RVA Media Innovator No. 4: WRIC-TV Gets Social

Part four in our series on RVA Media Innovators looks at WRIC-TV, the ABC affiliate in Richmond, Va.

Channel 8’s reporters and anchors frequently test new technologies like Twitter and Facebook to better engage with viewers in real time. Such social media references appear throughout the local newscast.

Consider Amie McLain, a morning anchor on WRIC-TV. She uses Twitter to keep viewers updated with short bursts of information between segments during the 9 a.m. hour-long show.

She also uses mobile video and TweetVid, a third-party platform, to post behind-the-scenes short videos about her segments. Interestingly, the brief ad that runs before her videos appear to be fueled by TweetVid and not the station. McLain also tweets links to her segments such as her weekly “Stretching Your Dollars” segment.

McLain’s colleague, Amy Lacey, at the station also uses Twitter to communicate with nearly 1,000 followers and Facebook to reach about 1,500 people. Lacey provides regular updates on stories she’s covering, guests on her show and links to community programs. Her Twitter and Facebook profiles enable her to show her personality and engage with viewers.

Lacey and McLain also use a Good Morning RichmondYouTube channel to provide periodic teaser videos for their popular morning show.

These two Richmond ABC anchors demonstrate that journalists can effectively integrate social and traditional media, as they keep their brand of news relevant, timely and entertaining both on and off the air.

Jonathan Rhudy gets exhausted keeping his own Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Profile and Tumbler accounts fresh. He’s waiting on an invite to Google + and just learned he has a XYDO account … whatever that is.