Posted on July 10th, 2016 By Jacques Natz
As an NBC station the Road to Rio will provide great opportunities with double digit ratings heading into your late newscast- even if it is getting displaced later than usual. Unlike the two most recent Olympics in Sochi and London many of these events will be live as Rio is just one hour ahead of EDT. The exposure your station will get in all day parts with different audiences means in addition to your loyalists plenty of roving loyalists and switchables will be in play.
Coming off the acrimony of the presidential campaign the Olympics can be a time to bring people together- a little patriotism can go a long way especially given that Rio (Aug 5-21) comes right after the GOP and Democratic conventions in July. Rio is also taking place as many communities start up the new school year too- offering a great platform to image your brand. Certainly a BIG, bold, patriotic feel in your promotions and social posts makes good sense to bolster your image in these fractured times. To help you capitalize on the event on all platforms here are 10 opportunities to consider:
1. Late newscasts- Stick with the key focus areas and make sure it is urgent and quick paced to help them forget about the close finish in the USA basketball game. Accentuating your commitment to NEW, NOW and NEXT is more important than your strategy of potentially including TSRs. Some nights that might include a highly produced cold open that hooks viewers to watch multiple stories and others you will want to jump right into the Big Story as quickly as possible.
2. AM News- The Olympics provides a gold mine for our morning news with enhanced sampling from people who may never see your mornings but left the station on NBC after the night before. Consider a separate look or area to present this information each morning to help set up my day to sample Olympics on every platform. Be my Olympics companion in the morning.
Posted on July 6th, 2016 By Chris Archer
It's the middle of summer. Vacation-season is in full swing. And now the Olympics are back - but not on my station. Time to raise the white flag? Absolutely not!
In fact, it's a great opportunity to make some headway on your NBC foe in the market, reminding consumers that you - as the news leader - will never compromise live coverage of breaking news and weather for the gold medal round of... handball (we actually like handball, but like disruptive weather better).
Our team at SmithGeiger has compiled a Top 10 list of tactical and strategic initiatives for non-NBC stations during the Summer Games:
- Own News When They Can't: the Games will pre-empt most 4pm, 10pm, and 11pm newscasts on NBC stations. (See the NBC Coverage Plan here). If there's breaking news or weather, go all-in during these newscasts. See bullets 4, 5, and 6 below for digital ideas on how to remind consumers a station in the market won't make you wait for news.
- Be Better Competitively: in the AM and Early Evening time periods, we'll still be head-to-head with the local NBC station, but while they're caught-up in long live shots, talk-backs, feature profiles, and highlights from Rio, let's hammer-home the news of the day. Be sure we're loaded with live reporters, breaking news, and a constant promise of weather coverage, especially in those A-blocks.
- Hold Our Morning Ground: we always hear notions of an "Olympics halo" that helps an NBC-station the next morning. Not true, at least not consistently during the 2014 Games. Make the AM newscast your priority during the Olympics, as it likely is every single day, and simply put: plan on winning with great, consistent coverage.
Posted on July 5th, 2016 By Gina Miller
Facebook has done it again. They're changing their algorithm, again, to prioritize user content over Publisher content. Meaning, users could see more selfies, cute baby pics and brunch photos versus news headlines in their feeds. Facebook said the change is based on feedback from users and its community with the goal of ensuring users don't "miss stories from their friends". Plainly put: Facebook's success is built on keeping viewers engaged on its site. It doesn't want to become MySpace. Facebook wants to keep its users on the platform and keep them happy at the same time.
As it relates to your Page there are some important considerations. Facebook’s values state “friends and family come first". After that, Facebook research has shown that News feeds should “inform and entertain”. Facebook says that its users "value stories they consider informative" and that "people enjoy their feeds as a source of entertainment". This can, obviously mean different things to different users. For some, entertaining and informative content could mean a video featuring a recipe created by a celebrity chef. For others, it's local news, weather reports or sports discussions. Facebook admits this could affect reach and referral traffic, something stations rely on to drive users back to their websites and recruit viewers to the broadcast products.
Posted on May 6th, 2016 By Gina Miller
The question of “What should I share on Facebook & Twitter” is a conversation reporters, anchors, producers and photographers in newsrooms across the country are having…right now.
Yes, in 2016 we’re all still struggling with what to post on social media.
It’s understandable. Some anchors and reporters don’t want to reveal too much personal information online. While some, who are confined to newsrooms all day and aren’t in the field, feel they don’t have the opportunity to deliver a ton of topical, breaking news-type content.
Plainly put: they get stuck. Consider it the social media version of writer’s block.
Your anchors and reporters can absolutely create compelling and engaging (emphasis on engaging) posts on social media. Here are effective ways to accomplish that.
Posted on March 24th, 2016 By Gina Miller
For years, news directors across the country have told reporters and anchors “You need to blog for our website.”
And that’s it. Many times, there is little or no direction offering suggestions on what to blog and why it’s important
Remember: reporters always want to know the why.
The need to blog and create engaging content for digital properties is more essential than ever as viewers search for information. Our research supports this. Not only is Facebook the leading breaking news source, it also connects, informs and entertains us. 44% of viewers have used social media to get more information about a story they first saw on TV52% have followed a link to a local news website from Facebook34% agree that seeing local news on Facebook makes them more likely to tune in to local news on TV
Viewers want digital content. We know they’re checking their mobile devices, with 43% of viewers checking their smartphones multiple times in the morning alone. Use this to your advantage to drive traffic to your social media accounts and websites.
Why is that smart? Well-branded station blogs can create inventory for your digital sales team. It can enhance the credibility of your reporters, producers, anchors and photographers. It also humanizes them while strengthening your brand as the multi-platform news leader in your market.
That’s a win on all fronts.
On to the fun stuff. Let’s focus on what to blog. Here are three types of blog posts your team can produce for your digital properties.
Posted on March 17th, 2016 By Jacques Natz
It can happen in an instant. It can happen when you least expect. It happened in Hesston, Kansas - just outside of Wichita last month. Three killed and 14 injured in a workplace related shooting. It was originally reported as a standoff at a home but, in fact it turned into three-scene major breaking news story and a mass shooting involving a disgruntled employee using an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle to gun down his co-workers. When this sort of story happens is your entire station ready? Do you have a simple news, digital and marketing plan that can inform and engage your community? The team at KWCH had that plan. Perhaps because of its readiness through deadly tornado coverage or breaking news coverage of stories like the plane that hit an airport building in October 2014 the team at KWCH knew how to respond. For 58 hours they field anchored live either wall-to-wall or within every newscast.
News director Brian Gregory, director of digital Shawn Hilferty and director of creative services director Dom Gauna marshalled their teams into action. In addition to immediately dispatching an anchor to the scene along with his full staff of reporters and photographers, Brian called in people who didn’t even work for KWCH who specialized in various skills like photography. The first news crew arrived on scene minutes after the incident and before the shooter was shot and killed by police. Wall-to-wall coverage was underway on-air and in the app. But, perhaps the biggest lesson learned in the coverage of this tragedy was the power of community and how important it is to leverage your social media connections to crowdsource for information.