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Posts Tagged ' Local News'

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Eclipse On-Air & Online

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.

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Solar Bits & Pieces

Prepare for Cell and Internet Outages
Some 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 Eclipse
Below 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.

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Turning Your Smartphone Into a Super Snackable Machine

The value of video, particularly short social mobile friendly videos that many call “snackables”, becomes clear as your team works across all platforms each day.

To help your team create these videos which are often consumed by smartphone users, you don’t have to look beyond the smartphone itself. As someone at the BBC described it, journalists need to go from their pocket where we keep our phones, to the pockets of today’s news consumers.

Today your smartphone is not just a high definition camera but also a video production tool and social media content creation platform. It also allows you to rethink how you cover stories, as lightweight gear that we always have with us, your team can be more nimble and less invasive in covering stories.

For these reasons leading news organizations are using smartphones to shoot, edit and share stories that connect them with their audiences around the world. From the BBC to ABC (from down under), journalists are beyond experimenting with mobile journalism, they are regularly producing stories using their smartphones that are intended for their audiences watching on smartphones.

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Facebook Outreach To Local Media: Practical Insights and Advice

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.

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5 Seed Stories for March

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?

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Facebook Live Tips

While it may seem like it’s been around a lot longer Facebook LIVE for brands is barely a year old- debuting right before Christmas 2015. Already your audience is not only savvy about the platform they outright expect you will program on it for everything from local events to breaking news and big weather.  In this post you’ll get some ideas culled from some of the folks on the frontlines of how to make it work for them, day in and day out. 

Simply put- it’s going to get even bigger. We all know that Facebook wants it that way and the algorithm is set to prioritize Facebook LIVE events in your fans’ feeds. But, perhaps just like Facebook Messenger you could expect to see Facebook LIVE as its own separate app.

“Facebook Live will continue to evolve as a mechanism for immediate feedback. I think they’ll do some retooling to incorporate or spin off into a separate product the live voting features many of us have had success with in recent weeks”.  Glen Hale Executive Director of Digital Content at Raycom Media
Glen is talking about the many stations in the fall that started leveraging the platform to do more than provide live coverage of events.   Using a combination of software and some coding many stations developed content ideas for instant and ongoing real-time engagement on a topic. Select "Read the rest of entry" for examples and the rest of the blog post.

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Balancing Local And National News

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 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.

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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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Facebook Live

As you re-orient following the holidays ready to polish up and execute your 2016 news, marketing and digital strategies take note of the latest major change coming to your Facebook brand page. Facebook just made this announcement on widening your brand page capabilities by adding the LIVE component. If your page is not yet enabled it will be shortly.

For many stations and broadcast networks this live effort has existed for verified talent pages and many of you have experimented with it using both that and Twitter’s Periscope for community event coverage or behind the scenes during newscasts. Now, it’s time to evolve out of the experimental phase and recognize that the two primary networks, Facebook and Twitter, have erased any barriers that existed between broadcaster and consumer LIVE capabilities.

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Nielsen Viewer Assignment – Three Action Steps to Consider Right Now

Effective December 31, 2015 demographic data reported by Nielsen in all but the top 25 TV markets will be unaccredited. The move follows Nielsen's decision to drop paper diaries -- a nearly century-old measurement method -- for estimating the demographic composition of audiences in its 31 "set-metered" market ratings and all 154 diary only markets to begin using new, as-yet-unaccredited methods for calculating who is watching television. In place of the paper diaries, Nielsen has introduced a new method, a mathematical modeling technique that Nielsen calls “viewer assignment” that extrapolates audience estimates.

In a nutshell, the viewer assignment method mathematically models and ascribes audience estimates for non-people meter markets with data generated from its people meter sample. The new viewer assignment method is treating the behaviors of people in one sample -- the national people meter respondents -- in a way that is representative of viewers in non-people meter households. This new methodology is meant to derive demographic data for stations in smaller markets from larger local people-meter markets, some located far away.

We could use this space and reams of paper to discuss the pros and cons of this approach – but we won’t. Viewer Assignment is here and now the question is what does your station do about it.

Here are three key items and action steps your station needs to take now that Viewer Assignment is here.

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