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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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Hot Clips: October 2018

Hot Clips: October 2018

Our October Hot Clips show-off a slick web layout, social whip-around, and a fire-powered start to an evening newscast...

PrePro Power (WBRC, Birmingham): using a bit of pre-production to add some visual energy to the top of a 6pm show

On Scene (ABC News): a series of digital "whips" from reporters, featured on the Facebook Watch platform

Fueling Traffic (WINK, Ft. Myers): embedding a gas price mention into a local traffic report

One Nation, Divisible (Wall Street Journal): a compelling web layout, and striking article about major social shifts in small vs. big cities

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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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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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Infographics: Quick-Turn Audience-Friendly Content

Infographics: Quick-Turn Audience-Friendly Content

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”.

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Facebook Changes: Now What for Newsrooms?

Facebook Changes: Now What for Newsrooms?

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.

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Facebook Breaking News

Have you noticed a tiny "Breaking News" icon on any of the Facebook posts in your feed yet?


The roll-out is underway, with some interesting initial rules and guidelines about how many and how often media companies can deploy this tag. We wanted to highlight this article if you haven't seen it yet, and definitely get in touch with your Facebook representitive to get-in on the beta action.

This might become part of your breaking news tree that now includes:

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Hot Clips: December 2017

Hot Clips: December 2017

Our last set of Hot Clips for 2017 tackles the winter, with everything from snowy newscast starts to catchy all-platform promos...

Holiday OTT Promo (WXYZ, Detroit): as new devices get unwrapped for the holidays, here's a seasonal spot reminding users what to download

Don't Leave, Dad (Google): using emotion, and a snow storm, to elevate a key feature on this device

Thunder Truck (KXAS, Dallas): last month we featured the Weather Beast, but this spot takes the weather vehicle game to another level

Snow Drone (WBRC, Birmingham): deploying a drone in a newscast open to showcase a rare snow event in this market

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Facebook Outreach To Local Media: Practical Insights and Advice

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.  

MEDIA OUTREACH

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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