Perspectives

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From category archives: Blog

Story Ideas all screens and platforms

The Voice of the Voter: Interactive Voting Tools, On-Air Polls & Surveys

The Voice of the Voter: Interactive Voting Tools, On-Air Polls & Surveys

SmithGeiger has noticed an increasing number of stations using voting on-air and online/social to connect with their audiences. When used correctly, interacting with the audience can have some significant benefits. When done poorly, such on-air surveys can damage the brand, the newscast and the digital success of the station.

There are six reasons we’ve identified to consider interactive voting tools:

1. Revenue – If stations can sell the concept to local advertisers and make money, that is reason enough to consider using this tool day after day on multiple platforms. That said, stations have to know how to do it well. If a station makes a few dollars but ruins a quarter hour rating day after day with poor execution of on-air questions/contests, it can cost a station money in the long run.

Recommendation: Discuss where such interactives will appear and how often before sales is engaged to sell any voting presentations. SmithGeiger can provide additional recommendations on what content and concepts work best across screens.

2. Page Views – If stations do on-air voting and point to the website for the voting effort, it can lead to increased traffic to the website. That can be a place of sponsorship mentions, but it can also be a source of additional revenue from ads in the page beyond the sponsor mentions, not to mention additional clicks to the website from the voting page.

Recommendation: Look at the voting experience like a viewer each time such is used on-air and see if the digital team can embed videos or point to related videos and other links. The vote page should be a recirculation engine to other content if at all possible…come to vote and stay for another piece of content.

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Hot Clips: June 2018

Hot Clips: June 2018

The unofficial start to summer brings some sizzling Hot Clips from around the country...

Social Positive Promotable (WFTV, Orlando): using great video, audio, titles, and a happy ending to surface this shareable and watchable story

Straightforward (ABC): "no bull, no spin. Just give it to me straight" is the new sell from ABC News in this promo

Dual Monitor Toss (WINK, Ft. Myers): two anchors, setting-up and tossing to a live shot using big, bold dual monitors

Weather Hit, All 7-Day (KDVR, Denver): an entire weather hit based around the 7-day forecast

AM All-Platform Proof (KOLD, Tucson): proof of performance spot showcasing breaking news and weather on all platforms

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Top 5 TSRs - May 2018

Top 5 TSRs - May 2018

1. #RIPMedicalDebt -  By now you have likely seen the initial KIRO February effort to pay off medical debt of many in Washington. Various stations across the country are jumping into the effort including other Cox stations, NBC owned stations and others. Reporter Todd Ulrich and WFTV, working in concert with RIP.org, make hundreds of lives better in a state where medical debt is a big issue.  

And Cox’s Jacksonville station jumped into the effort also, but with a different twist- helping relieve the medical debt of more than a thousand military vets. Here’s an example of their @RIPvetdebt  and what they offered their viewers on Facebook. 

2. MICROCHEATING - Social media and dating apps like Tinder and Bumble have certainly made it easier to explore new interpersonal relationships. And it has also spawned its share of new problems with existing relationships. Some are now calling that gray area between a full on healthy relationship and separation/divorce “microcheating”. What are the signs? Should you be worried? Just how widespread is it? Empower your audience with how to discover it and how to set relationship boundaries. 

3. BATHROOM BACTERIA  - OK, let’s face it by now you’re already taking all kinds of precautions when it comes to keeping as clean as possible when you have to use a public bathroom. From hand sanitizer to using paper towels to opening the bathroom door handles. These days so many bathrooms have hand dryers – maybe to save on paper towel costs. But, new evidence shows that they could be a breeding ground for more unwanted bacteria as they “aerosolize” the bad stuff and increase the “ew factor”.

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The Next Modernization Of Digital And Live TV

The Next Modernization Of Digital And Live TV

Why do we inject digital references in our copy for live newscasts?

Easy answer, right? Pump up awareness for our digital platforms. Signal that our website, apps, and social media are alive and kicking all day and night. Some have gotten pretty good at blending in digital references without obliterating newscasts. Some overdo it.

ALSO: Saying, “we first told you_____on our APP at 2:30 today…” has become the 2018 way of saying we were FIRST to report a story, replacing the old version of back selling to the prior TV newscasts.

That’s was we’ve done. Here’s what we need to do next:

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SmithGeiger Presents Research Findings at NAB Show

SmithGeiger Presents Research Findings at NAB Show

Seth Geiger was one of the key presenters at this week’s National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas. In addition to presenting research findings in his session “The Media Trajectory: Alignments Between Leaders and Consumers”, Seth moderated a NAB Show panel which included Dave Smith, Chris Archer, Chris Lang, John Culliton, Mark Biggs & Andrew Finlayson.

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10 Quick-Turn Targeted Special Reports for May & Beyond!

