When Air Force One flew over the New York Harbor for a publicity photo earlier this week, the people in the buildings surrounding ours in downtown New York started evacuating.

We found out about it through an announcement over the loudspeaker telling us not to worry about our screaming, crazed neighbors.

WCBS anchorman Steve Scott found out about it through Twitter.

Then he Tweeted and put messages on his Facebook page asking listeners to send in photos, which he posted on the radio station’s Web site, and to call in to a sound-off board with testimonials, which they ran on the air.

The station gave those “civic journalists” credit for their work and you can bet it resulted in lots of hits to the Web site.

“Contributors are great. They love to see their name out there,” Scott said at last night’s New York Press Club event on social networking for journalists.

But it’s what he said about how he got started using social media outlets that applies to people in all industries—including accountants who ask me whether they should do it and how.

“It was the 20-something Web people at our station that said, ‘Why don’t you do Facebook? You’re going to get people out of the woodwork who never heard of you before.’”

So the anchorman, who cited his age as “almost 25 twice,” started using Facebook about six months ago and Twitter more recently.

The same thing happened with an old associate of mine from the San Francisco Bay Area who I reconnected with last week who’s around the same age as Scott. He covered the 2008 Presidential election as a freelancer and his fresh-out-of-school cameraman told him he needed to blog and set one up for him one night over a glass of wine.

The blog ended up serving as a journal, complete with photos, which ultimately resulted in him publishing a book about his experience.

Firms with younger staff who are interested in these things might want to pick their staff’s brains or even have them head up the project and teach others in the organization how to use Facebook, Tweet or whatever else they want to do that may break the traditional mold .

“I barely know a URL from a ukulele,” Scott confessed of his lack of technology knowledge. “If I want to stay relevant and indispensible to my employers, I have to learn this stuff. I’m an old dog who’s learning new tricks, which is why I can keep earning treats every two weeks.”