Last night at NBC Southern California headquarters in Burbank, several dozen invited bloggers gathered for an evening of food, drink and conference room presentations about the station’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram efforts tied to the London Summer Olympics.
Website editorial director Sara Catania, managing editor Jonathan Lloyd, social media lead Olsen Ebright and social media/tech on-air reporter Mekahlo Medina (pictured, above) took turns explaining how the “first social media Olympics” have been leveraged, cross-promoted and harnessed. One of the shiniest beacons of this systematic, station-wide effort is the fact that the follower count @NBCLA has zoomed in the past few weeks from around 27,000 just past the 40,000 mark.
Then it was time for a surprise guest: Robert Kovacik, the station’s on-site London Olympics reporter, beamed in live from his hotel room at around 4 a.m. Friday local time. What made this part of the evening so intriguing is that it was done by means of a LiveU backpack camera unit, the revolutionary technlogy that allows Kovacik and his team to roam freely and link up. Had the reporter’s chat been done the old-fashioned, double-bump satellite link-up way, it would have cost NBCLA well over $1,000. Instead, it was just a matter of Kovacik’s generously donated time.
Kovacik tipped that he will be taking advantage of those LiveU capabilities today to visit and report from the iconic Abbey Road crosswalk. FishbowlLA also had the pleasure last night of speaking at length with Sharon Bernstein, the Pulitzer Prize winning former LA Times reporter who is now a member of the NBCLA.com team. Anchors Chuck Henry and Colleen Williams were also in attendance to mingle and perhaps learn a social media thing or two.
[Photos courtesy NBCLA’s Erin Dittman]
Previously on FishbowlLA:
NBCLA’s Robert Kovacik on Covering the Summer Olympics