Perspectives

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From category archives: Blog

Story Ideas all screens and platforms

What’s Our Story: Making or Breaking Broadcast in 2016

What’s Our Story: Making or Breaking Broadcast in 2016

The term you hear is that “it’s all about the story you tell yourself.”

Sports psychologists, motivational speakers, and business-book writers use the term to inspire more positive thinking - assuming you have a positive story to tell.

What story are we telling ourselves in broadcasting in 2016? Here’s how one story goes:

News consumers - especially younger ones - are abandoning live TV news and moving to new platforms faster than we are; our stations (and networks) are stuck in an old paradigm with people who cannot react quickly enough to change and do not understand digital.

Let’s call this the “WE’RE ALL TOAST” story for broadcasting. (Kind of hate to write it down - but that’s how it sounds, sometimes).

Truth is: The growth of digital is dramatic and developing digital news products is essential, but there must be a way to tell ourselves a different story. Otherwise, we should all just go work for Google.

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It's Time to Get Real with VR in 2016

It's Time to Get Real with VR in 2016

Everybody is picking this to be the breakthrough year for Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) technology. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas there are more than 40 AR or VR booths showing off the best and brightest new ideas, devices and experiences. Video games and Movies may be the obvious first content creators for VR but some in the News & Marketing Business are already getting real as well!

2015 was the year some journalists dabbled in VR and 2016 could be the year more jump in neck deep!

  • September ’15 – Frontline released their Heart of Ebola Outbreak Documentary
  • October ’15 – CNN broadcasts the Democratic Presidential Debates in VR to mixed reviews
  • November ’15 – NYT mails VR Google Cardboard headsets for their Free VR App allowing their subscribers to watch their magazine’s films
  • November ’15 – AP announces partnership with LA Times for five VR journalism projects
  • 2014 – Des Moines Register builds VR video on Farm Families for Oculus Rift

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Story Ideas: January 2016

Story Ideas: January 2016

Suddenly it's January, and you've noticed your planning calendar is still recovering from the holidays. Our team at SmithGeiger has swept the country and offers these 10 story ideas

HERE COMES... LA NINA

As the effects of the most severe El Nino in almost 20 years reverberate around the country, preparations are already under way for La Nina.

WI-FI TOY PRIVACY CONCERNS

What did your kid unwrap this holiday season? Why some new Wi-Fi enabled toys come packed with new privacy concerns.

VIRTUAL REALITY 101

Why Facebook is sure that virtual reality is the next big thing, and how you can get your hands on the latest technology.

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Holiday App Marketing

Holiday App Marketing
The value of the holidays in marketing apps is clear. The period from mid December through early January is, according to Apple, traditionally one of the most active in the app stores. During the holidays many people receive gifts of new mobile devices or iTunes/Google play gift cards. When each of those new phones, tablets or gift cards are activated, station apps can be top of mind, leading to downloads and daily activity.

The leader of the station app download effort, be it digital, news or promotion can establish the benchmark of where the app downloads and monthly active users for the family of station apps. With those numbers in mind, the station team can define new goals for growth in the weeks ahead. A strong six part plan can lead to a significant increase in app downloads and long term customer connections.

1. Look Like The Holidays
An easy starting point is to “decorate” your apps and app marketing experience with imagery and language that speaks to the holidays.

2. Leverage Your Station Inventory
Those images and promotional concepts can be offered across all platforms. Social media posts, social media ads, website ads, and promos on air can all be coordinated to give the maximum impact. With a drop in demand for TV inventory at some stations right after Christmas, there can often be an opportunity to leverage the station’s air time to help encourage downloads.

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Story Ideas: November 2015

Story Ideas: November 2015

Even with your November plan running on all cylinders, it never hurts to have a few additives ready to pour into the story engine.  Here are 10 potential quick-turn ideas collected by our team at SmithGeiger...

BOARDING PASS WARNING

Be careful what you do with your used boarding passes.  Identity thieves love what they can find on them.

HOTEL SAFE LOOPHOLES

That hotel in-room lock-box certainly provides peace of mind.  But just how safe... are these safes?

