Digital News Training

News Training
4:13 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

How To Engage Your Community Visually With Instagram Callouts

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 majority of Americans are now carrying cameras wherever they go - in their smartphones

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 Bogle said 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.

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News Training
2:59 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

How Community Listening Sessions Can Help Stations Reach New Audiences

KCUR's Up To Date Host Steve Kraske, left, leads a discussion with community members during a listening session in March.
Credit Alyson Raletz KCUR

We often hear questions like this one: how can our station reach new audiences? One way to start is with community listening sessions.

In a recent webinar, we heard from two stations that have sessions to build relationships in communities that are underserved by the media.

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News Training
10:28 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Stations Share Their #NPRKnight Thanks With the Knight Foundation on Twitter

NPR's Kasia Podbielski, Eric Athas, Ki-Min Sung, Teresa Gorman, Kainaz Amaria and Kim Perry join in on the day of thanks for the Knight Foundation.

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.

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News Training
4:41 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

A Quick Look Back at Two Years of #NPRKnight Station Digital News Training

NPR member station staff take part in a photo editing training activity at a Knight Foundation funded conference in March 2013.
Credit Kasia Podbielski

In 2012, the Knight Foundation awarded a $1.5M grant to NPR in support of its efforts to expand the digital news capacity of NPR and NPR Member Stations. 

As we get ready to end the past two years of station digital news training funded by that grant, we thought we'd share some of the highlights that we've been able to accomplish thanks to collaboration between stations and NPR.

A quick snapshot of who has been reached in the past two years:

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News Training
9:51 am
Wed June 25, 2014

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Digital Strategy
9:10 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Make Stories More Shareable on Social Media With 'Quotable' Images

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.

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Shows
12:01 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Twitter Tips from MPR Talk Show Host: Share How You Think, Not Just What You Think

A 360 view of The Daily Circuit Studios at MPR.
Credit The Daily Circuit social media host Stephanie Curtis

Should a show host run their own Twitter account? During our Twitter chat about digital strategies for shows, that question came up several times. There's not a yes or no answer, but one show that has benefited from active social media accounts is The Daily Circuit, a daily three-hour long show on Minnesota Public Radio.

The Daily Circuit has a digitally savvy staff, including a social media host and two hosts that are active on Twitter. I turned to host Kerri Miller for her tips and thoughts on using social media as a talk show host.

Miller, in addition to one to three hours a day on air,  tweets several times a day asking questions related to the show, about the latest books she’s reading, and more to over 11,600 followers. 

During our chat, she said that although it took her time to fit social media into her schedule and to figure out what to tweet, it is now an integral part of her job at The Daily Circuit.

Here are five tips she shared from her experience:

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Social Media
11:04 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Tips from Reddit: Explore Before You Post, Find Your Local Communities

Victoria Taylor is 'chooter' on reddit.
Credit reddit.com

The website reddit can be a place for unique story ideas and a way to reach new audiences in your communities.

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Social Media
11:07 am
Fri May 9, 2014

This Small News Team Used a Key Question to Create #DroughtVoices

A photo from voicesofthedrought.tumblr.com. The Friant-Kern Canal is supposed to be a centerpiece of the original Central Valley Project plan. The canal "was reduced to a trickle" when reporter Ezra David Romero took this picture.
Credit Ezra David Romero, Valley Public Radio

Valley Public Radio’s series Voices of the Drought explores the impacts of California’s historic drought by showcasing the many people that the drought touches, from snow surveyors to farmers.

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Digital Strategy
1:00 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Six Questions About Tumblr, Answered by Tumblr

A picture of the Tumblr login page, that refreshes with random images from Tumblr users' posts.
Credit Background image provided by Jolie Ngo, 36x48.tumblr.com

When I think about which of the many social media platforms are tailor made for radio, Tumblr is the first to come to mind. In terms of ease of use, formatting, and even content, Tumblr can be just right for the time-crunched public radio reporter, producer, or for special projects.

I am sure there are Tumblr doubters out there, but like all tools, the power is in how and why you use it.

To help answer some questions we had about using Tumblr,  I spoke with Danielle Strle, Tumblr's Director of Product for Community & Content. I asked her to shed some light on some common questions we hear about Tumblr: 

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