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How Denver Water Uses Brand Journalism to Reach Water Users and Feed the Media Beast

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How Denver Water Uses Brand Journalism to Reach Water Users and Feed the Media Beast

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Presentation by Stacy Chesney, Manager of Media Communications at Denver Water, at the 2018 Gulf Coast Water Conservation Symposium in Houston, Texas.

Presentation by Stacy Chesney, Manager of Media Communications at Denver Water, at the 2018 Gulf Coast Water Conservation Symposium in Houston, Texas.

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How Denver Water Uses Brand Journalism to Reach Water Users and Feed the Media Beast

  1. 1. THE COMMUNICATION REVOLUTION How Denver Water uses brand journalism to reach water users and feed the media beast
  2. 2. What’s on tap? 2 • Old vs. new communication • Our business case for brand journalism • How it works • Examples! • Take-home tips
  3. 3. OLD VS. NEW News cycle 3
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. What’s changed (24/7/365 ) 5 2:30 a.m. 4th of July
  6. 6. Communicating in public 6 9 p.m. until 3 p.m. the next day
  7. 7. OUR BUSINESS CASE FOR BRAND JOURNALISM Staying at the forefront 7
  8. 8. Not a lot of time 8 “You know my attention span is longer than yours, right?”
  9. 9. Why change the way we communicate? 9 • Be the trusted source on all things water. • Showcase our expertise and our people. • Increase our share of the conversation. • Build community with our customers. • To what end? – Enhance our reputation. – Provide consistent information. – Be prepared for the difficult conversations ahead.
  10. 10. HOW IT WORKS 10
  11. 11. News team 11 • Generate stories from around the organization. • Filter those ideas and decide the best way to report them. • Assign, produce, edit and review content. • Publish and deliver through all channels.
  12. 12. 3/27/201812
  13. 13. Catchy writing & images to drive readers 13
  14. 14. WHERE DOES OUR CONTENT GO? 14
  15. 15. 3/27/2018
  16. 16. WaterNews (customer bill insert) 20
  17. 17. Conduit (employee e-newsletter) 21
  18. 18. Pipeline (employee magazine) 22
  19. 19. EXAMPLES (always the best part) 23
  20. 20. Creating our own content … 24
  21. 21. 25
  22. 22. … results in media coverage 26
  23. 23. Text stories, too! 27
  24. 24. 28
  25. 25. Become part of the conversation 29
  26. 26. 30 Email to Denver Water:
  27. 27. 31
  28. 28. 32
  29. 29. 33
  30. 30. Find new ways to share old information 34
  31. 31. 35
  32. 32. Get creative 37
  33. 33. 38
  34. 34. 39
  35. 35. 40
  36. 36. Try parody & humor
  37. 37. Tips to get your story seen • Share on all channels • Include a strong headline, teaser & image • Paid promotions work • Use your story/content as a media pitch • Consider an e-newsletter with your stories • Have an editorial calendar and “re-share”
  38. 38. Questions? 43 Stacy Chesney stacy.chesney@denverwater.org denverwaterTAP.org @DenverWater

Editor's Notes

  • Stacy
  • 5-10 years ago, if a main break happened in the field at 2 a.m., the media might get footage but they couldn’t do anything with it until their morning newscast at 5 a.m. Now, things happen in the field and instantaneously, they’re broadcasted publicly to a large audience. 24/7/365.
  • In public, anyone can see it – anyone can use it and it lives out there.
  • Avg attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds; down to 8 in 2013
    Avg attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds
  • This isn’t marketing/PR speak; not news releases;
  • Comprised of our public affairs team
    It’s about the stories/content, not the channel.
  • This isn’t marketing/PR speak; not news releases;
  • Strategic w/our approach of when employees/internal know; that it works into presentations; Water Trailer; customer care; stakeholders – it’s an all-in communications approach.
  • https://denverwatertap.org/
  • This video story on ASR was produced in-house by Jay Adams in 2015. And we were able to use it over the past three years in various ways. It’s a perfect example of how and why we’re using this approach to communications. (PLAY VIDEO)
    https://youtu.be/ytuEWuJRhDM
  • This video story on ASR was produced in-house by Jay Adams in 2015. And we were able to use it over the past three years in various ways. It’s a perfect example of how and why we’re using this approach to communications. (PLAY VIDEO)
    https://youtu.be/ytuEWuJRhDM
  • A few years ago, it would have been unheard of for a news outlet to take our footage and use it in their story, but that’s exactly what happens today. Stations will not only use video and interviews we shot, they also will embed our videos in their entirety in news stories on their sites.
    While we still offered a traditional media “photo opp” for this, in the end the stories that aired on TV were the footage and interviews from our story.
    2016 - Successfully pitched the story to the 9News morning show (ran two live interviews with Bob and a recorded segment later in the day): http://www.9news.com/money/business/denver-water-exploring-underground-storage/350702620 (They linked to our story in their online story)
    2016 - Next with Kyle Clark reached out for a story about ASR (is that fracking?) and used information/b-roll from our story. They got everything they needed for this piece from our story. (PLAY VIDEO)


  • The speed of information-sharing and amount of information being shared has exploded. While it can be more difficult to correct misinformation, we have an opportunity through content journalism to tell our own story, which is what we did in here.
  • That conversation spurred tips to 9News and resulted in this story (which we weren’t contacted for).
    Through our proactive storytelling, we were able to address the issue head-on through our blog, and shared it through social media channels (and encouraged people to share on NextDoor).
    9News ran a follow-up story based on our blog post, without contacting us, referencing the story we wrote!


  • That conversation spurred tips to 9News and resulted in this story (which we weren’t contacted for).
    Through our proactive storytelling, we were able to address the issue head-on through our blog, and shared it through social media channels (and encouraged people to share on NextDoor).
    9News ran a follow-up story based on our blog post, without contacting us, referencing the story we wrote!


  • That conversation spurred tips to 9News and resulted in this story (which we weren’t contacted for).
    Through our proactive storytelling, we were able to address the issue head-on through our blog, and shared it through social media channels (and encouraged people to share on NextDoor).
    9News ran a follow-up story based on our blog post, without contacting us, referencing the story we wrote!


  • https://youtu.be/BJ-YpEaJehA
  • https://youtu.be/NoWPdyTojn8
    Remember – can be shot/edited on a phone and still be good.
  • Find the times to optimize
    Find hooks and opportunities to share again and in different ways

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