Last week we published an article about the Boston Globe's coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and aftermath. I commended the Boston Globe for doing an exceptional job of keeping the public informed with real-time, and accurate, information as the Marathon bombings and aftermath unfolded. Here are the highlights of what the Boston Globe not only did right, but did outstandingly, and should be a model for other media outlets, whether print, broadcast, or digital.
real-time stream of updated info—most news sources already do that for
paying or registered customers. The Boston Globe extended that service
to everyone—for free!
Fact-check everything! Unlike many other sources (and, especially, social media outlets) the Globe refused to spread rumors.
find that you posted or retweeted something that is wrong, correct it
immediately even if you weren’t the source. (The one time the Globe
passed on erroneous info from CNN, they fact-checked and corrected it
Make it easy for others to share your updates or retweet what you send so that you become the trusted source.
media, including short text posts, photos, video clips, and links to
longer articles. In this way, the Boston Globe reached people on all
devices with information that they could access in a media that spoke to
hands on deck. Don’t leave this type of major coverage to a small team
that deals with social media; everyone needs to be involved. At the
Globe, every employee (who was safe doing so) was involved in some
related activity, from live reporting to fact checking.
backup or a shadow system that can scale to the increased traffic
resulting from everyone wanting information NOW! When the Boston Globe
sites were saturated, the paper not only added additional servers, but
shifted the real-time blogging to a single live blog hosted by
ScribbleLive. Make sure you have an infrastructure in place to ensure
the message gets out.
- Let your people and your customers know how much you care. The Globe made employee safety a priority over news reporting, urging those who couldn’t come in for safety reasons to stay home and not worry. And the executives at the Globe made sure that the hard working staff knew how much they were appreciated.
Boston Globe Masters Social Media in a Crisis
How the Boston Globe Covered the Boston Marathon Bombing
By Patricia B. Seybold, CEO & Sr. Consultant, Patricia Seybold Group, April 26, 2013
What does it take to beat all the major news and cable networks in news coverage? An amazing team and a commitment to getting it right! The Boston Globe took the time to fact check every piece of information, yet keep up-to-the-minute with a continuing real-time blogging. And it opened up all its paid online services to everyone for free information all week. As a result, the Boston Globe became the trusted source of information during the Boston Marathon crisis.