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Why CNN is winning the Twitter War

While I may not agree with many opinions on CNN,  I will admit I am starting to become a more active viewer of CNN. They caught my attention because they have taken THEIR people to THE people. My praise of CNN is based on their decision to become accessible and engaging. Just type CNN into a people search on twitter and you’ll come face to face with the anchors, opinion show hosts, and the producers. Not only are they actively perusing the trending topics, but they are actively engaging their viewers and followers.

My highest praise goes to their suits, their legal staff, and their management. They see the need for real-time engagement and they are not (at least not obviously) restricting the content being submitted globally via their people. They acknowledge that real-time is the way of the world. THeir anchors don’t have time to away corporate approval for each tweet under the CNN banner.

Their freedom is the network’s gain.

Three examples:

In May 2010 there was an attempted bombing in Times Square. I was there, I was staying in the hotel 10 stories above the car. We were evacuated to a ballroom on the second floor of the Marriott Marquis. It was getting late in the night, concern for more attempts were growing so we were asked to stay in the ballroom and make sleeping arrangements for ourselves. It was a vision I didn’t want to forget, hundreds of people crammed into a ballroom on cots provided by the marriott. I immediately got my phone, took a picture or two, sent them to the twitter world and attached #TimesSquareBombing.

Kevin Redford On CNN

Kevin Redford On CNN

I was immediately contacted via twitter by Allison Blakely of CNN. She had retweeted my photo and I ended up as a guest witness on a cnn program two days later. Allison knew to follow the realtime feed of twitter users and was able to get right to the heart of the story. Imagine what could’ve been on 9/11

A couple of weeks ago the Republican Presidential Debate was on CNN and I wanted to see the hashtag so that I could participate. I saw that Piers Morgan had retweeted @angiecnn as she made sure her followers were watching the debate. I publicly asked her the hashtag, she responded and retweeted my question. That night during the debate I had accidentally misspelled the Hashtag and she corrected me so that I wouldn’t miss the conversation. SHe is an executive producer, yet she is actively engaging the viewers and she has my appreciation.

Finally, with the addition of Google+ to our social media world I was lost. I sent out a flare of #googleplus. Who comes to my rescue? CNN again. This time it was Mia Acquino to help me through.

Good people actively engaging their audience. That is what Twitter is all about.

Please take a minute to subscribe to my blog or leave a comment. We all learn from each other.

Find me on Twitter @kevinredford


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