10 Quick-Turn Targeted Special Reports for May & Beyond!

1. DEBT DONATION: KIRO’s Jesse Jones partners with RIP and spends $12K to buy up $1 million in medical debt. That money helps hundreds of state residents lower their medical debt. Since the mid-February airing the station claims it has rallied the community to help relieve $5 million in medical debt. Please read the original story and follow-up story, as the recipients started to come forward give you a taste of this advocacy consumer journalism

2. POPPIN' FOR PAIN: you pop three pills for intense post-workout soreness, two for a pre-coffee headache, a small handful for period cramps, and suddenly you’re swinging by the pharmacy for a new bottle of Advil. Plenty of people pop non-opioid analgesics — aka everyday pain meds — without a second thought. But are you doing your body more harm than good?

3. RX RELIEF: What’s the best hope to cut skyrocketing drug sticker shock? This opinion piece challenges the Democratic plan to put price controls on drugs. It presents the Dem and GOP plans to those who suffer most and puts a victim panel together with ideas on how to get relief for those who suffer most

4. POOCHES ON PATROL: Getting a home security system is one thing but if you want to add to your safety – how about a pooch? And if so, what kind of pooch is best? KGW tries a test of man’s best friend

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Strategies for Smart Speaker

 Strategies for Smart Speaker

Not another platform!” I can hear you; already stretched digital teams raising legitimate concerns about asking how they can do a quality effort in this new audio command environment. After all, media companies still have broadcast, website, mobile, social, OTT and podcasts to manage.

SmithGeiger research shows a surge of smart speaker use nationally (ask your SmithGeiger consultant for the very latest figures) and this growing audience is often seeking news, weather, traffic, and sports…the very strengths of local newsrooms through these devices.

As someone who has five smart speakers in my home, I can testify to their utility and not just to set reminders and tell the time. The smartest of our clients have realized this opportunity and drawn on their research and our partnership to address the five challenges of any new platform.

1. What Does The Audience Do/Want (And Where Does That Intersect With Your Brands)?
2. What Does The Technology Allow (Creating Skills Is No Longer A Specialist Activity)?

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Want Higher Engagement? Form Facebook Groups!

Want Higher Engagement? Form Facebook Groups!

Amid the flurry of industry headlines regarding the Facebook algorithm changes during the first quarter of 2018 emerged a conversation around the renewed potential for news organizations to use Facebook Groups to connect with their audiences. Facebook hosted a small group of journalists at their Austin headquarters during the SXSW conference in March to take a deep dive into Groups and here are some of the learnings from that session:

The meeting began with an algorithm update: As you are likely aware, changes were made to filter out Tag baiting, Like baiting, and Share baiting; all have decreased importance on Facebook today.

The 2018 Priorities for News on Facebook:

- Trusted sources and Informative content: Prioritizing news that people have told Facebook they find informative
- Local news: 82% of people are somewhat or extremely interested in local news on Facebook
- Local + News source = local publisher (per the algorithm)

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2018 Resolutions to Evolve

2018 Resolutions to Evolve

018 begins and with it comes resolutions— fresh terms and fresh thinking. If I were in charge of media terminology, here’s what I’d suggest we change in the new year:

- Old Term: Digital First New term: Audience First

Most stations have outgrown the fear of putting news on digital before broadcast. Most stations get it—that digital is a big deal. So, in 2018 let’s get smart and balance resources to deliver news on multiple platforms based on audience needs, habits, and lifestyles. AUDIENCE FIRST.

- Old term: Sweeps New Term: Planning

There are still lingering strategies to support “sweeps” months. There still might be some bragging rights associated with Nov/Feb/May—but ask any director of sales in 2018 and they’ll tell you they need year-round ratings to make money. So, it’s all about PLANNING for opportunities every month of the year.

- Old term: Professional New Term: Relatable

Being professional remains an objective for our on-air talent, but it’s simply not enough. Viewers are looking for more. More empathy, more authenticity, a greater understanding how stories affect their emotions. If it’s fake and scripted, it won’t work. But increasingly the audience wants real people, RELATABLE people on their screens.

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Top 10 TSRs - January 2018

Top 10 TSRs - January 2018

1.  Shattered Ovens - A consumer alert for all the folks with Kenmore ovens. Growing complaints over many years but still no recalls for this popular oven and the exploding glass doors.  
2. PRP Facials - Rather than putting poisonous botox in your face look younger using your own blood.  Find out from dermatologists how this growing trend is doing vs. botox.   
3. Bullying Laws - Is your school on the up and up when it comes to reporting what is really going on with bullying? It can make a difference in efforts to keep your kids safe.  
4. Dentist rip-offs - Do you really need those X-rays, special toothpaste or bite plates? Health costs are high enough without having unnecessary procedures to pay for. Empower your audience to be smarter before they open their mouths. 
5. The Daily Special - What’s really in that soup? What’s really going on in that kitchen? Surface user generated feedback to get to the bottom of what to avoid before ordering the Daily Special.    

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