Social Media from the Frontline: Anna Doble

By Rob McNair

Welcome to the latest “Social Media from the Frontline”. This time we hear from Anna who works at Channel 4/ITN. As much as we love to hear what the big cheese’s have to say and frequently indulge ourselves in the Social Media big wigs blog posts, interviews or videos – we thought it would be a nice diversion to check out the people on ground, those individuals in the “trenches” who are immersed in social day in, day out. So we’ve lined up some of the industry’s finest to tap into their knowledge at first hand.

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NAME: Anna Doble

COMPANY: Channel 4 News/ITN

ROLE: Senior Online Producer

TWITTER HANDLE: @annadoble 

FACEBOOK URL: http://www.facebook.com/anna.doble1

WEBSITE: http://www.channel4.com/news/

A little about myself…

I am a writer and producer for the Channel 4 News website. I began my career as a radio reporter, then moved to Independent Radio News as a bulletin reader and later news editor. I moved into online journalism in 2008 when I took over as head of news at ITN Productions. I have been at C4N since 2009. I am also a music writer for the Spectator Arts Blog.

My likes…

Like many news junkies, I am a Twitterholic. The fact that Twitter can often be wrong is not a problem; in fact the cock-ups are part of the appeal. We all hate polished marketing speak, don’t we? So it follows that we all like the sense of “real” that Twitter provides, even if it exposes Jon Snow’s spelling mistakes. I like the democracy of Twitter and the fact non-celebs sometimes have a louder voice than society’s supposed leaders. Elsewhere I am still a big fan of Last.FM, even though it’s one of the old guard now. It has led me to some amazing music – the digital version of your mate’s big brother’s mixtape.

My dislikes…

I’m not keen on tweeting for tweet’s sake. If you don’t have anything to say, don’t! There is a lot of pressure for people to be “seen” engaging on social platforms. Don’t force it!

Any Social Media tips…

In a newsroom environment, don’t try to force correspondents to “do social media”… just show them how others are using Twitter, Facebook et al  to get stories, interviewees & higher profiles  – they’ll soon follow! Storyful.com is great for monitoring foreign news. GoogleMaps are a gift to news websites, if used smartly: http://www.channel4.com/news/japan-earthquake-and-tsunami-interactive-video-timeline , @faisalislam is the man to watch as the eurozone train crash continues.

Any Social Media predictions…

Social media as “archive tool”. I want the capacity to see who was tweeting about what, on this day last year… and the year before…. in a particular place. I want to search tools & filters. Facebook’s timeline appears to be a step towards this. But why not apply it on a grand scale?

Big thanks to Anna for answering our questions!

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This post was written by Rob McNair

Rob has experience advising some of the worlds most iconic brands. He thrives on helping improving social media knowledge within organisations with the ultimate goal of making theirs brands more social, transparent and accountable.