Hi, I’m Lauren Petrelli.  I’m a Reel Media Group community ambassador and also an RMG alum.  Here’s my quick story: I was working as a producer in Orlando when I met Stephanie.  A co-worker told me about an intimate one-day event she was hosting in Fort Myers, FL.  We kept in touch for a few months before deciding to fly to New York and participate in a demo reel bootcamp.  I shot my reel and worked with Greg Turchetta, the performance/career coach for months before sending my reel out.  I landed at WJAC – where I am a social media reporter.  Today I’m sharing tips for you… enjoy!  To connect with me, you can find me in the community @laurenpetrelli

Social media can be a tricky thing, but it’s a tool that is reshaping our industry.

As the social media reporter at WJAC, it’s my job to know all things social media and integrate it into our daily routine in the newsroom. One platform I use daily is Facebook Live.

Not only does this tool allow you make the viewer feel like they are in the room at that moment with you, but replying to their comments opens a new window of immediate communication.

I do a weekly segment on-air called “Happening This Weekend” which is something the weather anchor and I carry over onto Facebook Live.

I recap some of the events mentioned in our newscast, and she gives them a quick weather update for the weekend. The two simply go hand and hand, and it generates thousands of views.

However, my favorite part of the entire video is reading the viewer comments. They ask questions and list off events we didn’t mention. This type of engagement with our viewers in honestly thrilling.

Some of our stations best Facebook Lives take place out in the field.

As reporters, we know people want to SEE what’s happening, so flip that camera around and tell people what they’re looking at.

I’ve also seen stations use Facebook Live during breaking news moments. I can recall one live broadcast taken while a massive man hunt for a gunman was underway. The roads were blocked off so the reporter stood at the end of the block. You could see some police activity and the reporter told the viewers new information as it came in, warned them to stay away from the area and answered any questions that they had.

BUT HERE IS MY SOCIAL MEDIA WARNING: We all know “going live” can be a dangerous thing because you never know what could happen. I’ve seen some stations title their broadcast with a warning message. My best advice would be to ask your Digital EP or News Director for more information. It’s important to know what your station’s rules are when it comes to social media.