Perspectives

Copyright 2018 by DNN Corp

 

From category archives: Blog

digital, social, TV, OTT, mobile

5 TSRs - October 2018

5 TSRs - October 2018

RING A BELL - A trend is sweeping its way across schools in America to start later to give kids more opportunity to get their sleep. The state of California has now banned schools from opening before 8:30. Do an audit of your school districts. Tee up some educators, sleep specialists, students, and parents to weigh in on-air and on Facebook LIVE.

FAKE CHECK SCAM - They look real and people are cashing them, so what’s the big deal? WLS in Chicago focuses on this growing trend that is apparently duping young people more and more. Banks are cashing them and then the recipient finds out they have to return the money. The BBB, FTC, the Postal Service, and likely those within your state government are involved trying to put an end to the trend.

BUS TRACKER - Now that the kids are back in school, how do you know where they are, when they leave home, and when they jump on the bus? There’s an app for that. If your bus company hasn’t made an app available, why not? Another way for busy parents to have a little more peace of mind.

ANGEL SHOT - Is that Tinder date not going so well? Is that guy next to you giving you the creeps? There are now new ways bartenders are stepping up to make sure you’re safe or need to leave the scene. Are your bars hip to the new “angel shot” system to keep women safe?

GASLIGHTING - You may have been a victim of “gaslighting” and didn’t even know it. It happens at work. It happens in relationships. It happens in politics. What is it? How can you spot the signs? How can you avoid being “gaslighted?”

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5 Takeaways from ONA

5 Takeaways from ONA

Here are five takeaways from the 2018 Online News Association annual conference in Austin, Sept. 13-15. I’ve been to 14 of the 19 conferences held since the organization formed in 2000 and I am already looking forward to the 20th edition next year in New Orleans.

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Hurricane Florence: Lessons Learned

Hurricane Florence: Lessons Learned

The past week has been a harrowing time for many local broadcasters and the communities they serve. Preparing for Hurricane Florence paid off for many SmithGeiger clients all across the East Coast. The lessons they learned (and will learn over the coming days) are worth review. If your station covers Hurricanes, Tornadic Weather, Wildfires, Flooding, Blizzards, or Ice Storms, we think you can find value in reviewing the following with your Weather, News, Digital, & Marketing teams.

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Top 10 App Download Keys

1. Do a paid Facebook app download campaign.
2. Mention your weather app virtues specific to hurricane related needs. This could be weather content or hurricane prep content that you have.
3. Drive the app as being powered by your team of hurricane experts. Give them specific roles they have in supporting the app experience.
4. Give mets time in the newscasts to talk about the app. Consider creating short packages/long bumps that weather team members can reference.
5. Have the apps specifically mentioned in ALL hurricane related content.
6. Encourage your staff to say they have the app and are using it right now.
7. Do more promos on air, making sure it isn’t a generic app download campaign.
8. Tell the audience that hundreds or thousands have downloaded the app to have the very latest on the tracks of storms headed our way.
9. Proof your apps in newscasts and weather including any push notifications. Mention how you are going to have this capability to warn during a hurricane.
10. Track your app downloads and talk about the focus, the different responsibilities, and the reviews you are getting each day in the AM editorial meetings.

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The new, new thing? Instagram. Again.

The new, new thing? Instagram. Again.

Instagram is not new, but media companies of all shapes and sizes have been rushing to Instagram in 2018. Changes and challenges with Facebook’s algorithm have partly driven the push, but it’s also because IG continues to surge in popularity with audiences.

Instagram has long been known as the “positive” social network and local media companies have done well to leverage a strategy that emphasizes “pride of place.” Audiences will follow you if they look at your account and think to themselves, “this is why I live here.”

Of course, news brands also feel a responsibility for actually covering the news and presenting information that’s more important than a pretty sunset. “The trick is to balance the two,” says Lila King, Instagram’s head of news partnerships. “Do something that is deeply tied to what you stand for, being a pillar, a voice for the community. But also covering what’s happening.”

Yes, breaking news can work in Instagram, but should be done selectively. For example, KABC in LA saw a nice boost in referral traffic from this post. But if you look through the rest of the station’s feed, you will notice that its 220,000 followers receive a mix of content that leans heavily toward “pride of place” with situational breaking news sprinkled throughout.

Instagram has become a more complex platform in recent months, with Live, Stories and the new IGTV confusing what previously was a relatively simple play. Given that, we thought it would be timely to offer an Instagram reset with some recommendations for how best to leverage IG.

