The scoop on WCPO Insider: It's all about community

By Kathleen Williams

Scripps’ WCPO has been engaged in a grand experiment over the last two years or so – first, hiring a string of veteran journalists to add an in-depth digital presence, and then launching WCPO Insider to build a community with a strong allegiance to the WCPO brand.

Kathleen Williams is communications coordinator and PIO for Clermont County.

Kathleen Williams is communications coordinator and PIO for Clermont County.

Cincinnati PRSA hosted a members-only meeting with WCPO’s digital leadership team, including Brand Marketing Manager Erin Flynn and Editor-in-Chief Mike Canan March 25 at WCPO to learn more about Insider and the company’s digital efforts.

“We have built an entire digital newsroom inside a TV station,” Erin said. Before, the station’s web desk, like most web desks in broadcast, fine-tuned scripts and video for an online audience. The desk still does that, but WCPO’s digital presence goes far beyond that now.

Today’s blog will focus on the Insider brand and how it’s extending that brand through partnerships; next week we’ll look at the digital newsroom.

At the heart of Insider is people (stories) plus places (access) plus experiences (events), Erin said. Connections,  in other words. (She declined to say how many members Insider had; only that it was in the “thousands.”)

WCPO Insider is a laboratory for Scripps – and the only local TV station in the country undertaking such an experiment, Erin said. It has three levels of membership $7.99 a month; $79.99 a year; or 1 cent for a four week trial. (I did the trial about a year ago, and now subscribe monthly. The free Washington Post online subscription is a nice add-on. The subscription gets you Insider-only content.))

WCPO Insider is experimenting with other bundles, and partnerships, as well. Last year, it partnered with TEDx Cincinnati, and offered a $99.99 one-year membership that included two TedX tickets and two tickets to the WCPO-hosted TEDx VIP Happy Hour. (If you know how much TEDx tickets cost, you’ll know what a bargain that was.)

And what did TEDx get? Eleven stories on the conference; 2 on-air interviews; 110 advertising spots; and 2 million impressions for ticket bundle ads on WCPO. Morning anchor Chris Riva hosted the event. The Happy Hour VIP event allowed WCPO to showcase additional partners, including Cooking with Caitlin. WCPO also involved its blogger network in the event.

“We helped TedX sell out one week in advance,” says Erin.

Two things to take away:

  • For the partner, we want to amplify your brand.
  • For the Insider member, let’s take the online experience and build an offline experience.

If you are interested in finding out more about how to partner with WCPO Insider, contact Erin Flynn at erin.flynn@wcpo.com or call her at 513-667-2406.