The NPR Scoop newsletter recently summarized the many ways NPR is covering Ebola, including work with station journalists and newsrooms. KERA in particular has been all over the story on-air and online since the first patient to be diagnosed with the disease in the U.S. showed up in Dallas.
The Online News Association is a membership organization for digital journalists. Their yearly conference is one of the biggest gatherings of digital minds from across the country.
In this webinar, we shared 10 things we learned at ONA. Find the full video and a summary below. Want even more digital and social media tips? Click through our Editorial section, and don't miss daily tips from NPR's social media team in the Social Sandbox.
There's no question that mobile is on top of journalists' and newsrooms' minds. Click through the notes on panels that talked about mobile at ONA here. Then try this self-audit from Amy Webb's 10 Tech Trends for Journalists talk to learn more about what works on mobile and what doesn't. Pick 5 stories a day and interact with them in different scenarios and on different devices.
Audio stories are full of interesting moments, but we rarely see those moments shared widely on social media. In a webinar on September 11, 2014, we talked about how NPR Digital Services and stations are experimenting to create shareable sound. We also heard from Nashville Public Radio's Mack Linebaugh and Emily Siner about how their newsroom creates social audio.
The NPR coaching and development team works with NPR and member stations to help newsrooms and journalists reach a growing, multi-platform audience. As part of that work, we’ve found that stations share many of the same questions and concerns with us.
This advice column is one way to help make those questions and answers more public. By making public radio’s collective knowledge accessible, we can continue to learn from each other.
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NPR Director of Editorial Coaching and Development
Tumblr has been used by NPR and many stations to do special projects, connect with audiences in new ways, and more. Danielle Strle, Tumblr's director of product for community and content, shared best practices for using Tumblr to build community and share stories. Watch the recording of the discussion below.
This Instagram callout from NPR and KPCC asked people to tell the story of a place where something happened with the hashtag #PSThisisWhere. It could be personal or monumental. The team received an array of photos and stories by asking the audience to share their photos and stories.
Credit clockwise from top left by Instagrammers @plainviewcrowe,@pmarlin, @kaleykim, @mitzianab
The NPR Visuals team has engaged with this smartphone-toting, photo-taking, audience by asking them to share photos around various themes, stories and series on social media. Instagram in particular has been a useful platform for these storytelling projects, NPR Visuals assistant producer Emily Boglesaid in a recent webinar with us.
Emily shared when to do an Instagram callout, how to plan, carry one out, and many more tips. Watch the recording of the webinar, click through the slides and read through a summary below.
Updated July 15, 2014 after #NPRKnight day of thanks.
After two years, our Knight Foundation funded digital news training with member stations is coming to an end. We've been able to work directly with 827 people from 68 stations from 35 states and the District of Columbia. That's not to mention the thousands of participants in our free online webinars.
How do you make an audio story travel even further on the web, which is a mostly-visual medium?
It’s a difficult question, and one that we struggle with on NPR’s Social Media Desk. Often, our audio pieces aren’t published with a photo we can use on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. So we started thinking: what would an image look like for a radio story? How could we make an image to help producers and reporters make their pieces more shareable?
We decided to experiment with letting the words speak for themselves -- by turning the best quotes and facts from a piece into a visual image that could be uploaded to social media and shared alongside a link to a piece. We call them "quotables," and it looks like this in action:
Adding an image to a tweet produces on average a 35 percent boost in retweets, according to a study from Twitter. Adding an image to a Facebook post, we found, has driven similar results. As we began turning our facts and quotes into images, shares, likes and pageviews on many NPR stories all went up.
This is because, we realized, people really like to share facts and compelling quotes with their friends -- and in a Twitter stream or Facebook newsfeed, images tend to stand out. We are hardly the only ones doing this. Buzzfeed’s True Facts Twitter feed spits out random facts that they discover from around the web. Another fact account, called UberFacts, has almost 7 million followers.
But there are a few best practices to think about when making images out of selected facts and quotes from your stories:
You can make pictures of facts or quotes as many times as you want on Twitter, but there is a limit on Facebook. After extensive testing, we realized that posting a quotable more than three times a week on Facebook has an adverse effect -- and people stop sharing and clicking. But on Twitter, which moves much more quickly, it is harder to overuse these images.
Include the link to your story in the caption of the Facebook post or in the tweet you send. Make sure to write a caption for the photo you upload to Facebook, just as you would a regular photo. That’s also where you should link to your piece. Both the caption and the link will travel with the image when people share it, leading to more people coming to your stories.
Think about what people might want to share. That’s the bit you want to pluck out for your image. Pick out the most compelling quote or fact from the interview, but keep it short. Shorter is better -- we’ve experimented with both short and long quotes and shorter quotes or facts are easier to digest and share. We’ve also found that editorial content works really well -- much more than marketing content. Using the images for both editorial and marketing content confuses people -- and they are less likely to share the quote or fact.
You can use just about anything to make these images for your pieces. You can even make these in something as simple as Microsoft Paint. For a start, here are 14 tools collected by Buffer that you can use to edit images for social media.