Monday, 28 January 2008

A web/print strategy for emerging stories

The Monte Carlo hotel in Las Vegas went up in flames last week and prompted an interesting analysis by Rob Curley who suggests a web/print strategy for covering developing stories like this.

He suggests:

  1. Throw some resources at it in real-time, becoming the definitive source online for the story as it is happening. Constant news updates. Great background info. Multimedia that is worth looking at — at the very least, some decent photo galleries if you’re not going to do video. I’m talking about web reports that combine speed, accuracy and compelling visuals with overwhelming comprehensive coverage in a way that creates something that shows your readers that your newspaper’s website is the only place to go for information on this story.
  2. At the very least, keep the web site updated. Even if in kind of a half-assed way.
  3. Run a big story in print with a big photo. The next day. After the story is over. Treat it like your print predecessors would have back in 1978, pretending that no one knows about the story until you tell them about it in print. The next day.
  4. Go apesh*t in print. The next day. But in the midst of the overkill print coverage, there are thoughtful analysis pieces that treat the story like a Day Two story. Which in 2008, it is.
  5. Do a mixture of No. 1 and No. 4. Treat the web and print like they’re both important, with print coverage that acknowledges that we live in a world where both CNN and the Internet have been around for at decades.
We occasionally have this kind of story in our markets too - Foot & Mouth or BlueTongue and "incidents" at Heathrow . We tend to deal with them pretty effectively, but it's nice to see a process laid out in bullet points like that. Thanks Rob.

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