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In Irma’s Path: Top Takeaways from a Fort Myers ND

In Irma’s Path: Top Takeaways from a Fort Myers ND

WINK TV’s veteran news director Tom Doerr and his team planned many days out to cover all the anticipated eventualities. Top of mind in all of their planning was safety and the lives of his staff. Here are Tom’s top takeaways:

SAFETY:

- Stress safety first at all times. Look out for each other!

- Make sure field crews have a safe place to shield themselves at the height of the hurricane.

- Have an emergency fall-back location if primary fails.

- Take care of all your equipment by protecting it from the elements. That includes transportation. The best place for news cars is concrete parking structures at least one story high. Park microwave and sat trucks in locations that block the wind. Large buildings are best. 

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Hurricane Hot Clips: September 2017

Hurricane Hot Clips: September 2017

As our team monitored various news organizations covering the storms and subequent damage, we collected several clips to help feed your future planning when it comes to big story showcasing and storytelling...

Thanks Phil (WSVN, Miami): an Irma Proof-of-Performance thanking their met

Post Hurricane Live Drive (WFTX, Fort Myers): using a station vehicle for a live tour

Met Describes Roof Damage (WINK, Fort Myers): meteorologist explains the sounds, and risks

Going Off Script for Video (WINK, Fort Myers): anchor goes off script to describe hurricane video

Anchors and Radar Background (WINK, Fort Myers): anchors story-tell about live radar on set behind them

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Hurricane & Storm Storytelling Examples

There are many different facets of a hurricane for a local news station to cover in order to keep viewers informed and safe before, during, and after a hurricane. SmithGeiger has compiled a set of examples that showcase impactful hurricane coverage both on-air and through social media.

City specific…


Close up of the track…


Slice the storm…

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15 Things We Learned from Irma and Harvey

15 Things We Learned from Irma and Harvey

Our hearts and thoughts are with our friends and partners who work to recover and rebuild from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  And as our SmithGeiger team worked with stations in the path of these two massive storms, we gathered several takeaways that can help you plan for the next one...

1. TV is still very-much alive, especially when death and destruction might be on the horizon. Television still saw the majority of eyeballs during these events.

2. But the App and web were critical lifelines once power and evacuations became an issue. Stations saw huge bursts of App downloads prior to the storms, assuming they were properly and regularly teased in newscasts.

3. Where can I watch? It wasn't always 100% clear where we could watch the live stream, either on the web or App. Be sure this is super-obvious.

4. The Weather Channel is still a dominant source. This means we must always be conveying the power of our local brands and expertise.

5. Hurricanes are obviously still very hard to forecast.  And it's easy for the local mets to get blamed for strength and track changes. This is why it's important to always be reminding the consumer that "we're giving you the first look at potential impact - the moment this changes, you'll be the first to know."

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Eclipse On-Air & Online

Eclipse On-Air & Online

The Eclipse is almost here.   Even if your station is far from the path of totality, this scientific event will be a significant story on air and online as well as an exciting social media opportunity.

Some teams are doing countdowns on the front page and weather sections of their websites.  This is something that can be sponsored (if nothing else, it could be sponsored by your station’s app which we could position as an essential app…that we’ll have special push notifications that day and breaking news advisories as needed).   Your team could plan how this countdown can occur on air (sponsored clock) and on social media.   Planning a set of countdown tweets to when it will be at the peak nearest to your market can help your team demonstrate their awareness of this event.

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User-Generated Dominance

User-Generated Dominance

Years from now we may all be remembering where we were August 21, 2017 for the Great American Eclipse. For those who live smack dab in the path or within driving distance this may also be remembered as the biggest day in UGC history to date. Outside of the gaggle of local and national media covering this there will be millions of people who will simultaneously send up their drones, fire up their 360 capabilities, record a video, Facetime it or just simply shoot it from their mobile devices.

Capture that magic right now! Choreograph a multi-platform plan to get a dedicated UGC militia- Eclipse watchers working for you. To get you started:

Facebook Live - Schedule a number of these in the coming days which will not only answer people’s questions about everything from how to get there, to best places to stay, to of course the eye safety angle. Make your real motive for doing these to be about acquiring UGC. Be bold and overt and ask people who are going for UGC and to share how they will be recording the moment. Your aim is to get immediate access to their footage and their reaction. Remember: there are infinitely more of them than there are of you. In addition to liking all your commenters message, find those who can be your Eclipse watchers and sign ‘em up! Consider traveling with them to observe through their eyes.  

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Eclipse - Back to School Impact

Eclipse - Back to School Impact

Administrators from many school districts across the country have delayed the first day of school in accordance with the Total Solar Eclipse, while others are starting on that very day. Teachers will use the astronomical event as a learning moment, a time to inspire students to understand more about our solar system and atmospheric science.

Here are some examples of how they are using the event as part of their curriculum:

Students Travel to See Eclipse
www.daytondailynews.com

Teachers Request Free Eclipse Glasses 
www.mashable.com

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Solar Bits & Pieces

Solar Bits & Pieces

Prepare for Cell and Internet Outages
Some are predicting that cell service will be severely degraded during the eclipse due to overwhelming demand. In addition, Internet bandwidth will also be pegged as this eclipse is likely to result in the nation's largest social media event in history.

We recommend that stations install hard wired hot spots where they might want to go live from for extended periods that are password protected.  And have your live trucks be prepared to be in place for a day (in case they can’t move or other issues) which means food and supplies including gas and sleeping bags.

App Helps Your Shoot the Eclipse
Below is a link to an app developed as a citizen science project created by UC Berkeley and Google that keeps your phone lenses from overheating while pointed at the sun, then automatically shoots timelapse images for the duration of the eclipse. 
https://eclipsemega.movie/ 

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Hot Clips: July 2017

Hot Clips: July 2017

Our latest set of Hot Clips aims to add some mid-summer sizzle to your all-platform efforts, starting with a stinging double-take from Vegas...

Double-Bee Live Shot (KTNV, Las Vegas): a two-part live shot in the same newscast (first part - second part) with a 360-Cam tease in the tag

The Big 6 at 6 (WBRC, Birmingham): a segment to stimulate an early-evening B-block with energy, pace, and hard news

Promo Rewind (WBTV, Charlotte): this station goes in reverse to prove what it takes to get the story right

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Welcome Mark Briggs!

Welcome Mark Briggs!

We’re excited to announce Mark Briggs is joining the SmithGeiger team as Vice President, Digital Media Strategies and Innovation.  Mark will help shape and guide digital strategy and workflow for our partners on a big-picture and hands-on level.  He comes to SmithGeiger from KING5 in Seattle where he’s built and led their web, mobile, and social strategies for the last 7 years.

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