Live Center helps Archant Media Increase Traffic and Engagement in Live Elections Coverage
For publishers that wish to cover an election and capture its tone and voice, it is not enough to simply summarize events on a national level. When content is distilled and aggregated, local stories and people often disappear. Instead, news outlets that have a local presence should focus on their connection with the communities they serve and the people who live in them. This requires creating content that is captured from the ground, in each community that makes up the larger election.
Exmouth Journal 2019 Election coverage
One media group that had an interest in doing just this during the election was Archant Media. Archant is of the UK’s largest local media groups and has a portfolio of 50+ daily and weekly news sites in addition to magazines, events, and marketing services and has been using Live Center since May 2019.
Live blogs are an important part of Archant’s operations and are used to cover everything from Premier League and local sports, to debates, weather reports, and other breaking news.
In the past, Archant has created live blogs covering a wide range of events including:
- Sidmouth Town vs Cullompton Rangers live coverage
- Breaking news updates from Suffolk and Essex
- Norwich City Premier League Debate fan Q&A
- Train traffic live updates
These live blogs have included not just written content, but also Tweets automatically fetch from Twitter, comments from readers, Infogram interactive maps and visuals, and different types of social media.
Archant Media’s Election Coverage
Naturally, the election was an important event for Archant’s readers and Live Center would be the tool to use to provide coverage of the election count, events surrounding the counting, and reactions as results are presented.
Between the 12th and 13th, Archant created 20 live election feeds across their news sites. In addition to one Generic election live blog that could be used on multiple sites, each live blog focused on a specific geographic area.
A few examples of these include:
Peter Raven, Invention & Data Manager at Archant commented that previous election coverages with another tool had made some journalists worried, but that Live Center performed seamlessly:
Live coverage of previous elections under a different platform had proven unstable on the night prompting reporters to express concern ahead of December 12 but with Live Center there were no such issues.
All live blogs remained stable and ran smoothly throughout the night and into the morning with no issues despite the high volumes of traffic.
Engaging and visual content
Each election live blog contained a mix of different types of content: text and visual media, automated and curated by journalists.
Link to longer article
Live Center’s automatic Twitter feature was widely utilized to instantly and automatically find Tweets based on #hashtags, @handles, and combinations to add enriching comments from outside sources and directly form parties
Video clips were also used in some live blogs. Live Center allows users to both captured videos directly on their mobile and uploaded instantly, or upload them from the source.
Infogram, an infographics and charting tool, was also used to provide visual updates on the election results and summaries of completed counts.
The use of Infogram allowed users to both interact with the results, and get instant updates when new count results were published.
Results – increases in traffic and new ways of engaging with readers
Our live coverage of the 2019 General Election was miles ahead of any other regional publisher (and even some national titles)
We had 20 live blogs running throughout the night which pulled in 168% more page views than the 2017 General Election coverage with EDP, Ham & High – Finchley (… their fifth most-read article of 2019) and The Comet (12,000) making up the top three.
On top of that, we had both national graphics updating live in the small hours and 22 local graphics embedded across all blogs.
– Peter Raven
Archant not only saw a high amount of traffic across their sites, but their coverage was of a higher quality than many other news publishers. The ability to pull in numerous Twitter accounts to each blog was a feature that offered readers a wider range of content than was previously possible.
Another improvement in terms of live coverage provided by Live Center this time was the ability to add numerous Twitter accounts to each live blog.
Where previously we were hampered by a limit on the number of Twitter accounts assigned to a blog, this time we were able to offer our readers a wider variety of tweets both from reporters at election counts and editors back in the offices.
– Peter Raven
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Have an upcoming election you want to cover? Or do you currently run live blogs with a different tool? Try out Live Center and experience for yourself why it is the most flexible and powerful solution on the market.
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The 2019 UK General Election – a key decision point for UK Brexit politics that would shape how and when the proceeding departure from the European Union would occur.