If you have teenagers or college students in your life, you know that you don't reach them via email. And phone calls? Forget about it. The best way to get young peoples' attention is with Snapchat, the runaway social media channel. That's why we're partnering with Snapchat to field our first Snapchat reporting team at this year's Texas Tribune Festival.
For the uninitiated, Snapchat is a social media app only available on smartphones. Users string together photos, videos and commentary into short messages – called "snaps" – that they share with their Snapchat friends. A few major events, like the Pope's recent visit to the United States or major league baseball playoff games, escalate to public "stories" within Snapchat. This week's TribFest is one of those chosen public Snapchat stories. This is a big deal. Just ask your kids if you don't believe us.
Some of the best journalism students from The University of Texas at Austin will field our TribFest Snapchat team. UT journalism's R.B. Brenner and Robert Quigley selected and trained this ace team to cover all aspects of the festival, from the opening keynote to the closing party. Ditching their reporter's notebooks for smartphones, our Snapchat team will engage a new audience on a new platform with TribFest. Nothing makes us happier than that.
Snapchat isn't the only social media trick up our sleeve at this year's TribFest. Our reporters and student attendees are Twitter-happy; follow the hashtags #ttf and #ttfstudents to follow the conversation. We share festival highlights, video clips and photos on our Facebook page and Instagram. We live stream our national keynotes throughout the festival weekend; watch our home page for that. And we also live stream many of our student events on Periscope, Twitter's live streaming app. Watch our Twitter feed for those events.
If you're a Snapchat user, join the fun. Follow us (our Snapchat username is texastribune) and our Snapchat team: Miranda Mason (MLMason1717), Brittany Shulman (brittanyshulman), Faith Ann Ruszkowski (faithannruszk), Cassandra Jaramillo (cassandrajar), McKenzie Jones (mckjones), Sunny Sone (sunnysone95), Mikaela Casas (micasasucasas) and Michelle Sanchez (mmichelle_s). And even if you don't follow our team, you'll see our public story in Snapchat. Start snapping!