Written by Ashley Carufel, Contract Producer, PBS Interactive
PBS.org users love food.
How do we know? We see that users consistently search for cooking-related terms, and "recipes" is routinely in the top 10 search terms. Cooking is the most popular sub-topic page on PBS.org often receiving more traffic than main topic pages.
So, if PBS users love to cook so much, then shouldn't we be doing more to better serve our audience's culinary interests? Good news! WE ARE!
Here is the drafted mission statement for our project:
From Julia Child to Jose Andres to your local market, the PBS food site will unite local and national content to explore food in America. The site will leverage PBS' iconic chefs and unique connection in our communities to explore rich culinary traditions and present a smart, deep look at the art of food.
But what exactly does that mean?
It means the site will be a centralized web location of PBS cooking content featuring PBS personalities and programs, local station content and select partners. It will feature:
• a recipe database from cooking programs across public media
• food blog(s) anchored by one or two established food bloggers
• featured cooking content and videos by program, personality, genre, etc.
• special packages and reports highlighting food content from across the country
But how can we benefit stations?
1. Give your local content national placement and exposure. This centralized site will give prominent national attention to local station content and allow users to find food and cooking content by region. Your local food content will be available to everyone, not just localized users. The PBS food site will always give attribution to the station (and content underwriters) and link back to the original content where applicable. The site will rely heavily on Merlin, which will provide hooks back to your site and drive traffic to your cooking content.
2. Drive traffic to your COVE portal. The site will rely on local COVE Pro portals to power all local video, providing a new opportunity to increase video views and pageviews for your COVE experience.
3. Participate in an innovative content partnership to serve PBS viewers. The food site will be an innovative experiment in uniting local and national content in a intuitive presentation. The biggest winner in this project will be the audience, who will have a much-improved experience for consuming food content.
The team developing the PBS Food site will be starting with a pilot group of stations to begin establishing workflows to ingest station content for the site. Our goal is to minimize the amount of effort on behalf of stations- we will take all recipes available and strongly encourage stations to ingest their related video content into COVE.
The site is scheduled to launch sometime this Summer. In the meantime, the PBS food team will be in contact with potential pilot stations soon to begin discussions and evaluate station needs. Want to learn more? Contact us or make you comments below.