5 Takeaways from iMA Mobile Webinar

On May 4, the Integrated Media Association and NCME hosted What Mobile Strategy is Right for Your Organization?, a webinar that featured mobile strategies from different public media organizations. Representatives from WITF, KERA and This American Life shared their experiences developing apps and mobile sites. They presented the pros and cons of different approaches and explored the things any organization should consider before connecting with audiences in the mobile sphere.

5 Takeaways:

  1. Discern between “mobile optimized sites” and “mobile apps.” As smartphone penetration increases, making your web content accessible on mobile devices is important. However, having a good mobile site doesn’t mean your organization couldn’t benefit from offering a mobile app.
  2. Don’t go it alone and don’t reinvent the wheel. Many firms specialize in app creation and have scalable options to meet small budgets. Check out firms like Listener Interactive, which specializes in building apps for media organizations. (Note: Listener Interactive developed KERA’s KXT 91.7 app).
  3. Keep it focused and avoid “feature bloat.” Our panelists agreed that if you’re going to launch an app, keep it topic-specific; choose one popular program, project or event series that will attract interest. (A great example is KCPT’s “Best Road Trip Ever!” app).
  4. Assemble a cross-functional team. Making an app work for your organization will require buy-in and coordination among content, online, operations and marketing/communication departments. Avoid silos and think of ways workflows can be streamlined. For example, can you centralize your web, media and mobile CMS systems?
  5. Mobile = new audiences. Young adults, African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to go online via mobile devices than other groups. Make sure your mobile content resonates with the group(s) most likely to interact with it.

Missed the webinar? Access the archive and related resources here.

Curious what public media is already doing with mobile? Check out PRX’s impressive work here. Also, read about the making of NPR’s iPhone app and peruse apps available from PBS.

Need some app recommendations? PRX staff developed this delightfully eclectic list of top-notch downloads.

Social Media: A Primer for Public Media

March 23, 2011 by Jennifer MacArthur under Online Engagement, Social Media

By now you probably have seen countless articles on the web touting the X Number of Most Important Social Media Marketing Sites, or some variation thereof. Maybe you even have eagerly perused some of the takeaways from the recent iMA Conference that led into this year’s SXSW Interactive Festival. But if you’re anything like the average person, it’s all you can do to keep up with Facebook and the seemingly endless profile and privacy changes it periodically institutes for its users.

Mastering the latest online trend or social media tool can be a lot of work, particularly when new ones seem to pop up every other week. Without understanding the utility of these tools and what they actually do, you could spend a lot of time using social media with little result.

As Internet access has moved from a stationery experience to a mobile one, social media activities have kept pace. Social networking, blogging and video or photo sharing have been around for over a decade, while the rise of location-based social networking and micro-blogging has coincided with the development of smart phones and tablet computers. However, improvements in wireless connectivity and operating systems coupled with the explosion of mobile apps have blurred the lines between home-based and on-the-go web experiences.

Social media users are nowadays just as likely to download pictures from a camera to their desktop computer and then upload onto Flickr (fixed web), as they are to take a photo on a smart phone and post it to Facebook using an app (mobile web). That being said, understanding the – albeit short – history of social media user activity on the fixed vs. mobile web can be key to developing a more nuanced and targeted approach to different demographic groups with your online engagement efforts.

So NCME throws its hat into the ring: over the coming weeks this blog will explore “The 5 Most Important Social Media Activities for Public Media.” We will focus on five core activities that every station should learn to better engage online with their communities. And we will feature a selection of sites and apps you can use to master these activities. My colleague Bryce Kirchoff leads us off with a look at location-based social networking: Why PBS on Gowalla Matters.

When we complete the series we invite you to take our Social Media Challenge! How it works: share your stories of success using social media and we’ll feature the best station examples of online engagement right here on this blog. Blog readers can cast their vote for the best online engagement campaigns and NCME will feature your top three choices in our Social Media Challenge webinar this summer.