With hundreds of fans lining up for daily segments and frequent concerts, serving as the producer for the “Today” show plaza requires being a jack-of-all-trades. And Alex Ficquette has been just that for over a year, with an assist from social media.
Lost Remote was at the OneRepublic concert in the plaza Friday to watch the Associate Producer in action. Every day, whether it’s a big concert or smaller segment, Ficquette aims to rev up fans.
“We had Blakely, hashtag #hireBlakely,” Ficquette told us about one fan. “She was here in the dead of winter right after her college graduation and held the sign outside.”
— Robert Turriff (@RobertTurriff) December 27, 2013
The social media reference on her sign stood out to Alex. “I then make it my personal mission to try and get them on-camera and get them a little attention,” he continued. He did get her on-camera, and she returned to the plaza last week.
Another super fan caught his eye last week; this one showing off her love for weatherman Al Roker.
After spotting the sign, Ficquette tweeted it to Roker, who retweeded it. He then came out to interact with the owner of #MrRokerTheCat. “A lot of times I’ll try to tweet fun signs of the day or great crowd shots. Also, when Matt [Lauer] is on assignment one day but big fans are on the plaza for him, I’ll tweet him a photo of them and say something like “the #TODAYplaza misses you!”
It’s a way for those fans to feel like they’re still connecting with the anchors who are away. And these days, one way fans connect is through the selfie phenomenon, which has overtaken the traditional autograph request. “Everyone wants the selfie, with me, and the anchors. That leads directly into social media.”
“You have to be interested in people’s stories,” he tells us. “I feed off of their energy because they’re in amazing spirits.” The Vine says it all.