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The Nanny Nine: Jason DeRusha, Reporter

Chances are if you live in the Twin Cities or surrounding cities, you’ve seen Jason DeRusha.¬† The question is…where have you seen him?¬† Not only is he a reporter for WCCO (CBS), he often Anchors the news desk, is the Host of Good Question on WCCO, a Food Writer & Guest Judge, Blogger, Guest Speaker, and avid user of Facebook and Twitter.

One thing you don’t question is his sincerity and passion.¬† This is evident in his everyday presence and demeanor on the web.¬† He talks to people, not at them, by asking and answering questions, sharing information, and genuinely being himself…a great example of how Social Networking should be done!

1. How long have you been using Social Networking for your business?

As soon as I was allowed to be on Facebook, as a non-college student, I was on it. I’ve been on Twitter since August 2, 2007 (the day after the 35W bridge collapsed in Minneapolis – I was on scene all night covering that, and joined the next day).

2. Is your business using Facebook &/or Twitter?

Yes, WCCO-TV has a Facebook Page and a @WCCOBreaking Twitter feed as well as a more general @WCCO twitter feed.

3. Facebook vs Twitter – do you like one better? If yes, why?

I like both for different reasons.¬†Twitter¬†feels more like a Happy¬†Hour to me –¬†where I’m surrounded by thousands of really interesting people.¬†I use¬†it to get instant feedback, to share quips, and to search for experts for my news stories.¬† Facebook provides¬†a wider cross-section of opinions from people who’ve Liked my page, and allows for longer, more thoughtful responses.

4. Do you post daily?

I post multiple times a day! I’m obsessed!

5. What is your favorite thing about Social Networking?

I joined Facebook and Twitter for personal reasons. I’ve always been active commenting on people’s blogs, and in the early 2000’s, much of my “real life” friend group was made up of people from local websites.¬† Fellow commenters.¬† Social networking seemed like a logical extension of that.

I love the friends I’ve made using social networking, but professionally, my news stories are better almost every night because of the involvement of the crowd. People suggest brilliant questions that I should ask for my “Good Question” segment.¬† Tonight’s expert came to me, because of a Facebook post that I put up. Plus I did get my own day, “Jason DeRusha Day” in 2009 in Minneapolis, because of an outpouring of support from social networking sites.

6. What do you think is the biggest benefit of Social Networking?

As a journalist, it’s a constant check and balance of my work: am I being fair? Am I covering interesting topics? Am I surprising people with things they didn’t know?

7. How do you measure Social Networking, and explain.

To me, it’s really about the ROR – Return on Relationship. I get the opportunity to engage in a direct relationship with 9000+ followers on Twitter, 5000+ Facebook fans on a daily basis. I see these people defending my work, when others question it. I see them cheering for me when I get the chance to fill-in on the anchor desk. I know someday, when many of the younger users of Facebook and Twitter start regularly watching the news, they’re going to turn to me, because we’ve had a relationship for years.

I also care about the ROK – return on knowledge. I’m much smarter because of the contributions of my friends on Twitter and Facebook, and that knowledge gets passed on to my television viewers.

8. What is the best moment you’ve had on a Social Networking site?

Last night I was hosting a fundraiser at¬†a local homeless shelter, and a couple came up to me and said, “I wouldn’t have been here except for your Tweets!”¬† That’s so inspiring¬†to me – that there’s this whole social network out there full of people who want to do good.¬† That couple being at that fundraiser helped put a family in the homeless shelter for a week – all because of a social network. It’s powerful.

9. What is your best piece of advice to other businesses about Social Networking?

Be as authentic as you can. My personality online is the same as it is offline. But that doesn’t mean that I bash my employer (even if there I times I might want to).¬† I bring the same caution that I bring to the offline world, online.¬† But I also don’t hold back on being fun, and silly, and sarcastic.

And tap into your internal experts. Odds are good that you have a couple people on staff who are awesome in this arena. They may not be in your marketing department, they may be in the mailroom. But tap into them, and let them become leaders and evangelists for the power of social media throughout your organization.

Facebook:  Jason DeRusha

Twitter:  @DeRushaJ



The Nanny Nine brought to you by the Social Networking Nanny

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