2.6 The Importance of Social Media in Expanding Severe Weather Coverage

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 11:45 AM
Ballroom B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Danielle Breezy, WKRN-TV, Nashville, TN

A look at the importance of social media presence and the relation to severe weather coverage and how to reach communities at risk for severe weather. Every person who pursues a career in telecommunications must be able to adapt with the new changes and problems that present themselves with each decade. This has become more apparent with the upcoming generation who seem to be trending away from conventional methods of ingesting information like cable television and radio. How can a modern broadcast meteorologist stay relevant with a broad scope of information readily available and inform those most at risk of severe weather without having to step in front of the camera? Social media presence can help one garner a relationship between forecasters and the audience. During a severe weather event, ratings have indicated people will turn to a weathercaster that they trust. Facebook live has proven to be a valuable tool during a severe weather scenario. It allows the broadcaster to reach an entirely new audience who previously would not have been in the zone of coverage. Data collected from social media interactions during bouts of severe weather, has shown a correlation between social media presence and an increase in viewers. Overall, being innovative in communicating with a broader audience is key in timely warnings and ultimately, saving lives.
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