Posted on January 16th, 2018 By John Culliton
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.
Posted on January 16th, 2018 By Bill Seitzler
Infographics are one of the more under-utilized forms of digital content for Local TV stations.
Here are four reasons why you should consider utilizing Infographics as part of your daily digital content offering:
1. Easy to Understand: Research shows our digital audience is often “on the go” or in need of quick digestible content. When you visualize data news consumers can more easily understand/engage with the content.
2. Repurposing Content: Infographics can be made quickly from information or data journalists have already gathered. Timelines help news consumers remember the history/impact of the story.
3. Break up the Sameness: Pictures and video are great for you digital content but Infographics can be eye-catching because it breaks up the sameness of the layout.
4. Shareable: When the audience connects with the content, Infographics can be very shareable. Comparisons and Lists can be favorites with news consumers. With Facebook’s recent changes, local news publishers need to find as many ways as possible to create “shareable content”.
Posted on January 15th, 2018 By Chris Archer
Unless you've been in social media solitary confinement recently, you've no doubt seen, heard, and read about the much-publicized and cringe-worthy "divorce" between Facebook and media brands. In case you somehow missed it, get caught-up here...
And while Mark Zuckerberg's announcement will certainly change the game when it comes to elevating your brand, all hope is not lost. In fact, our team has worked over the last few days to compile a new set of tactics and strategy to help you stay relevant on Facebook, while also being even more surgical on your own platforms.
If you're a full-time consulting partner with SmithGeiger, please reach out to your strategist for access to this document - and never hesitate to let us know if you have any questions.
Posted on June 7th, 2017 By Anna James
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.
Posted on March 8th, 2017 By Andrew Finlayson
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.
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.
Posted on March 7th, 2017 By Chris Archer
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?
Posted on February 6th, 2017 By John Culliton
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.
Posted on February 3rd, 2017 By Bill Seitzler
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
Posted on November 7th, 2016 By Chris Archer
As our team at SmithGeiger watches Election Day coverage from around the country, we will be updating this post with clips and examples from news outlets covering the races everywhere...
Click below to see more examples in the full post.
Posted on October 5th, 2016 By John Culliton
We all know this, right? Everybody picks a local story over a national story - if there’s a tie vote for what story leads a newscast, gets prominent play on a website/app, or gets posted on social.
It’s the rest of the hours and hours of news and digital postings that create issues. Here’s what I believe:
- BREAKING national/int’l beats OLD LOCAL.
- OLD LOCAL beats OLD NATIONAL/INT’L.
- OLD NATIONAL/INT’L is a really bad thing for newscasts, but it’s everywhere.
Here’s the thinking behind these statements:
BREAKING national/int’l beats OLD LOCAL:
We have a lot of clients with LIVE DESKS/BREAKING NEWS CENTERS/ALERT CENTERS. Most started in the mornings, but now they’ve spread to afternoons, and I’ve spotted one on a competitor at 11 pm. These venues mostly report on national/int’l news.
But the question often comes up: do viewers really care about secondary stories that are not LOCAL? And the answer is NEW MATTERS. It doesn’t matter more than BIG LOCAL STORIES - but NEW MATTERS when many of the other stories in the newscast are getting old and repetitive. And the rate at which stories gets OLD is at an all-time high and growing.