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The Voice of the Voter: Interactive Voting Tools, On-Air Polls & Surveys

The Voice of the Voter: Interactive Voting Tools, On-Air Polls & Surveys

SmithGeiger has noticed an increasing number of stations using voting on-air and online/social to connect with their audiences. When used correctly, interacting with the audience can have some significant benefits. When done poorly, such on-air surveys can damage the brand, the newscast and the digital success of the station.

There are six reasons we’ve identified to consider interactive voting tools:

1. Revenue – If stations can sell the concept to local advertisers and make money, that is reason enough to consider using this tool day after day on multiple platforms. That said, stations have to know how to do it well. If a station makes a few dollars but ruins a quarter hour rating day after day with poor execution of on-air questions/contests, it can cost a station money in the long run.

Recommendation: Discuss where such interactives will appear and how often before sales is engaged to sell any voting presentations. SmithGeiger can provide additional recommendations on what content and concepts work best across screens.

2. Page Views – If stations do on-air voting and point to the website for the voting effort, it can lead to increased traffic to the website. That can be a place of sponsorship mentions, but it can also be a source of additional revenue from ads in the page beyond the sponsor mentions, not to mention additional clicks to the website from the voting page.

Recommendation: Look at the voting experience like a viewer each time such is used on-air and see if the digital team can embed videos or point to related videos and other links. The vote page should be a recirculation engine to other content if at all possible…come to vote and stay for another piece of content.

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Hot Clips: June 2018

Hot Clips: June 2018

The unofficial start to summer brings some sizzling Hot Clips from around the country...

Social Positive Promotable (WFTV, Orlando): using great video, audio, titles, and a happy ending to surface this shareable and watchable story

Straightforward (ABC): "no bull, no spin. Just give it to me straight" is the new sell from ABC News in this promo

Dual Monitor Toss (WINK, Ft. Myers): two anchors, setting-up and tossing to a live shot using big, bold dual monitors

Weather Hit, All 7-Day (KDVR, Denver): an entire weather hit based around the 7-day forecast

AM All-Platform Proof (KOLD, Tucson): proof of performance spot showcasing breaking news and weather on all platforms

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Brand Marketing in a Multi-Platform World

Brand Marketing in a Multi-Platform World

Have you ever had it happen to you? You bump into the same person over and over again in the same week or month. Sometimes it’s a friend you really enjoy seeing. Maybe it’s a person you don’t know but you recognize them from the local grocery store. Or perhaps you keep bumping into somebody you really don’t like.

As marketers in a multi-platform world, your job is to get people to “bump into” your product/brand over and over on many different platforms, hopefully in a short period of time. Reach & Frequency targets for local TV ads have changed as viewers’ habits on watching TV has changed. TV advertising is still very powerful and can create an emotionally connective experience where we get viewers to feel something while they learn something. To get that broad audience (Reach) and get your message heard over and over (Frequency) you need to blend in the advantages of social & digital platforms. We need to do this in branding our local TV news image and quite frankly we need to sell local advertisers on this concept as well!

Before reading on, let’s be clear about the use of the word “brand”. Your brand is not your positioning statement or slogan. Your brand is the “top of mind thoughts” people have about your product. Your positioning statement (slogan) should move people to the brand you are trying to achieve.

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The Next Modernization Of Digital And Live TV

The Next Modernization Of Digital And Live TV

Why do we inject digital references in our copy for live newscasts?

Easy answer, right? Pump up awareness for our digital platforms. Signal that our website, apps, and social media are alive and kicking all day and night. Some have gotten pretty good at blending in digital references without obliterating newscasts. Some overdo it.

ALSO: Saying, “we first told you_____on our APP at 2:30 today…” has become the 2018 way of saying we were FIRST to report a story, replacing the old version of back selling to the prior TV newscasts.

That’s was we’ve done. Here’s what we need to do next:

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Strategies for Smart Speaker

 Strategies for Smart Speaker

Not another platform!” I can hear you; already stretched digital teams raising legitimate concerns about asking how they can do a quality effort in this new audio command environment. After all, media companies still have broadcast, website, mobile, social, OTT and podcasts to manage.

SmithGeiger research shows a surge of smart speaker use nationally (ask your SmithGeiger consultant for the very latest figures) and this growing audience is often seeking news, weather, traffic, and sports…the very strengths of local newsrooms through these devices.

As someone who has five smart speakers in my home, I can testify to their utility and not just to set reminders and tell the time. The smartest of our clients have realized this opportunity and drawn on their research and our partnership to address the five challenges of any new platform.

1. What Does The Audience Do/Want (And Where Does That Intersect With Your Brands)?
2. What Does The Technology Allow (Creating Skills Is No Longer A Specialist Activity)?

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