Jason DeRusha: Lessons in New Media

Media Training, Seminars, Advice

Posts Tagged ‘WCCO’

DeRusha Eats: Hospital Food

Posted by derushaj on October 14, 2013

DeRusha Eats: Hospital Food

Food at hospitals has a reputation: it’s gross. But Health East is trying to change that. We visited Woodwinds Health Campus in Woodbury, to see what the Chef is cooking up!

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How TV Stations Should Set Up Employee Blogs

Posted by derushaj on August 18, 2008

I’ve been obsessively watching the Olympics.  There’s a commercial for KARE11.com performed by Mayda which some of my coworkers think is horrible, but I think is kind cool.  Mayda raps about several of KARE’s high profile bloggers, and invites me to check the blogs.

So I typed in kare11.com/blogs and found nothing.  The real URL is kare11.com/blog.  OK.

They promote Sven, Diana Pierce, KARE-mudgeon, and Perk.  I thought I’d see what the last several blog entries entailed.

Sven: 12 days ago and one month ago.  Come on Sven, you could at least blog weekly.
KARE-mudgeon: last updated one month ago.  Enough said.
Diana (Lady Di): After quite a delay in blogging, she’s back.  Three days ago, and two months ago.
Perk: He’s done an awesome job from the Olympics.  The KARE web effort for the event has also been impressive.  This is Perk’s Olympic blog.

So what’s my point?  TV stations should resist the temptation to have everyone in the world blog.  Instead, pick a few people who would be engaging and drive page views, and promote them.  Not just online with banner ads, but consider having an on-air promotional campaign.  Ideal blog topics: politics, consumer, sports, local events.  If you’re in Denver, it’s skiing.  If you’re in Minnesota: Maybe it’s fishing.

In the KARE example: Perk is nailing it.  At my station, WCCO, Terri Gruca struggled at first finding her voice in blogging, but now it’s a great stop for deals and consumer tips.  (if anyone should think I’m picking on KARE, Mark Rosen has a WCCO blog that should be put out of its misery, considering the last post was from May 29)

Group blogs? Sometimes work, but generally they result in no one taking charge, and a lack of unique voice.  That’s a recipe for disaster online.

Why not have everyone blog? No one likes doing extra work that isn’t supported and isn’t viewed.  This shouldn’t just be an ego stroke.  This should be a new way of telling stories and engaging viewers.  Getting newsroom employees motivated to work online is a huge challenge.  The “Everyone will blog” approach is more destructive than the “no one will blog” approach in my view.  Crappy blogs lead to viewer/web user disappointment.  You don’t get a lot of do-overs. No blogs is simply a missed opportunity.

Ed in the comments recommends CONSISTENCY.  I couldn’t agree more.  Publish daily, weekly, monthly, whatever.  Just be consistent.  I tend to think you should post multiple times a week.

Posted in Media | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Twitter For Journalists

Posted by derushaj on January 1, 2008

Last week I was doing a story on how Christmas trees can cause serious allergy problems. Senior 10 p.m. producer Scott Howard noticed this story on WebMD talking about the huge amount of mold spores released to the air when we bring a dead tree inside.

I lined up an allergist (that was easy) and then went to a Christmas tree lot (also easy). To put this in baseball terms: my effort was solid single. I needed someone who was sniffing and sneezing and didn’t know that their real Christmas tree might be to blame. My photographer, Chris Cruz, was just the person. He had symptoms of an allergy which started when he brought his tree into his home.

But I didn’t really want to interview my co-worker.

Enter Twitter.com. Twitter is hard to describe. On it’s homepage: “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate…through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?” Most people use Twitter in conjunction with a text messaging plan, and follow a series of friends. I have an account here.

Last week, I sent out this message on my twitter page, alerting the 80 people who follow me that I was looking for someone with a Christmas tree allergy.

Shortly thereafter, I got a direct message from Connie telling me “I am allergic to some Christmas trees! don’t know if I would say I “go nuts,” but I do break out in a rash if I touch them without gloves.”

Bingo. We were at Connie’s house within an hour, and I found the perfect interview for my story. Connie showed us her gloves, showed us her real tree, and was the perfect person to help tell our story. After the interview, I sent this alert out telling my friends about Ranty’s great soundbite.

If you want to follow me on Twitter, you have to join (it’s free). Julio Ojeda-Zapata, the tech columnist for the Pioneer Press (and and prolific tech blogger), just wrote an article about Twitter’s use for journalists.

Posted in Media, Technology Stuff | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Rapid Response Competitive Public Relations

Posted by derushaj on December 11, 2007

Not long ago I did a story on a woman who believes her DirecTV installer (a contractor with another company) stole her laptop computer.  It was there prior to install, then gone after.

Immediately after my story, I got this e-mail from Christopher Huseth, Comcast

Jason, I just read your story about the sub-contractor for DIRECTV stealing Ms Adams lap top in Robinsdale.  How terrible!  Sad to say I’m not surprised to hear this   I would like to extend Ms. Adams to Comcast Cable, Internet, and Phone services.   We are local, bonded, and insured.   Rest assured I would personally follow up on her installation myself, if she was interested in switching television providers?    Please pass along to Ms. Adams as you may?  My contact information is below.

I forwarded the e-mail and today got a note from Mr. Huseth saying that Jamie Adams may switch when she moves.  Good, personal, public relations.

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