As a PR student at Wayne State University in Detroit, the first thing drilled into my brain was the importance of being a constant consumer of the news. It was the reason I decided to take my first internship at FOX 2 Detroit and it’s the reason I set my alarm a half hour early each day so I can lie in bed skimming through my news feed. Consuming the news is crucial because PR professionals need to know whats going on to better serve their client’s needs and establish strong relationships with journalists. I like to check multiple news sites nationally and locally so I am aware of current topics and so I can keep an un-biased view on the world around me.
A few of my favorite news sites are:
Today I want to delve into why I think the ABC News’ website is such a strong digital platform and the reason as to why 36 million people visit the site each month.
ABC, the American Broadcast company is owned by the Walt Disney Company and was founded in 1962. It began its early existence as a radio network because the Federal Communications Commission ordered there to be more broadcast companies so that only a there was a diverse set of views. Ben Sherwood is the current president of the Disney-ABC Television Group.
Use of Multimedia Technology
ABC utilizes its website efficiently and brings ease to its consumers. The homepage is organized with a scrolling bar of the top stories of the day as well as a column of latest headlines and trending topics. They even have the ability to embed live news streams into the space on the left side. The best part in my opinion, is the easy access to the news beats. As you scroll down on the site the bar of different news beats scrolls along with you. The options are endless with a drop down menu bar reading ‘more’ as if the options they’ve provided isn’t sufficient enough.
Then there is the Twitter feed where GMA anchor Robin Roberts psychs her fans for Dancing with the Stars 10-year anniversary. Michael Strahan and Lara Spencer’s viral Tuesday selfie is amongst the feed too. The online platform presents the hard-hitting news like the American ISIS captive, Kayla Mueller or the recent shooting in North Carolina that turned fatal. Because ABC News is also a broadcast company, they have the opportunity to add video to almost all of their stories. This allows them to have compelling stories that their audience can read, watch and listen to. Digital news is moving to video more and more often and ABC News has the upper hand because their videos are being made 24/7.
My teacher mentioned how the newborns today will grow up in a society where they never knew of anything before the computer, where floppy disks and CD-ROMS never existed. They’ll never relate to unplugging their landline (because they never had one) to wait for their dial-up computer to connect to the internet. More significantly, they as well as we have grown accustomed to our voices always being heard. Social media has become a public diary for us all, but as I sift through my friend’s lunch and co-worker’s Starbucks order, I also come across an awesome story tweeted by the Detroit Free Press about a man who walks 20 miles every day just to get to work. Did I mention he has perfect attendance? More on that in a second. ABC News has nearly 4 million Twitter followers. The stories featured online are tweeted out as soon as they are published. The links direct consumers back the online news hub which then gives consumers options to read more news similar to the first story. Each story has the option to be shared on a multitude of social platforms too because of a static social bar that follows you no matter where you navigate to within the site. And the conversation never stops as people weigh-in in the discussion section.
And that brings me back James Robinson, the Detroit man whose dedication and hard-working demeanor hasn’t gone unnoticed. The story first went viral after Detroit Free Press and many Detroit news shared the story and the fundraising effort started by a Evan Leedy, a Wayne State student. Leedy read the story in the Detroit Free Press and wanted to raise money for him to buy a car. ABC News announced that over $300,000 has been raised.
Robertson became ABC’s “Person of the Week.” The 56-year-old factory worker was featured on “World News Tonight,” along with a Leedy and the man who first revealed this story, Blake Pollock.
Check out the story here.
I was ecstatic when I saw that ABC News had chosen a local Detroiter as their “Person of the Week”. The video shows emotional Robertson with his brand new Ford car. I think the use of video with this story helps the readers connect with Robertson and understand his journey and struggles. Robertson is very thankful to those around him and that is evident in both the video and his words in the ABC News story.
After the “World News Tonight” clip plays, a clip regarding the same story on “Good Morning America” plays. I like that it doesn’t change the story on you. Most outlets don’t have the breadth of coverage like ABC News does and it is beneficial when telling compelling story like this.
The story wasn’t just a re-cap of the Detroit Free Press. ABC News went to Detroit, went to the Ford dealership and took the time to get to know the key players in this story. They updated consumers with the most current fundraising totals and they were able to show Robertson’s grateful attitude towards the kind people in his community and around the world.
ABC News is a news powerhouse because of it’s accessibility to consumers, engaging conversation and dedication to innovative technologies. They give their readers everything they need and a little more.