I have had the opportunity to be on a three person team that creates all the web and social content for the NBC station in Omaha.
My main job at the station is writing. I take every reporter script that comes in and rewrite it for the digital audience. I also try to find ways to tell the story through additional digital elements embedded in the stories or as a complimentary piece.
I also pay attention to digital trends or stories that are popular on social media. If there’s something the local audience might like, I will create an independent story to engage them on the topic.
March of 2019 was the greatest disaster in Nebraska state history. Historic floods destroyed communities, farms and important resources. Our digital coverage had incredible engagement. A few of those pieces are added below.
I am the main contributor to all station social media. All local stories get a Facebook post and tweet, as well as the national stories that I pull from wires or other stations. The station Instagram was not active when I started, so I rebooted that and got it verified. I also got our Snapchat name back and rebooted that. The goal has been to work with reporters to use those resources in the field to tell their stories.
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. At the end of the report I use Crowd Tangle to list the top five on air 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.
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.