South Africa: 24 hours of eyewitness news online
Primedia Broadcasting has finally come out of the closet over the stealth launch in December 2008 of Eyewitnessnews.co.za, a new standalone news brand which provides content to Primedia Broadcasting's four radio stations. Why the silent launch? To use word of mouth and viral marketing before going big.
“You will hear more noise about Eyewitness News in the coming months, though, as we extend the brand, and bring it to life. Bear in mind Eyewitness News already has an audience of 3 million people on the radio stations,” Ryan Till, COO of Primedia Broadcasting, told Bizcommunity.com.
Eyewitness News is a 24-hour news site and content is uploaded around the clock. “There are a handful of dedicated people working on the site, but by and large the entire Eyewitness News team gather this content. We've always had loads of content - more than we're ever able to use on air,” explains Till.
“Some time ago we ran a process with the team where the journalists designed the job spec of a journalist in five years' time. It's not surprising to know that journalists will have to be literate in cross-platform content. This obviously offers our journalists the opportunity to grow and develop, which is a core strategy in our business.”
He continues, “We have been operating one news room for some time now, and this was a natural extension to have it stand as its own brand. Eyewitnessnews.co.za is the fifth consumer brand in our business. There are lots of plans for what happens from here - but the focus now is to build the brand on the four radio stations [94.7 Highveld Stereo, Talk Radio 702, 567 CapeTalk and 94.5 Kfm] and obviously grow the following of ewn.co.za.”
“Each of the Primedia Broadcasting brands will always maintain its own web presence, as is part of the company's strategy. So, in a nutshell, there are lots of plans, and they're tailored to the life cycle, and objectives, of each one. Obviously, mobile sites are just as big, if not bigger, than the web ites, so you won't have to wait too long before you have a great mobile offering from Eyewitness News,” says Till.
“Eyewitness news doesn't exist alone. In fact, as you know, it's been built off the tradition of the radio station. However, one of the catalysts in this evolution of the brand is that listeners want to contribute more and more to this content. And the fact that the four radio stations have an interactive relationship with their audience means we are always calling for content, and feeding it back to them - on and off air.
“So in a way neither is more reliant than the other - this is a relationship where the two work content and share content, to the benefit of the audience. Big news stories broken by Eyewitness News become topics of shows on the stations - and feedback and contributions by listeners on air become new threads in extensions of stories on Eyewitness News.”