A few months ago I started Misty Montano CBS on facebook because people who were following me on Twitter were finding my personal facebook page and requesting to be my friend.  Even though I find tremendous value in using Social Media as a journalist, I still have the right to maintain separate and personal profiles.


Just as I saw how Twitter was a great resource I knew facebook would be just as valuable and actually allow more that 140 characters to communicate.  I set up the account and posted a few Tweets saying, “Pitch me stories on facebook too!” and “I’ve set up my facebook account, join me there!”  I have 89 friends and daily receive one or two friend requests.


Since starting this account in early June I have taken a few story pitches that have come only to me through facebook.  I have successfully pitched the stories to the newsroom and was able to set up coverage.  One story was actually better suited for the CBS affiliate in Louisville, KY. Through a phone call and email from me, WLKY saw the value in the story as I did and covered it! (hmm.. does this mean I can work any assignment desk ANYwhere???)


The stories via facebook:



I like receiving pitches on facebook much more than I do via the news desk email because the email account gets hundreds of emails per day.  Most of the email is spam and it’s difficult to sort through.  I rely on my coworkers to comb through the emails that come while they’re working and I’m not and they depend on me to do the same.  I know how busy we get though on the desk and I’m always afraid a good news tip will slip through.


Sending me a story idea through a facebook message is basically the same as sending the news desk an email, but you’re guaranteed I will see it.  I will also send a response, even if the response is a simple, “Thank you; please give me time to pitch this to the newsroom.”  I have no problems pitching stories.  The worst that can happen is I’m told no.  When it comes to stories that I know will fit CBS4 News brand and audience, I work hard to make the producers listen to the idea.  Yes, this is how I treat every pitch I receive, but again a pitch via facebook or Twitter is guaranteed to be seen.  (Well, at this time at least while the number of followers and friends are manageable!)


While on the subject of using facebook, I’d like to leave you with one final thought on how to use it outside of another way to receive story pitches.  I stick to my Social Media strategy where content, conversation and consistency is key.  I also try to offer different content on facebook than I do on Twitter.  During big or breaking news events, what I post is very similar, but if I post a link on Twitter, I’ll post a different link on facebook.  The only exception to this is when I’m trying to start a broad conversation on one topic.