What’s Your “Pocket TV” Strategy?

I live in an area known for frequent power outages. We could lose power for hours in little more than a strong gust of wind. Recently, when a series of predicted storms started to approach the area, I immediately plugged in all of our devices to make sure we were charged up.

Honestly, I was getting ready for the first day of the football season. I wanted to make sure that even if we lost AC power, we would be fully charged and able to sit around one of our numerous devices for hours.screenhunter_19-sep-19-15-53

But if this had been a continuing storm with life-threatening issues, we might have been watching not football, but the local station on its app.

Stations, how do you think of your news and weather app? Chances are, many stations only think of their app as pushing forecasts and weather alerts. Few realize how many folks may actually use the weather or news app to watch the station’s air, especially during breaking events.  There are viewers stuck on the side of the road in their car, in a building with no access to a TV, or even inside a ballpark or other unsheltered location.

This is where stations may forget people are essentially carrying a TV set in their pockets and purses.  There have been a number times when there was a major event and no access to a TV or PC and I relied on coverage from my device. I’ve done this on a bus, in an airport, a gas station and a fast food restaurant, in addition to just at home when we took a power hit.

Are your apps designed to provide a live stream of breaking weather and news? If not, you need to fix this immediately.

Here’s how to get started.

  1. Remind your viewers you’re always connected. Not just for text on the device but to watch your coverage live on their phone.
  1. Have YOU watched your air on your device? Most folks watch streams on their smartphone. Well, you know those graphics that are best seen on a large screen HD set? How do they look on your smartphone? Probably not so great. Those big weather maps that cover 100 miles are impossible to see on a device. (By the way, those big TV graphics also don’t look great on Facebook when viewing from a smartphone.)   If the millennials are watching you, chances are they are doing so via their device. They want an image that is clear, easy to see and understandable. If you want an example, look at Snapchat’s “Discovery” channel. Also, look at how ESPN, CNN and others create content that is appealing to watch on the small screen.
  1. It may sound foolish, but remind viewers if they lose power, they can still watch you live on their devices. And remind them that they should keep their devices plugged in so they can be charged so they’re ready when an outage hits.

As always, if we can help just shout or contact me via Facebook or Twitter.

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By | 2016-12-13T15:28:00+00:00 September 19th, 2016|Digital Strategy, Mobile Devices, Newsroom policies|0 Comments

About the Author:

Today developing an effective digital media strategy is critical for revenue growth and brand-building. Steve is working with station groups, website developers, content suppliers, and others to in three key areas: social media, web and mobile. In addition, Steve puts his extensive television news expertise to work for clients helping them develop and refine their on-air product. Steve has led news operations in markets across the country including Philadelphia, Atlanta, Hartford and Tampa. In addition, he has served as an executive at the corporate level for NBC Universal and Meredith Local Media leading strategic growth and digital content initiatives. Most recently, Steve was vice president of news at WTXF, FOX Philadelphia where he took all newscasts from a fourth place position to second or first. Steve has also served on several industry boards and is the winner of many awards including the Georgia AP Best Website Award and numerous Emmy awards.