Spotlight on Local News: Local Publishers Reaching New Audiences on Facebook Live

By December 12, 2017December 14th, 2017No Comments

By Beth Loyd and Josh Mabry, News Partnerships

When extreme weather threatens a community, people that may not normally follow local news rely on their local reporters and meteorologists to keep them informed and help them stay safe. We wanted to see which videos on Facebook are being viewed beyond a publisher’s own followers, and reaching the community at large.

Using internal Facebook data, we looked at some of the Facebook Lives from Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey where a high percentage of its watch time was consumed by people who are in the same market of the publisher, but aren’t fans of the Page. From meteorologists going live from the studio to answer pressing questions in real-time to stations and newspapers sharing live cams of the affected areas, here are some ways local publishers used Facebook Live to cover extreme weather and reach a larger audience.

Steve Weagle, chief meteorologist of WPTV 5, went live on Facebook from the studio to provide continuous coverage on Hurricane Irma. He answered questions from people in the community as WPTV 5 reporters were live-on-the-air in the background.


KPRC2 in Houston simulcast their coverage of Hurricane Harvey, showcasing a press conference with the governor as well as the latest updates from the station’s chief meteorologist.


A reporter from the Corpus Christi Caller-Times went live to relay some of the personal stories he was hearing from members of the community affected by Hurricane Harvey.


ABC Action News  went live for the press conference of Governor Scott, who gave an update on Hurricane Irma while it was a category 5 storm with winds of 185 mph.


KCBD News Channel 11 displayed live video cams of areas in the path of Hurricane Harvey as the storm made landfall. The station updated the post with the latest information throughout the day.


Meteorologist Jamie Ertle of WTOC-TV in Savannah, Georgia went live from her phone, answering questions from her Facebook audience about Hurricane Irma. Questions ranged from advice on how to evacuate and whether it was too late to leave.


10 News WTSP shared a live breaking news press conference to report on fatalities from Hurricane Irma.


11 Alive reporters Neima Abdulahi and Joe Flocaari flew directly into Hurricane Irma with hurricane hunters, and then went live on Facebook to answer questions about their experience.


Fox 8 News went live from a dog rescue shelter in Northeast Ohio where dogs were transferred to make room for rescued animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.


The Houston Chronicle went live as J.J. Watt and his Houston Texans teammates distributed relief supplies to people affected by Hurricane Harvey.


Fox 4 in Fort Myers, did a simulcast of their Hurricane Irma coverage to Facebook live that featured in-studio meteorologists and on-the-ground reporting.


If you’re interested in utilizing Facebook Live to reach new audiences, check out our Live Best Practices.

Phvntom, Inc. is a digital marketing company located in Boise, Idaho that creates websites, apps, and full-scale promotions/campaigns for other businesses. The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of its authors and were not written by Phvntom. This article was originally published by Facebook. 

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