I would like to introduce you to the number one news team at 10pm in Portland, Oregon. They are Wayne Garcia, Shauna Parsons, and Mark Nelsen.

With how they are using social media to connect with their viewers, is it any wonder how they have got to be so successful?

Of course it takes a lot more than how one uses social media to be successful. Long before they were using social media, I was already a viewer.  When watching them, you get the feeling that what you see… is what you get. In other words, them being them.

Is it any wonder then how they have built up quite the Twitter and Facebook following?

At 10 pm each weeknight, I and a whole community of others are tuning in to not just watch them deliver the news, we are also interacting with them. In this, it has modeled to me a social media strategy that many seek, but sadly have yet to find.

It’s the gift of you, simply reflecting you. As simple as this sounds, take a look around the various social networking platforms and how businesses, brands, and marketers are using them. It’s certainly not often the case.

Within this community of FOX12 friends, fans, and followers, there is probably no one who would still describe it as tuning in and interacting with Wayne, Shauna, and Mark each night. For it is my belief, we would all say we felt as if we were simply hanging out with some really good friends each night. (Of course, long before social media came along, it felt that way, anyway.)

Is it any wonder then why they are the most watched news broadcast at 10pm?

Recently, I had a fun opportunity to be on a talk show in Australia to discuss social media. Of course, whenever I lead a workshop on social media, I love talking about Wayne and Shauna…

Curious as to what I shared, both Wayne and Shauna were interested in the details. Here is our email thread…

Wayne and Shauna,

I have had some amazing opportunities to work with various people, organizations, brands, and artists this past year with regards to new media. In this, I have also been afforded the opportunity to lead workshops and such about the mindset of using social media.

As was the case today in being invited to be a guest on a show in Australia, I often use both of you as an example of really good use of social media.

I am constantly amazed at how you both can deliver the news, post updates, and then respond to viewers. Honestly, it blows my mind and if more businesses did what you do for their social media strategy, they would see much better results.

Another case in point, a few weeks ago during your newscast, I posted a totally unrelated post on my Facebook page asking my friends if they liked red or black licorice. Shauna, you were the first to post a reply. 45 others then followed suit. For the record, I think there were more people that liked the red ones.

What, are you kidding me?

Again, if businesses not only took the time to engage their followers in response to related topics relevant to their business, but also took the time to post a comment that is unrelated to their business, but relevant to their friends/followers lives… that would be huge!!!

What you both do is create an environment that is both so welcoming, but also so unbelievably interactive and authentic. Many could seek to copy this strategy, but… it also takes the right kind of people to get it. You both truly get it.

Quite frankly, I think as a whole, a good portion of the Portland media gets it. People like Stephanie Stricklen and Laural Porter to name a few others do a great job as well. In this, it is also fun to watch all of you interact with each other via Twitter. In a world of ratings and competition, seeing how you all use these platforms to connect in the open is rather refreshing to me and shows me that perhaps Portland has something special.

For me, I am a news junkie and I absolutely love this new participatory side of the news that allows viewers to be a part of the news. With that, it must be one thing to deliver the news into a camera each night, but entirely another to also open yourself to engage with those viewers each night.

All this to be said, when I speak about you, it is from the perspective of… here is a unique newscast that if one wants to learn about effective social media use in a real world setting, then they should follow, watch, listen, engage, and respond to the 10 O’Clock News on Fox12.

Of course, I also share with them how much fun it is to go online each night and connect with the local community. In this and in doing this, I have met many people via Twitter. Where else can one do that?

Another impact is how cool my 12 year old daughter thinks it is that we all communicate. It has led her to really begin to look forward to watching the news and learning about what is going on in both our community as well as our world. I love that!

When I share these things, people are always amazed at how cool it is that you do this. For me, it has easily become my favorite part of the week. Weeknights at 10 on KPTV fox 12. Whether I am in town or not. Your newscast is always just a click away.

Thanks for reflecting that which everyone seeks. (With social media use/strategy.)

Gunnar

* please note – Both Wayne and Shauna gave me the OK to share their responses

________________________________________ (excerpt from Wayne)

@waynegarciakptv

It took me a while to get the Twitter and Facebook thing.  Like broadcasting, for me the secret is, to be yourself. Tweet about your passions and interests and occasionally, hey your job too.

What I think social media has done for us is give viewers a quicker way to appreciate who we are as people instead of just talking heads on TV.  I think it takes years for viewers to respond to your mannerisms and begin to see you as something more than just an anchor.

But Twitter and Facebook help move that process along at hyperspeed.

It’s been great getting to know folks like you too and seeing the other side, being able to connect, react and respond is such a new thing for TV.  It’s great really.

________________________________________ (excerpt from Shauna)

@shaunaparsons

It has been a really fun adventure, figuring out how to utilize social media in this capacity. I have to be honest though, I think we just sort of fell into it and found our natural rhythm.  There was never a plan for us, it was just sort of, “Hey, you should consider doing this Twitter thing,” and we just took it from there.

It’s been fun, and as Wayne mentioned, the best part has been getting to know our viewers like we have. It’s great to get instant feedback, good or bad, on stories and coverage.

It’s funny that too often when we seek to create the perfect strategy, it comes off feeling forced. Social Media marketing should be authentic, spontaneous, natural, passionate, engaging, responsive, relevant, but yet with purpose… without appearing planned or forced.

I believe Shauna is right. They found their rhythm.

In both reading these quotes from Wayne and Shauna as well as seeing how it plays out on a nightly basis, it connects a lot of dots for me. If I were a business, I would want my dots to be connected, too. If I were a business, I would not only watch and learn how these two do it… I would invite you to come hang out with the entire community as well… no matter where you’re from.

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