The Sentinel-Standard in Ionia, Mich., uses video for tip of the week topics.
WHAT THEY DID: Reporters Karin Armbruster and Karen Bota bring interesting and valuable information to the public through video with their tip of the week segments. Armbruster started the idea with a weekly visit to the local animal shelter for a pet tip of the week and a segment on one of the animals available for adoption.
Bota, who is the newspaper’s police and courts reporter, found inspiration in Armbruster’s efforts. She created a weekly video segment for her beat that focuses on topics beyond the daily grind of crime.
“Since I check in with police officers daily, I thought we could do a video with a tip of the week from them, too,” Bota said. “I cover a number of police departments and checked in with a few of them about the idea. They were all excited about it.
“Because we started in September, and to get the first department started, I asked about school crossing and bus safety. My plan is to rotate through the departments. This not only gives each one a chance to inform the public, but it also helps develop the relationship between the newspaper and the department because we are spending some time together that is not centered around a time of crisis.”
THE TAKEAWAY: This is solid content that readers enjoy and can use. The fact that it is disseminated through video offers an even stronger connection between source and receiver, making it a more personable experience. Make certain that you promote the video in your print edition to drive readers to the site.