Washington DC Panel of Experts Discuss Media Coverage During Social Media Week


Media Relations Breakfast newsletter

A panel of media professionals convened at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to talk about earning news coverage. Part of Social Media Week DC, the panelists shared social and traditional media insight. Panelists included: Kevin Kiger, MPH, Director of Communications, Brand Leadership, United Way Worldwide; Matthew C. Buffington, Executive Editor, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Del Walters, Anchor, WTOP; Laura Pair, Vice President of Media Relations, Synaptic Digital.

With such an impressive panel and the resounding message that less is more, I’ve compiled pages of notes into a list of themes all panelists touched on in some way.

  • Less is more. Keep it short. Make the time to make it short.
  • Content and context are both critical for the conversation. Stories develop and reinforce a brand. However, even if the topic is a perfect fit for the show/program/outlet, the timing or other contextual elements may not be right.
  • All media is multimedia. Whenever possible provide multimedia including links to websites, images, photos and video.
  • Consume the news – inside the organization and in the media. This allows recognition that a local story can be featured nationally, identifies trends for what soundbites or stories get covered, and helps develop a mind for what stories are covered in the news as well as how the story is teased.
  • Media need information from organizations, companies and their agencies. It is best to try to form partnerships with the local media. Social media is important for sharing content and can even be used in pitching. However, don’t be afraid of the phone and remember the relationship is vital.
  • There are tools and technology available to help. As the panelists spoke, I noted: press rooms capable of fulfilling multiple format types, providing full speeches as well as individual soundbite files for key message points, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Constant Contact, HootSuite Enterprise, Drupal and even partner companies who can help with media outreach.


The dialogue with the audience and the insight shared would not have been possible without the notable panel. Though I work for the company who hosted the panel, I was also in the audience and appreciated the time and expertise shared with us that morning.

If you’d like additional insight, I’m happy to expand from my notes or you can read other posts on this topic. Two posts go into detail of a “top 10 list” Pair shared.

We’ll be hosting other panels, networking events and seminars in the future. Feel free to email learnmore@synapticdigital.com to be added to our database. Also, you can follow us on Twitter @SynapticDigital or Facebook.com/SynapticDigital.
Happy pitching!

Deirdre Willits
VP Sales and Strategy, Synaptic Digital

Check out some photos from the event: