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Takeaways from Missouri Station Visits



There is a well loved adage in the PBS system that “if you've been to one station, well you’ve been to one station.” Recently a few PBS Digital folks from the SPI team, Digital Studios and Digital Product teams travelled to Missouri to visit KMOS in Warrensburg and OPTV in Springfield. The goal for both station visits was to discuss in more detail their respective digital strategies and how it fits into their larger station mission, purpose and goals. Most importantly Digital wanted to be available to answer any and all questions. 
Visiting the Ozarks Watch set at OPTV

During our time at the stations, the Digital team covered everything from best practices and resources for creating original video content for the web, to baseline social media and analytics practices. Digital staff discussed how stations will be able to leverage upcoming services like Passport and localized content on PBS.org. We drilled down into certain products and services like Bento and COVE, to better illustrate the benefits of these platforms and where Digital is needing station input. 

As improving web presence was one of the main areas of focus during our time at the stations we wanted to share with the system some best practices. As a footnote: OPTV has been using Bento for a few years and KMOS is working to make the transition to Bento.

From Beta to Bento:
  • Start simple and let it grow from there- Starting with basic questions and asking a variety of people at your station often leads to robust answers. Some sample questions of note: Who are you? What do you want from your website? Who is your audience? How will your new site reach them? Does this support your content strategy? 
  • Benchmark your current metrics- No matter the CMS you're currently using or where you’re thinking of going, benchmarking where you’re at the moment will help you know where you’d like to grow in the future. 
  • Set goals- once you have your current metrics look at where you have room for growth and where your visitors are going the most. Using your digital strategy as a guide set goals with your website. Think incrementally about your goals and who within your organization needs to be involved/invested in it. Achieving small victories is important and helps as you look to reset/rebalance in the hopes of achieving that larger goal.
You're on Bento, what next?
  • Assess your content strategy and goals. It’s never too late (or early!) to start thinking about who you are as a station, how that is represented on your website, and how your community is meant to engage with you on that site. After thinking about those, consider your audience- is your site serving the audience you hope to reach? 
  • Bentomatics! Do you use them? Do you add them to your site and move on? Bentomatics are fantastic for providing stations curated, topical content. Consider taking them a step further by integrating your local content, when possible, into the Bentomatic to create a national/local hybrid experience. 
  • New Bento templates- stay tuned folks these new, splashy, shiny, image focused Bento templates and snippets are coming soon! Examples would be the Hero carousel (seen here) and the Stacked template (seen here).
 More Food for Thought: Is your station site where you'd like it to be? Is it tired or inspired? How do you utilize Bento and it’s features? Can you add to this conversation based on something you experimented with on your site? 

Please reach out to the SPI team if you would like to hold additional digital strategy conversations or host a station visit.
Amy Lust | Senior Associate | PBS Digital
Jen Carter Hinders | Product Manager, Web Services | PBS Digital

1 comment:

  1. A great overview! The focus on 'Digital' is crucial to who we are. It's great to have help in taking stock of where we are and where we are going, and most importantly how. Luckily for us as stations, PBS Digital is making the 'how' easier with listening to station and developing tools like Bento, Passport, and MVault just to name a few. It's easier to get inspired when you have this kind of great support!
    Thanks for the visit!

    I encourage any station large or small to reach out to the SPI Team and share what works and what doesn't, because it's how we all can grow.

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