Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog

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December 9, 2012

Capturing a story via social media and translating it into several news articles: UofL BB Coach Rick Pitino’s Phone Call during Press Conference Case Study

One of the things that this press conference video does show is a window into the personality and on spot handling of this situation on camera surrounded by reporters and others who are actively videotaping, tweeting, and writing stories related to the basketball win for the Cardinals.  Coach Rick Pitino answered his phone during the press conference after the win against Missouri-Kansas City (99-47 for the Cards) which was first reported and shared via Twitter.  Here is the Ptch video of the incident and here is the uploaded video on YouTube:

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What does this press conference phone call show? Well, it does show several things that PR professionals who are actively engaged with social media can take away:

  • One moment can open a window into the personality of an individual:  I have never met Coach Pitino and I have seen him in action at basketball games, and this does provide another side to the coach that many have not been aware of. It is moments like this that help contribute to the overall reputation and image of a brand (this case UofL and UofL Basketball) and an individual.
  • Managing and sharing stories to the masses:  What UofL did that was very good was the fact they were the ones sharing this insight and story with their followers, primarily on Twitter, and this allowed them to be in the center of the conversation about this situation.  To be effective in digital storytelling, you want to have a strong presence and voice and be referenced back to – which was done in this case.
  • Traditional media can pick up the story if people are conversing about this on social media: This video has been viewed over 2,600 times on Ptch and over 5,000 times on YouTube so far, and this resulted in several mentions and stories across traditional media outlets like USA Today, Yahoo! Sports, and  Louisville Courier-Journal among others.
  • Benefits for multiple parties involved with story coverage:  Not only is it good for Louisville and Coach Pitino with this incident, but the video was first shared on Twitter on the mobile application Ptch.  Great exposure for the app along with the university and athletic program. Timing is everything in social  media and reporting the news – so the person that reports and uploads the content first is the winner.

In summary, this is an incident that really transformed into a story that was reported into the traditional news based on the reactions and comments emerging from social media.  I have to give big props to the UofL Athletics Department for taking this opportunity to create a story and pitch it effectively across the various networks and traditional media outlets. Timing and thinking strategically were both key elements to the success of this story – and it served as great exposure for the basketball program and university.

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,

Karen

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