment, “Do you get so involved in reporting the event that you miss out on the event?”

    I have wondered the same thing. Sharing the experience live is a hallmark of Twitter. But does reporting an event via Twitter interfere with participating in the event?

    The answer probably depends on whether you are a journalist or not. Chris says he “hid out way in the back with all the big cameras.” He covered the event like a reporter and in the process scooped traditional media. No question, microblogging holds great promise as a journalistic tool.

    Occasionally reporters have to choose between covering a story and participating in the story. Can one both interview the victim and console the victim? Report the fire and help put out the fire?

    Event attendees have a similar although less consequential decision: Can they tweet the event while effectively participating in the event?

    Do you find tweeting enhances or distracts from your event experience? There were some thoughtful comments about this at my blog on the topic: http://brandstoke.cpvinc.com/?p=260

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  • http://astoriedcareer.com Katharine Hansen

    It was so interesting to read this post and these comments after the Hudson River plane-crash photo that Janis Krums took on an iPhone and posted to Twitter.

  • http://astoriedcareer.com Katharine Hansen

    It was so interesting to read this post and these comments after the Hudson River plane-crash photo that Janis Krums took on an iPhone and posted to Twitter.

  • http://astoriedcareer.com Katharine Hansen

    It was so interesting to read this post and these comments after the Hudson River plane-crash photo that Janis Krums took on an iPhone and posted to Twitter.

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  • http://www.nriyp.com/ NRI

    I love stories in copy, and I don’t do nearly enough of it. Conversation I’ve got covered, but I don’t have enough real stories.

    Something I need to put more focus on–thanks for the reminder!

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