ODOMETER ROLLBACK CONCERN

If you thought those electronic odometers were tamper-proof, some drivers are quickly finding out that's far from the case.

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Keeping Stories Alive: Up or Out!

Keeping Stories Alive: Up or Out!

Do we get it? Just how quickly news gets distributed by multiple sources across multiple platforms? Yes, we know it but do we get it? Get just how fast a story—or at least its initial headline—gets old?

Do we get it? Just how quickly news gets distributed by multiple sources across multiple platforms? Yes, we know it but do we get it? Get just how fast a story—or at least its initial headline—gets old?

Not many get it; otherwise, we’d see much different behavior.


• A story from a network morning show would not run in a 4 p.m. newscast.
• A station’s news app would not have its first 10 stories be two hours or more old.
• A prime tease topical would not use the same headline from early news to sell a story.
• A late newscast would not have pacer stories that were merely a carry-over from early news.
• A morning newscast would not repeat secondary stories within a half hour of each other.
• A station would not act like they were premiering a “viral video” when it has 2 million views.

Enough with the “nots.” We were all taught it’s better to state things in the affirmative, so here goes:

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Story Ideas - Oct 2015

Story Ideas - Oct 2015

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2015/09/28/i-team-mass-road-construction-projects-not-meeting-deadlines/As you work to keep your planning calendar healthy and full headed into November, here are 10 stories from around the country designed to fit on at least one (or all) of your platforms...

INTERNET DISORDER TREATMENT

Disordered Internet use is already treated as a serious problem in some parts of the world. Now, a small but growing number of people in the U.S. are seeking help in the form of treatment centers styled after substance abuse programs.

EL NINO IN-DEPTH

We've already heard a lot about the potential for a strong El Nino. But what exactly does this mean for your local market. Put your mets front and center, and even consider a 30-minute special.

MED SPA INJURIES

Laser hair removal, Botox and chemical peels are now being done at medical spas instead of doctor’s offices. And as this industry grows, so do the numbers of injuries and lawsuits.

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Are Your Fall Premiere Efforts "Pixel Perfect"?

Are Your Fall Premiere Efforts "Pixel Perfect"?
The approach of Labor Day promises more than the end of summer time activities. It signals the beginning of the fall premieres. The audience has many choices not just in what programs they might watch but where and when they might watch them. For a successful fall for a TV station, the station leadership team needs to craft a three screen plan to build anticipation, help support audience conversations and generate audience participation around key prime time programs using all the screens the audience uses.

As stations plan fall promotional efforts, we can all learn from stations that make sure they are using every one of their 16:9 pixels on their main TV signal. While many of these promotional concepts are tried and true, being aggressive and consistent with one message across all dayparts using every pixel can help make sure audiences are aware and interested in new and returning programs. While radio, cable and digital out of home buys can be valuable parts of a station’s fall premiere schedule, in today’s challenging economic conditions, it is best to look to the platforms they control. These “owned” platforms include the station’s TV signal, digital platforms and social media accounts which when combined can create a strong sense that the station has something of importance on their air.

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HOT CLIPS: August 2015

HOT CLIPS: August 2015

By now you've most certainly heard your SmithGeiger consultant talk about the importance of Impact: making it matter (and memorable) for the viewer. This month our team offers up a series of Hot Clips centered on that coveted consumer...

WATCHING WITH YOU (CNN): the under-used and powerful line "you and I are watching this play-out together"

I DROVE BY IT (KSAZ Phoenix): 20-seconds in, this anchor proves he's a spring training fan and knows the local market well

WORDLE (KWCH Wichita): a different, very visual way to cover a big speech

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Back to School Story Ideas

Back to School Story Ideas

As you plan your Back to School coverage, here's a quick list of some stories that can help build-out your newscasts or digital efforts...

  • Which schools are the safest and which have the greatest crime issues (a set of stats that each school district generates)
  • Which schools are the highest quality and which are struggling (a set of stats that each school district generates related to No Child Left Behind)
  • Which schools pay the most (based on average salaries of school teachers, superintendents and so on)
  • Which shots are needed (a back to school health review of what is needed for each district and new health concerns this year)

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