It’s standard practice for journalists to put a “face” on a crisis.
It’s called humanizing the story.
Which brings me back to the Toyota debacle which I addressed yesterday in the post “Open Letter to Toyota Customers Hits Pothole.”
As you would expect, the reporters crafting follow-on stories to the Toyota crisis are indeed striving to put a “face” on their stories.
Nothing unusual there.
Between working the phones, knowing someone at a Toyota dealership or hanging out next to Toyotas in a Safeway parking lot, there are a myriad of ways to find these sources.
But the approach by Clifford Krauss from the New York Times caught my attention.
It appears that Mr. Krauss opened a Twitter account with the sole objective of connecting with disenchanted Toyota customers. My search for another account which included the New York Time Muck Rack page turned up nada.
You can see his 17 tweets below (yes that’s me at #9 showing up on his radar from yesterday’s post):
Nice personal touch with the “Cliff” sign off that accompanies most of the tweets.
To Cliff’s credit, he clearly identifies himself as a NYT reporter.
Plus, Twitter is increasingly used by business people of all types, not just reporters, to suss out new contacts.
In fact, one could argue that Cliff’s use of Twitter actually fits the spirit of the founding fathers.
After all, he’s just asking people “what are you doing … and would you like to talk to me about Toyota’s faulty gas pedal that unexpectedly accelerates the vehicle.”
I welcome hearing your perspective.