I had the opportunity to be on a three person team that created all the web and social content for the NBC station in Omaha.
My main job at the station was writing. I took every reporter script that came in and rewrote it for the digital audience. I also tried to find ways to tell the story through additional digital elements embedded in the stories or as a complimentary piece.
I also would pay attention to digital trends or stories that were popular on social media. If there was something the local audience might like, I would 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 was the main contributor to all station social media. All local stories got a Facebook post and tweet, as well as the national stories that I pulled 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 the Snapchat name back and rebooted that. The goal was to work with reporters to use those resources in the field to tell their stories.
When I arrived the station, I pitched a weekly digital analytics report to the news director. Every Sunday I listed out the top five web stories, top five Facebook posts and top five Twitter posts. At the end of the report I used Crowd Tangle to list the top five on air talent in the market. It was a way to spur some competition and encourage talent to be posting on their pages. At the top of the report I listed what worked well, what didn’t work and things we can learn from the week.
As far as I know, no one had curated any type of web analytics until I arrived.
I was given the ability to create short social videos – when I had time – to post on social platforms. I had access to some NBC b-roll video, and could turn it into short social videos.
User Generated Stories
A lot of users messaged our station on Facebook and Twitter or mentioned us. It was my job to read and respond to those. 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 aggregated all of the good content, cleared the copyright for it and then sent it out to the newsroom to go in the newscast. I also combined all of the severe weather items into a web story and pushed it to social. Getting information from the community, and then engaging back with them is important.