USING FACEBOOK TO REACT TO BREAKING NEWS

As an early adopter of the power of social media, we knew Facebook was perhaps our most direct connection with our brand loyalists at the time.

We’ve tapped into our Facebook fan base to create testimonials for the station, but this was the first time we used to it to help pull our community together with a timely and emotional-message for both on-air and on social platforms.

On January 8, 2011, just a week into her third term, Gabrielle Giffords was a victim of an assassination attempt near Tucson at a supermarket where she was meeting publicly with constituents. She was critically injured by a gunshot wound to the head, a total of thirteen people were injured and six others were killed in the shooting, among them federal judge John Roll.

Many times in breaking news situations local stations focus on the continuing coverage aspects of breaking news. While we certainly did our part with the coverage, we wanted to do more to help the community heal during this tragic event.

This event happened on a weekend and by mid-week we were able to gather a core of viewers to participate in several spots. One couple drove nearly 50 miles to join this grassroots social media based project.

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