The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) recently put on a combined event in Las Vegas for their annual RTDNA @ NAB 2010  conference. Over the course of four days, Marketwire’s Media Relations team was there in full force, not only to represent the company, but to educate ourselves on the future of broadcast media and to meet members of the press from all over the world. The team also split up to attend a variety of sessions and keynote speeches to keep our collective finger on the pulse of current media trends. Session highlights included:
- New Technology on a Budget: Olivia Ma of YouTube Direct, Jay Nix of KSHB-TV, and Mark Toney of Smith-Geiger presented options for free news-gathering, how to utilize social networking sites such as Twitter, and “backpack journalism.”
- NAB Show Opening Reception/Luncheon: NAB President Gordon Smith discussed the challenges facing broadcasters in the digital age  and emphasized the importance of free local news coverage, especially pertaining to weather services and Amber Alerts.
- Producing News Content with Your Phone: Tiffany Campbell of seattletimes.com  reviewed different ways to cover breaking stories with your smartphone, utilizing apps such as twitpic, twitvid, ustream and Photoshop for iPhones. Campbell revealed that news consumers are most concerned with getting their content quickly and conveniently – aesthetics are less important, so image quality can take a backseat to currency. Additionally, the use of hashtags in tweets is important to ensure your news can be searched.
- News & Product Integration: Too Close for Comfort?: Although the separation between news and advertising should remain, locally sponsored segments are important to viewers, advertisers and news directors because they maintain a sense of relevancy for viewers in their local markets. Sponsorships are generally not mentioned, especially when using an advertiser as an “expert,” in order to maintain the credibility of the news organization (no “pay to play”).
- Future of Broadcast News: Russ Mitchell of CBS Evening News moderated this session about how broadcasters can seek new opportunities out of slashed budgets, reduced staff and advances in social media.
- Making Money Out of Metrics: Dan Shelley of RadioOne, Inc. presented the best methods for utilizing your website’s analytics to turn a profit and revealed what really counts as far as page clicks, unique visitors, etc.
Conference season is always exciting for us and there are several coming up for Marketwire’s Media Relations team. Next one up: Hispanic PR & Social Media Conference in Dallas, May 10-12 – hope to see you there!