Newsday's Day in the Life of Long Island
Overview of this campaign
Newsday set out to chronicle a day on Long Island in real time, from the lighthearted (hanging in the Hamptons) to more impactful stories (nuns helping survivors of human trafficking) on the longest day of the year, June 21, 2017.
Our goals were to engage with our social media audience in a meaningful way and have them participate in the journalism. We also wanted to create high-quality, local unique content for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that day and repurpose it on the website after that.
Another objective was to use a major planned event to train the entire newsroom ahead of time in social media, and then have them apply their skills immediately in a non-breaking news situation. (We actually wound up being able to have trainers from Facebook and Instagram participate in our workshops).
We sought to start building relationships with local social media influencers and incorporate them more into our ongoing work. Finally, we wanted to have a successful proof of concept so our advertising team could sell against it in 2018.
Results for this campaign
“A Day in the Life of Long Island” exceeded our expectations. Through careful planning and luck, we were able to capture the diversity, in all aspects, of a day on LI. We caught a baby being born, spent the morning with a fisherman, followed a bail bondsman, were invited to a funeral.
Over 70 Newsday journalists posted from 100 locations, starting from 1 a.m. and past midnight. Our first Instagram post got 31,371 video views and 69,300 impressions and was one of our top 2017 posts.
We also spread lasting social media best practices. Along with the social and digital teams, reporters and editors posted to Instagram, live tweeted, posted to Facebook, did seven Facebook Lives and were on Snapchat.
We did 11 native posts on Instagram, with more than 20 Instagram stories from our newsroom at times. Our main Instagram Story was our best in 2017 with 1,257 views at peak. The hashtag #DayInTheLifeLI was used more than 1,500 times on Instagram.
Many reporters and editors said this was their favorite project in 2017. “What fun I had! The project forced me to report in ways I am not used to – to discover stories as small moments unfolded and figure out immediately the best way to tell them.”
Most of the 40 Long Island social media influencers who Instagram helped recruit and train at a pre-event workshop were heavily involved; some are now regular contributors. Hundreds of Long Islanders contributed, a reporter told us, “The Long Islanders I met throughout the day were enthusiastic about 'Day in the Life.' They were happy to contribute, and thrilled to see the moments of their day captured in our social media coverage.”
Week-over-week, we increased our Instagram impressions by 65,000, reach by 30,000 and added followers. Our digital interactive repurposing the content got 20,080 unique visitors, spending on average 3 minutes and 44 seconds, with 89% of uniques returning to see updates.