WSOC TV holds Twitter Q&A during Panthers pep rally

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

To supplement coverage of a Carolina Panthers pep rally leading up to their January 12 playoff game, WSOC (@WSOC_TV), the ABC affiliate in Charlotte, N.C., invited NFL insider David Newton (@DNewtonESPN) to answer fan questions live on Twitter.

Newton, who covers the NFL and the @Panthers for, was on hand to talk about the team’s matchup with the San Francisco @49ers two days before the game.

Viewers were encouraged to tweet to @DNewtonESPN or @WSOC_TV using hashtag #PanthersPride, which was displayed on air.

The station used Twitter two or three times a day for promotion during the week leading up to the event.

Jason Rice (@JayDRice), WSOC’s executive producer of digital content, credited the station’s heavy promotion of the Q&A for its success. In addition to Twitter, they promoted it on TV and their website throughout the week and made special graphics for TV that highlighted their #PanthersPride hashtag and the Twitter accounts.

The station’s anchors tweeted about the event, and Newton encouraged fans to join the Q&A session. @WSOC_TV also solicited questions from viewers that evening.

[Twitter is] the easiest way to get our message across.

Jason Rice@JayDRiceexecutive producer of digital content, WSOC

During the broadcast, Rice coordinated closely with Newton. When either one spotted a good question, Newton retweeted it and replied as Rice retweeted from the station account.

The chat was more of a dialogue than a strict question-and-answer session. Newton talked with fans and even asked questions of his own. Rice and the team received plenty of Tweets — enough to fill up the entire hour.

Rice was happy with the level of engagement:

In addition to the Q&A, the WSOC team tweeted throughout the Panthers’ pep rally, which went on for three days. WSOC sports anchor @TiffanyMWright encouraged people to tune in by tweeting out this Vine video:

WSOC created this Storify page where you can see Tweets from the Q&A and photos from the rally.

Do you know of other innovative uses of Twitter? Write to [email protected].