Decades of focus groups led local news into predictable output and disengaged viewers. An American broadcasting company approached SEEK looking for radically different ways to connect with their viewers and understand them deeply in order to revolutionize local news products and ditch all the assumptions of what it takes to deliver local news. They wanted a different method to create a different kind of output.
Create a connection between those who work in the newsrooms to help them fall back in love with their audience. To inspire a newsroom to create news for the audience rather than talking at them.
Creating Big Ideas to pilot in a new market.
We set out to understand local news viewers intimately to create the connection between newsrooms and viewers and to deliver local news solutions with deeper understanding of viewers. Through online research with respondents who were regular local news viewers, we were able to choose the best respondents to meet in-person.
The client team was provided empathy training to prepare them for what to expect, how to connect on a deeper, more empathic level with their consumers and viewers and to help them observe in new ways. Immersions took us into viewers homes for several hours, highlighting how different viewers are from the people creating their news. We got to know their home, lives, interests, habit, behaviors and attitudes around local news. We leveraged empathic insights to create a series of brand new ideas for local news shows that broke assumptions on what it takes to produce and deliver news. Finally, we tested the top ideas qualitatively in a dynamic research session that uses the principles of gameification and limited resources to identify the ideas that garnered the most passion among viewers.
This work sparked a company-wide strategic shift to focus on "signature issues" in each local news community with new news products built from true and empathic understanding of the local news viewers.
They also launched a companywide service-oriented content initiative that provides audiences with the information, tools and resources they need as the country adjusts to swift changes and turmoil.