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WWLP-TV Advances Digital Strategy with Newsroom Adoption of Social News Desk

WWLP-TV has found great success in newsroom adoption of the SND Dashboard for social publishing. For 63 years the Nexstar Media Group-owned station has been atop the ratings in Springfield-Holyoke, Massachusetts DMA (114). Recently, station management turned to Social News Desk to strengthen their focus on digital and increase staff engagement in the social media strategy.

What changed?

In the first month after implementing the new SND Dashboard within the WWLP newsroom, Ashley Shook, Digital Manager, noticed a drastic increase in measurable posts to social media. An increase of 750 posts over the month prior meant higher engagement in the newsroom and online. John Barran, Digital Director for WWLP knows the importance of social media and the role it plays in marketing their digital and on-air properties. He said, “People are on social media, we need to be where they are. This is a beautiful tool to let us market our products. [Social media] is 10 times, 100, 1,000 times more effective than billboard, radio or print advertising. You guys make it easy for us!”

How’d they do it?

SND makes it easy to track posts, analytics and engagement across multiple social networks, multiple accounts and multiple users. Determined to get buy in from station staff on the new tool, Shook met with station personnel in one-on-one training sessions devoted to teaching the ins and outs of the SND Dashboard. She guided the publisher-level users in setting up their individual dashboards, teaching them how to publish, and explaining expectations. “This approach was faster, more thorough and allowed the user being trained to devote their attention to the tool,” Barran said. Shook and Barran agreed the one-on-one attention resulted in a very smooth roll-out that was quick and effective.

Content, Curation and Communication

Another of the many ways Shook and her team utilize the SND Dashboard is to gather content. Whether it’s from their reporters in the field or from local fire and police departments. Shook credits a lot of their success in platform adoption and posting in the field to how their reporters communicate with the web desk. “Getting photos and videos back from the reporters through Twitter, is a big accomplishment. Instead of having them email it to us, it goes out on social and we can also get it out on web faster,” Shook said. Two birds, one tweet, if you will. It’s a great idea and something that newsrooms struggling with getting reporters more active on social can implement easily.

Keeping the ball rolling.

On top of the training, the digital management team prides themselves on a proactive integration of social media into the day to day newsroom workflow. News Director, Mike Garreffi includes Shook in both the morning and afternoon editorial meetings. This allows for a conversation about what stories have been covered over the previous 24 hours on social media, how they performed and what is happening today. Throughout the day, Shook and her staff of producers will check in with the teams in the field periodically to get updates and encourage social posts. The team approach helps keep everyone focused on being digital first.


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