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Weather and Other Acts of Nature
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…
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."
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.
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.
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 Eclipsewww.daytondailynews.com
Teachers Request Free Eclipse Glasses www.mashable.com
Prepare for Cell and Internet OutagesSome 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 EclipseBelow 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/
With Hurricane Matthew approaching, let's look at how stations are covering the storm both on-air and online. Remember this is an opportunity to connect with your viewers on every platform. Compelling graphics with detailed information are not only highly shareable but also informative.
Change your social media headers as well as your website banner with on-brand messaging that reflects the severity of the weather situation. Have your meteorologists do the same.
Facebook Live broadcasts can provide detailed information and engagement if your viewers are without power and can't watch your broadcast product. If your meteorologists can't answer all the questions during a live broadcast, have him or her answer them in the comments section once the broadcast has concluded.
We need to be active and aggressive on-air and online during severe weather situations. The key is providing compelling, informative content that serves our viewers, fans and followers. Find out how incorporating video, strong images with clear messaging helps us achieve that.
From Hurricane Hermine to the flooding in Baton Rouge, severe weather has dominated the headlines the last few weeks. We know that the majority of U.S. adults get their news on social media. Let's examine how local stations across the country took advantage of this to inform and engage viewers in the digital space during our recent severe weather situations.
Earthquakes are a part of life on the West Coast, but they're rarely captured during a live newscast. On Monday, August 17th, 5 local stations in the San Francisco DMA were on-air when a 4.0 temblor struck at 6:49a. It didn't cause any damage, but certainly prompted some interesting reactions.
We've assembled clips from each station: CLICK HERE TO WATCH
These kinds of events can be a producer's dream, or nightmare. How would you react?