One thing I really enjoyed while working on the newspaper at Chico State, The Orion, was live tweeting sporting events. It’s unfortunate I no longer have the opportunity to live tweet sporting events for the Orion because it was one of the most fun and interactive experiences about reporting on sports. It gave me a chance to interact with my followers and really show my talent as a live tweeting sports journalist.
I now find myself at sporting events wanting to tweet out the score of the game, or take a photo and tag @theorion_sports even though I am no longer a part of the organization. I several times got best “breaking news reporting” for my weekend sports tweets and coverage when I was on The Orion. This is an honor given out to someone who has gone above and beyond with their best breaking news reporting efforts for that week. That honor was something I cherished and was proud of.
Here are some tips I find useful for live tweeting at sporting events.
Tip No. 1: Introduce yourself as the live tweeting correspondent for the event.
I have seen it too many times, journalists don’t introduce themselves through Twitter saying that they will be covering the game. It is necessary to do this so your followers on Twitter will know that you are covering the event and will be providing updates throughout the game. It is also good to tag your news source that you work for to show you’re a reputable reporter.
Tip No. 2: Tag the athletes or relevant people/organizations in your tweets if possible.
Athletes and notable people may enjoy and are likely to retweet them after the event. Many, if not all, college teams have social media accounts, which can help you connect with or follow the team and the players on it. This means that your tweet could be seen beyond your followers.
Tip No. 3: Try to include everything relevant to the event in your tweets.
The key word here is “try”. Trying to fit all the information into 140 characters can be a tough task, so before you send out your tweet, review it. Make sure all the information you have in there would be relevant to others reading the tweet. If you can’t fit it all in one tweet, write out “1/2” at the beginning of your tweet and on the second one put “2/2”. This will ensure you are providing all the relevant information to your followers. Also think about what your followers are looking for: the score of the game, who is playing well and how much time is left.
Tip No. 4: Post photos in your tweets.
Give life to your tweets by posting photos while reporting on the game. This can give those on Twitter a great image of what you’re tweeting about. Although it can be tough to do in the midst of a game, it is always nice to give an image of what you are covering.
Tip No. 5: Don’t forget to tweet out the final story.
This is the key to getting your story read by as many people as possible.Post a tweet at the end of the game announcing the score and say that you will have a story up in a little while. Once the story is written, post the link and encourage your Twitter followers to go read it. Usually your organization will tweet the link of the story, which you as a journalist should retweet or tweet yourself.
By Chance Keenan, account executive