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.
Interactive map shows weather updates from across the country
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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.
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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.
Severe weather: digital generated story