Las Vegas: 58 concert attendees dead, 500 injured. Our nation's attention has been focused on the October 1 mass shooting. We've consumed hours of news coverage about the event, the victims, the shooter and the Las Vegas law enforcement personnel. But the one thing that hasn't received as much coverage is how the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) connected with concert-goers and the community at large. Here's a quick look:
1) Active Social Media Channels: The LVMPD treated their Facebook and Twitter feeds as official communications outlets. The department Facebook and Twitter pages contained regular updates with information about ongoing investigations, updates on officers and news of importance. If you look at the pages, you'll find that the LVMPD's content rivals the content you'd see on a six-o'clock TV newscast. Social media is not an afterthought for the LVMPD. It's treated as an official communications channel.
2) The Right People: The individual – or team – running the LVMPD social media feeds knew how to handle communications during a crisis. The social media messages were timely and coordinated with real-time events (road closures, emergency info). It appears that the LVMPD invested time and training to make sure their social media team knew how to handle such an event.
3) Valuable Content: During the shooting, the LVMPD provided important content to concert-goers and the community. As already mentioned, users received information about emergency info and road closures. But there was much more content available on the social media pages: information about ongoing investigations, tips, contact info and community events. The strategy behind the social media content was thoughtfully planned.
Borrow a few ideas from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Make sure your team knows how and what to include on your social media pages. Invest time showing them how the channels tie in to your on-air and community outreaches. And if you don't have a social media strategy, sit down and think through how you can tie your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds to your on-air messages in order to make the most of your communications channels.
Take the time to invest in your team and tools today. Don't wait until you're dealing with a crisis.
When was the last time you read 174 newspapers … in a day?
That's how much data comes at us in a day's time: the equivalent of 174 newspapers.
Writing coach Ann Wylie recently explained how much information comes at us each and every day thanks to the internet. She quotes a study by the University of Southern California's Institute for Communications Technology Management that each day our world consumes more than:
• 63 hours of streaming video
• 63,000 hours of streaming music
• 10,000 times the complete works of Shakespeare
The individual person consumes more than 15 hours of media each day.
And that includes your communications channels!
How do you cut through the clutter? Sometimes it comes back to the basics:
• Know your audience.
• Curate content that connects with your audience.
• Invite them in to your world … and encourage them to invite others in.
• Be consistent.
It's a lot of work. But remember, you're not trying to reach everyone in the world. You're not trying to outdo 174 newspapers. You're talking to your audience … one person at a time … and they're worth the work.
No one likes to hear it. No one likes to say it. But sometimes the hardest word you'll ever say is the most important word someone needs to hear.
I had to stand up to a client this past week and tell them, “No. We will not meet your deadline because your product isn't ready. Your reputation will be damaged unless we take steps to fix the product before sending it out.”
It wasn't a discussion I wanted to have. Nor did the client want to hear it. But we both agreed that saying “no” was the right thing to do.
Not long ago, I heard a strategic planner describe his work: “Strategy isn't just about planning and doing things ... it's also about saying 'and we will NOT do these things.'”
Sometimes “no” is the right word to say.
Saying “no” keeps us from overcommitting and watering down our effectiveness. It means limiting our promotions to one goal. It means limiting our message to one simple topic. It means choosing the one thing that will make us effective … and eliminating things that will distract us.
So what's in front of you today? What do you need to say “no” to?
It's never easy to say “no.” But sometimes, it's the right thing to say.
Bill Arbuckle CMW
She's your target listener. You want to connect with her and you want to keep her coming back to your station. But do you know her media habits?
In early 2017, Mitchel Public Relations released a study on Moms – specifically Millennial Moms – and shared information about mom's media habits and preferences. Here are a few highlights that might be helpful as you plan programming, advertising and promotions:
• 70% of millennial moms use their phones to access the online world. (As a result, they are less likely to use a laptop or PC.
• Her most visited sites include parenting communities, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Twitter and Tumblr are less important.
• Nearly a quarter of U.S. Millennial moms do half or more of their shopping online.
• Eight out of ten millennial moms use their phone for shopping while in store.
• She is likely to notice digital ads featuring deals, sales or other money-saving offers.
• She pays attention to bloggers and social media influencers and is likely to purchase something that a trusted blogger has promoted.
As you have opportunity, find ways to connect with mom online – in her world. Make your content and promotions smart phone-friendly and let her know that you're working to connect and give her encouragement and helpful information. She'll appreciate your work.
Bill Arbuckle CMW
Over the next few weeks, we'll be hearing a lot about the effects of Hurricane Irma. We'll also continue hearing about the cleanup from Hurricane Harvey. In fact, much of the national conversation will revolve around the topic of hurricanes, destruction and the toll that these storms have taken on our nation.
And since everyone will be talking about hurricanes, that means that mom is talking about them too. In fact, she'll be talking to her kids about hurricanes and helping them deal with the images they'll see online and on TV.
You have the opportunity to talk to mom and help her as she talks to her family. Here are a couple of ways you can help:
1) Open the dialog and invite mom to share her thoughts. How is she doing? What is she telling her kids? How is her family helping storm victims? This is a great topic for online discussion. Invite mom to comment on your Facebook page. Invite her on air as well.
2) Give her resources to help talk about it. Share some online resources to help families understand what's happening. Ready.gov has an entire section dedicated to helping kids deal with hurricanes: https://www.ready.gov/kids/know-the-facts/hurricanes
3) Show her how she and her kids can help. Connect with a reputable relief organization that is working in the area. Ask them how families can get involved … and then give mom the opportunity to help out – whether it's by making a donation or collecting supplies. Give her ways to get her kids involved.
4) Give regular updates. It's easy to become consumed by the crisis of the moment, but remember that the victims of Irma and Harvey will be dealing with the disasters for months and years. Provide regular check-ins with relief groups and share that info with mom.
Show mom that you're on her side. Help her connect with her kids and teach them lessons about caring and empathy as we together help those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Bill Arbuckle CMW