CHALLENGE

How do you surface the most relevant local news from social media?
Or as the Chicago Tribune’s deputy editor for digital news, Kurt Gessler puts
it, “how do you find breaking news on sites that aren’t traditional, or even
media?” The Tribune, one of the nation’s most established newspapers, knows best
how to cover the Chicago area. But the Chicago area they cover is no longer
limited to streets and neighborhoods — it’s extended to the digital and social
world. “It’s really important for us to be credible and stay on top of it all, and if
news starts in atypical places we need something that cuts through and
helps us identify it,” Kurt explains.

THE METHOD

Tribune uses CrowdTangle’s custom Lists, Searches, and Notifications to
monitor their beats on social and track down news leads.

LOCAL LISTS
To start, the Tribune created a list to track their own page in order to gain
insights on what works and what doesn’t. Leaderboards in lists provide key
social strategy data, including page engagement and growth metrics.
Tribune has also built lists covering every corner of the Chicago market,
including the city’s top reporters, all of the Tribune’s own journalists, and
local celebs, athletes, and politicians. Tribune’s news team also uses CrowdTangle’s pre-built local news lists to track events outside Chicago. “If there’s a standoff in Texas, we can go into these pre-made lists and quickly track relevant media pages.”

SAVED SEARCHES
Next, Tribune customized their search queries, allowing the newsroom to
see how specific search terms are doing on social. In particular, CrowdTangle allows them to search for their own links to see who has shared them outside of their network. “If they share our content, we’ll reach out and say ‘Thanks for sharing this post,’ and hopefully strike up a partnership.”

NOTIFICATIONS
Finally, the Tribune team uses CrowdTangle’s notifications to set up digests
and alerts. These notifications, which come in via email and Slack, help the audience development team track performance and help assignment editors stay up to date on what’s trending. “We just had a great example this week with the passing of legendary
Bears defensive coordinator [Buddy Ryan]. We first surfaced the event from
viral alerts set against a sports Twitter newsmakers list, mostly players,
coaches, teams and agents.”

“We’ve had a lot of social discovery tools and nothing else comes close.”

RESULTS

“It’s become really valuable for us.” With CrowdTangle, Tribune is now —
more than ever — set up to discover local stories editors may have otherwise missed. “It takes the dark out of ‘dark social.’ There’s just endless possibilities for social discovery and analytics.”

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