Collaborative journalism is the practice of a group of journalists, either made up of individuals or organizations, coming together to report on a story. One of the practices that I found most interesting in collaborative journalism took more of a PR spin, and was started by Edelman PR. The concept of their collaborative newsroom is extremely smart because it takes skills that PR professionals already do, such as following trends, creating stories, and getting attention for our client, but allows us to get ahead of the curve and start the conversation about it. Working in this way with both journalists and the public forms an all around better relationship with them, which leads to them being more receptive of your message and having more trust in your brand.
Of course, collaborating can’t always lead to positive results. Often, a customer can have a bad experience or a random web user can stumble upon your message and oppose it. In dealing with this, it’s important to take a step back and remember the skills you’ve learned, rather than quickly deleting the comment or shutting it down completely. Experts advise to analyze what is worth responding to and what is simply “trolling.” If the comment regards an actual issue the person is having with a product or service, address it in a way that is helpful. If they disagree with your mission statement, calmly explain your position. Trolling is really the only acceptable form of comment to delete.
I also thought the idea of a social media policy was interesting. I had heard of them before regarding what employees should post on their personal accounts, but never considered implementing one for the actual company accounts. I think this is smart, because as the article stated, it states a clear, streamlined message that will make it easier for people to use. Also, if multiple people have control of the account, it leads to a seamless transition of voices, which I think is important to the brand. Overall, it allows a company to experience the positives of collaborative journalism, while being equipped with the tools needed to handle the potential negatives.