My first job is in digital content production for a broadcast news station. I have had the opportunity to be on a three person team that creates all the web and social content for the station. Omaha has been a spectacular market to begin in and I am very lucky. There is an incredible community that makes writing news stories enjoyable.
My main job as a digital content producer is taking all news that comes through the station and putting it on the website. I write reporters’ stories for them based off of their scripts. I also pull news from different wires to keep our viewers engaged in national and international news. I have learned what kinds of stories our audience will read, and that helps me decide what to publish. All breaking news comes through my desk. I write it all and update it as we get information.
All content I produce also gets pushed to social platforms, because most people end up on our website after seeing a post on Facebook. I use Social News Desk to put all stories on Facebook and Twitter. I also use it to push breaking news to these platforms. I also monitor those accounts for user messages and content as well as moderate comments on Facebook. Our station’s Instagram had fallen to the wayside, so I’ve been working on rebooting it. I archived a ton of posts that didn’t really fit the image of Instagram and what our brand should look like. I’ve been working with a few reporters to get some fresh content and really take advantage of the story feature, as well as really get a feel for what our brand should look like on this platform. Our followers have already increased significantly and our account got verified. The goal is to get all reporters on board and have a really active account. Our Snapchat got lost in transition, so I’ve been working to reclaim our username and get that rebooted as well.
When I came to the station I pitched a weekly digital analytics report to my news director. Every Sunday I sit and list out the top five web stories, top five Facebook posts and top five Twitter posts. I also list their analytic numbers. At the end of the report I use Crowd Tangle to list the top five on air talents. This is based off of Facebook and is for all of the talent in the market. It is a way to spur some competition and encourage talent to be posting on their pages. At the top of the report I list what worked well, what didn’t work and things we can learn from the week. This is based off of all the numbers from the week, and does vary significantly week to week.
I’ve recently been given the ability to create short social videos – when I have time – to post on our social platforms. I have access to some NBC b-roll video, and can turn it into short social videos. I did this with a jet pack video as a trial run, but it actually didn’t receive a lot of engagement from our audience, so I’m working on adapting our approach to this since we have never done it before.
User Generated Stories
A lot of users message our station on Facebook and Twitter or mention us. It’s my job to read and respond to these. I can get story ideas from users, and then vet them and give them to reporters. It’s also a great way to get user generated images of video. Sometimes viewers are at a crash before we are, so getting that video from them is important. This is especially true during severe weather. I aggregate all of the good content, clear the copyright for it and then send it out to the newsroom to go in the newscast. I also combine all of the severe weather items into a web story and push it to social. Getting information from our community, and then engaging back with them is important.