Reporters Using Quora as Story Source. What Does PR Need To Know?

Dorothy Pomerantz, @DorothyAtForbes who is a staff writer at Forbes and writes the Show Me The Money blog, recently posted a question on Quora: What franchise could replicate the success of the Harry Potter movies?

She then took those answers and used them to write her story: Some Ideas for Replacing ‘Harry Potter’. Quora is a natural platform for this and I’m sure this will become more prevalent, but a few interesting things to note.

You would have no way of knowing that the person asking the question was a reporter unless you knew that the first person listed as following a question is the person who asked it. It isn’t obvious and there are ways to game this feature (by unfollowing the question you asked). She eventually posted a note disclosing that she was using this for a story. But I imagine that not all bloggers/reporters would disclose this.

In her story it became apparent that she took answers from people whose bios reflected some affiliation with the movie industry. I saw the question because a friend I was following voted up an answer. I then wrote an answer (the Artemis Fowl series) that got several votes, as did several other people, but with enough answers she chose those that had some industry experience.

This highlights an opportunity that I’ve advised clients before. Quora is a great place for thought leadership. Brands can’t have profiles yet but your execs and SME’s (Subject Matter Experts) can. I recommend regularly checking to see if your key influencers are on Twitter and following them to see what questions and answers they post. I also recommend that you follow your company/client brand tags on Quora.

There is no automated way to do this that I’m aware of yet. You either need to follow the person on Quora from your own Quora account or you could subscribe to the RSS feed of the topic tag or the person’s account (let me know if you need help with this).

This provides those thought leadership opportunities but also allows you to manage misinformation that may get out there.

Despite the buzz Quora received early in the year, which seems to have been replaced by Google+ buzz, Quora is still growing and will be a much bigger player in our space than it is right now and seems better suited for this story sourcing than most other social networks. Expect to see more of this.


About Tac Anderson

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.
Tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Paul Cline

    Over at the Parenting Stack Exchange a question was asked about apps for family security and safety. I answered it [] and then found out it was an undisclosed app developer who posted the question. I just wanted to say that it made me feel exploited while all of the other questions I answer do not. I believe that Q&A sites need to address the handling of this type of question to avoid alienating their expert base.

  • tacanderson

    Agree. There should be more transparency around who’s asking the question and possibly why on Q&A sites.