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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Houston City Hall campaigns for KPRC 2's Mary Benton

Tweets started going out from Houston City Hall staffers Wednesday morning promoting a new campaign. This was not a campaign about getting out the vote for Saturday's runoff elections or a new city council proposal, it was to get some TV coverage:

jessicamichan Jessica Michan
Starting a #Twitter campaign for @KPRCLocal2 to send @MaryBenton to cover City Hall. We need her here! She gets it!! #Mary2CityHall

That's right, there is even a Twitter hashtag for the campaign - #Mary2CityHall.

Michan later explained over Twitter that KPRC 2 sends out photographers to cover city hall, but the staff would also like a reporter there more often to explain the sometimes complex issues in a full report. While Benton covers politics, she also covers lots of other stories in the Houston-area, and is not always assigned city hall happenings. (I am in no way insinuating that KPRC does not cover city hall by the way because it does).

Now for journalist types in other markets reading this I know what you are thinking...but Mary Benton is no press release/regurgitate the mayor's message type of reporter. She's been covering politics through most of her career according to her bio and I have seen her do it fairly.

To be fair, the other Houston stations also cover Mayor Annise Parker. Some even have what could be considered city hall beat reporters.

Personally, I think it's interesting how the mayor's staff is reaching out to the media for more coverage. One more example of how social media is changing everything.

- VIDEO: Houston Mayor Annise Parker talks social media strategy with Mike McGuff
- VIDEO: The city of Houston social media architect
- VIDEO: Houston Mayor Annise Parker talks about Mike McGuff day COMMENT: Click to leave your thoughts on this post here