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Facebook Outreach To Local Media: Practical Insights and Advice

Facebook Outreach To Local Media: Practical Insights and Advice

Under increasing scrutiny from the press and public due to the role social media has played in recent news events including the United States election, there has been an increase in activity from Facebook to explain themselves and the role they play as many people’s “front page” of content consumption.



Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that he believes in a “strong news industry” (his recent manifesto to the world is here) but while he has shown concern about the issues of fake news, he hasn’t specifically addressed the massive distribution and economic disruption created by Facebook to local publishers.  

MEDIA OUTREACH

Facebook clearly would like to have quality content be a larger, not smaller part of their engagement machine going forward.  To that end, they have launched a series of meetings and presentations for national and local media to explain the ways that Facebook works and wants to collaborate with news publishers.  From the new head of news partnership, Campbell Brown, hosting exclusive meetings at her New York City home with media elite to the Facebook Journalism Project, Facebook is reaching out with three messages: Collaboration on new products, training and tools for journalists, and training and tools for “everyone” in an attempt to improve media literacy.

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5 Seed Stories for March

5 Seed Stories for March

Need a little mid-March content bump, or building your calendar for the Spring?  Here are 5 stories to seed your story planning...

The Invisibile Hazard Impacting Thousands of Schools

9 Things In Your Home That May Be Spying On You

Is Your Vehicle Being Towed Without Authorization?

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Hot Clips: March 2017

Hot Clips: March 2017

Our March collection of Hot Clips is full of spots, a hot start to an AM show, and something we've never seen before from a station vehicle dashcam...

Jay Saves Lives (WAFB, Baton Rouge): a proof-of-performance spot showcasing a chief met focused on saving lives, not dressing the part

Kids Acting in Promo (WTVF, Nashville): with a building-boom causing a "Turf War" in Nashville, this spot stands-out thanks to two tiny actors

FB Live Sweeps Promo (WALB, Albany): a new example of a station using Facebook Live for a poll, as part of a targeted special report

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FAIRNESS and FACTS: GOOD WEAPONS WHEN UNDER ATTACK

FAIRNESS and FACTS: GOOD WEAPONS WHEN UNDER ATTACK

The number one question I’ve been asked this year:  What should a local TV station do to sustain and grow its credibility in light of the attacks on the news media?

The question is referring mostly to marketing, but news coverage is, and should be, part of the mix.

The second question, asked in tandem:  Or, should we do anything at all?

Doing nothing is an option—especially if doing something exudes a Shakespearean sense that we “…doth protest too much.”  That we’re denying something so adamantly, we might be guilty. No “protest” or apology is necessary for fair, factual reporting, no matter who tries to bully you.

Inversely, doing something—but using bad word choices in promos, like “fake news”—risks dragging local news into a pool of media to which it need not belong.

  • Research, including SmithGeiger and Pew, shows local TV news is more credible than national TV news, more trustworthy and less biased.
  • If we use pejorative terms directed at national media in our copy—and deny we’re fake news—it forces unnecessary questions about whether, in fact, we could be capable of “fake news.”

LOCAL NOT IMMUNE:  National journalists take more heat—but local news is in the crosshairs, too.  Ask any local reporter about the bad feedback they get on a political story—and they cringe.  Ask managers at local TV stations what they worry about lately—and it’s about unnecessarily angering partisan viewers (on either side) and sending them off to watch their favorite, partisan cable news.

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10 Quick Turn Story Ideas for February

10 Quick Turn Story Ideas for February

Between winter weather for some, Oscars and Grammys for others, here are some TSR ideas to help you through February or into May…many of which have strong shareable digital components and could make for strong utility Facebook Live events.

How Safe is Your Taxi or Uber? - Beyond the driver know what you’re getting into when you rent a ride. From airbags to seatbelts and door safety WPVI reveals there’s more to be on alert for and make you think twice.
  
Uncertified smoke detectors - Is your fire alarm really safe? WAFB investigates just how safe you really are. Tips to make your viewers safer. 

Radon dangers - How pervasive is this danger that has been around for decades? It’s one in 6 homes in New Jersey. 

Sextortion - Online extortion is becoming one of the biggest dangers to kids online. Delve into the two main ways this is happening and concrete tips to make your kids safer. 

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The Latest News Feed Changes from Facebook

The Latest News Feed Changes from Facebook

They’ve gone and done it again!

Facebook announced changes to their algorithm to make sure only the best, most engaging content is coming through on your news feed.

Please click this link for details.

Here are some highlights:

- FB is now using something they call Real-Time Signals to see which posts need to go beyond its Organic Reach
     - Has a friend commented on a post, seems to be one of the most valuable metrics
     - How do these signals change in real time
     - Are some posts Temporarily more important?
         - Favorite sports team just won a game and everybody is writing about it
- FB claims this change with Real-Time Signals won’t affect most pages
     - “We anticipate that most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed. Some Pages might see a small increase in referral traffic or outbound clicks, and some Pages might see minor decreases. Pages should continue to post stories that are relevant to their audiences.”
     - TV Station pages aren’t “Most Pages” so don’t be deceived by this notice from Facebook
         - We must earn our engagement more than ever by getting people to “do something” with the post (Click, like, share or comment)
         - But it now appears comments are going to take on heavier weight, especially as it relates to fast-moving topics

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Hot Clips: February 2017

Hot Clips: February 2017

Our latest collection of Hot Clips from around the country comes with pure excitement from a meteorologist, a countdown clock, and a checkmark...

 "Verified" Stories (KPNX, Phoenix): putting the "Verify" label on certain stories within its newscast

Like It, Post It, Share It (WWBT, Richmond): getting the word-out about a missing child from the First Alert Center

Drought Relief Excitement (KGTV, San Diego): an authentic, excited reaction from the morning met to breaking weather news

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Super Bowl 2017 Coverage Strategies for Non-Game Carrying Stations

Super Bowl 2017 Coverage Strategies for Non-Game Carrying Stations

If you don’t have the Super Bowl, what options do you have against such a ratings juggernaut?  You can attack the day by being fully aware of the opportunities that the game gives any content creator.

Ignore or Attack
Your team can decide if you are simply going to ignore this planned breaking news event that is of such a magnitude, it changes the spending patterns and the waistlines of many of your viewers, or you can decide how to be part of the coverage and conversations and attack across all screens.  There are three phases that your team can compete around.  

Obviously, if your team is in the Super Bowl your planning will operate on a magnitude not spoken to in this document.  For ideas on how to cover your local NFL team if you are not carrying the game, speak to your SmithGeiger consultant. 

Before The Game
The lead up to the game is a weeklong plus set of breaking news stories.  You can use them to enhance the reputation of your station for owning breaking news and for your sports talent being the leading sports voices in your region.  You can also position yourself as the local breaking news leader in general and in particular with weather should that be a factor in your area in the hours leading up to the game.   If there is any weather in the region, be aware of the opportunities to do a live news cut in on air and on social/digital since the station carrying the pre-game will be reluctant to break in all day due to the advertising dollars that could be lost.  Attack by staffing so that you can do extended local news cut-ins if local breaking news or weather merits it.

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Super Bowl 2017 Coverate Strategies for FOX Affiliates

Super Bowl 2017 Coverate Strategies for FOX Affiliates

For Fox stations, the Super Bowl is a rare opportunity to create an a multiple day broadcast event.  Instead of thinking of the game as a several hours of programming from Fox on their air, leading Fox stations take the opportunity to create an experience that demands viewers watch and participate in the days leading up to and during the game an event that feels very much like the station is presenting the Super Bowl.

Super Reach
Think of the game as a chance to have a Super Reach of your station on all platforms over the course of a week.  Having the digital and social team join the conversation now can make sure that they have an hour by hour and minute by minute schedule for the game on all platforms.  We can grow your ratings but also your reach on social media and the reach of your website and apps if they are fully integrated into the experience we are offering the viewers.

Super Engagement
We should never assume that people will watch the game.  If the season so far has demonstrated one concern, it is that even live NFL games increasingly have to compete against other media on other platforms.  To have full engagement with the broadcast and tune in by even the most casual fan, we need to speak to three phases of engagement that we would like to create:

Anticipation:  Content on all screens that builds up interest in the teams, the players, the coaches and the cities involved in the big game.

Participation:  Content that is built in advance but is flexible enough to be posted as the national anthem is sung, as the fly over occurs,  game begins, during key plays, big scores, half time, trending topics, and the game ending.

Congratulation:  Content that is ready to go for the winning team, coach, MVP and others who had success during this game.  Your station can be part of the happy feelings of those whose favorite team won the game.

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Facebook Live Tips

Facebook Live Tips

While it may seem like it’s been around a lot longer Facebook LIVE for brands is barely a year old- debuting right before Christmas 2015. Already your audience is not only savvy about the platform they outright expect you will program on it for everything from local events to breaking news and big weather.  In this post you’ll get some ideas culled from some of the folks on the frontlines of how to make it work for them, day in and day out. 

WHERE IS FACEBOOK LIVE GOING?
Simply put- it’s going to get even bigger. We all know that Facebook wants it that way and the algorithm is set to prioritize Facebook LIVE events in your fans’ feeds. But, perhaps just like Facebook Messenger you could expect to see Facebook LIVE as its own separate app.

“Facebook Live will continue to evolve as a mechanism for immediate feedback. I think they’ll do some retooling to incorporate or spin off into a separate product the live voting features many of us have had success with in recent weeks”.  Glen Hale Executive Director of Digital Content at Raycom Media
   
Glen is talking about the many stations in the fall that started leveraging the platform to do more than provide live coverage of events.   Using a combination of software and some coding many stations developed content ideas for instant and ongoing real-time engagement on a topic. Select "Read the rest of entry" for examples and the rest of the blog post.

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