#TVFUTURES


Callum O Leary TV-Bay Magazine
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by Callum O'Leary
Issue 97 - January 2015

Let's be honest here, most students today are very engaged with social media, why wouldn't they be? In the past few years, social media has developed hugely; not just as something you use as a pastime on your desktop or laptop, but a multi-million pound business. It's where the people are. And where the people are is where the advertisers follow. Television has embraced social media as an area where users can interact, take part in competitions and so much more- and almost anything else goes.

The big challenge though, is to get television, brands, social media and all of the gethered audiences working with each other in unison to create an experience that not only engages, but spreads by people sharing this content. This is what I am currently researching for my dissertation as a third year BSc Television and Broadcasting student at the University of Portsmouth. Specifically, I'm looking at the impact that sport broadcasts are having on Twitter and second screen culture. To do this, I will be using our University's television channel CCI TV, which is managed by a student workforce. Over the next few months, I'll be in charge of all the content that is put out through two of our social media platforms - Twitter and Vine.

Professionally, this is a huge addition to my CV, as upon graduating , I will have had the experience of social media account management, which is an incredibly important emerging and expanding sector of television. The structure we have here is unusual for most universities, but it mimics professional practice. We have student management teams that look after the content and output of the channel from sport to marketing to outside broadcast managers- we effective help run the channel.

If I look at my work so far, the journey has been interesting to say the least. I began the academic year working with Instagram and Facebook for CCITV, but after studying many of the resources I had, I realised that these two were not necessarily the best examples for my dissertation, so I requested to change my managerial position and start working with our Twitter and Vine accounts instead because these social networks are the focus of my research. It is important that my role at CCITV works in tandem with my dissertation because I'm doing what is known as a 'combined' study - whereby I study a particular subject and this is linked with something more practical which in turn provides first hand research references for me.

Due to the fact that I am focussing on sport for my dissertation, I'll be collaborating with another CCI Manager - Simon Bull - whom you saw was featured in a previous article. We'll be working closely to bring a live sports broadcast to CCITV - and now we have our MiniCaster, it's actually possible! We'll also be working in unison with our marketing managers, as we'll be publicising the event through a mixture of social media and other exciting marketing techniques. We want to not only attract attention, but engage. From my perspective, this is particularly exciting as Twitter and Vine serve as amazing platforms to do this with. First though, it's all about research- what will attract people to watch a live football or hockey match on the CCITV channel? I'm currently looking at industry techniques that are used to attract sports fans to live broadcasts such as guerilla marketing, interacting through Twitter and viral content through Vine. There's nothing like a short clip or teaser to drum up some publicity. But it's finding the right people and platforms to do this with so we can "share" this media around and get people talking.


What we're currently finding with social media is that the key is to use it intelligently. Be quirky, fun but professional. Social media is a two-way street. You can tweet and vine all you like, but if you're a small organization and you're not interacting with people then your content will simply disappear into obscurity.

Copa90's Twitter account is a fantastic example of this. They are a company that have organically grown, producing a range of football content for YouTube. Not only is their content regular, but they engage with fans daily, by having casual chats on Twitter. It's subtle things like this that grow a company and engage users. Social media is that platform which brings a face to the brand- and that's exactly what we're trying to do here at CCITV.

Come and follow us on Twitter @CCITV or Vine @CCITV and get involved. In the meantime, I'll see you soon for my next installment where I will be in the thick of my sports outside broadcast!

Contribute with your experiences to #tvfutures

Tags: iss097 | tvfutures | student | career | social media | university of portsmouth | cci | Callum O Leary
Contributing Author Callum O Leary

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