Could live blogging be a good fit when covering events for your business? How do you plan a live blog? This week I spoke to Daniel Logue, Digital Co-Ordinator for the Electric Picnic festival about how they plan and manage their live blog.
Listen below for Live Blogging planning and implementation advice
The Electric Picnic is like a mini Glastonbury festival in Ireland. For the last two years they’ve been doing something interesting. On top of their news blog and social media they launched a live blog showcasing music acts and events from the 3 day festival in almost real time.
Two bloggers were tasked with keeping the content flowing. One was Rachel Corina Masterson, a member of the Spiderworking Small Business Bloggers group on Facebook.
Thanks to Rachel I got to talk to Digital co-ordinator Daniel Logue about the planning, execution and the benefits of live blogging. He’s got some great insights into the planning of live blogging and the process that works for them. He’s also got some tips on the other digital marketing for the event.
How do you find bloggers?
- Look for people with a specific style that matches your own.
- For the electric picnic they chose bloggers who had a good style and published positive reviews. They needed positive bloggers as they’d be blogging about our event.
Play to the strengths of the bloggers.
The Electric picnic is more than music they needed someone who had an interest beyond music. Rachel was a more eclectic blogger covering the arts whilst Alan was predominantly music. This effected which events and gigs they covered.
- When you build the blog to make sure it works when content goes into it.
- Test the process for blogging
- Look at debrief from last year to see if we can improve it.
- Look at other festivals to see if you can improve how content appears on the blog.
Choosing acts to cover
- Look at website and apps to see which acts readers have favourited the most. This gives you an idea of what acts to cover.
- Give bloggers the schedule and then give them break periods so they could write up what they had seen and experienced.
On the day
- Bloggers send their articles to Daniel and the team so they could proof read it, mostly for tone.
- The Friday is less hectic than the rest of the weekend so it gives the bloggers time to get into the swing of things.
- They gave the bloggers extra time to review headliners that finished at 2am in the morning. This meant longer posts that they could integrate into the news section of the website too.
Who takes the photos?
They used intern student photographers to accompany the bloggers. This meant they were a team of two, it gave the interns the experience and the blogger a team member to work with.
Why choose live blogging?
- Social media platforms like tumblr and Pinterst are essentially blogs.
- Live blogging lets you give people live info as it happens.
- If you couldn’t make it you can see live updates.
- It gives those who aren’t attending a fuller picture of the festival.
- When you look at a live day on the blog it gives people a more personalised experience.
What’s the benefit?
It’s a way to show people the festival. They can read it when they get home, they can see what they missed out on and what they might go see next year.
How does the blog fit into the digital strategy as a whole?
- It starts when the festival is happening but it’s there for post event content. It’s content that’s great for sharing after the festival on Twitter and Facebook.
- Electric Picnic is a 365 day campaign, the post event content sustains it throughout the year. A lot of festivals take a six month break but it’s important to keep your audience interested all year round.
- It brings back memories with their audience and they’ll start building the buzz for next year.
Do people read whist they are at the festival?
- Activity drops off during the festival. They use the app but there is less live content on social from people at the festival.
- Social media feeds were built into the app so they were reading but less likely to interact.
Do you get user generated content?
They encourage people to share their content with a hashtag afterwards. They ReTweet images people they share.
— NI Gossip Guy (@nigossipguy) September 10, 2016
The News Section
This is the section of the blog that is updated all year round. It’s useful info closer to the event and then Q&A’s with bands particularly Irish bands throughout the year. They also have features on each area of the site, what’s new and curated content from people selecting their top picks.
The electric picnic hands over their Instagram account to acts. For example, Cathy Davy did a takeover for the launch of her album this year.
Snapchat works well at the festival but it’s harder to sustain all year round.
What should an event organiser do when planning live blogging?
- Make sure you have great writers
- Plan what is going to happen, don’t wing it
- Get a very good photographer
- Have content from different categories if there is more than one thing going on
I found it really interesting talking to Daniel, he’s very focussed on planning and he has to be considering the huge amount of digital work that is involved in a festival that size.
If you run events of any type live blogging could be a good fit, it will help you paint a picture of what is happening, generate buzz amongst those who couldn’t attend and create great post-event content that will re-engage the people who were there.
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