With live on-the-ground coverage of the Freedom Convoy as it passed through Toronto over the course of several days, Narcity Toronto was able to take a National story and bring it to the local level, showing the impact and convoy to its Toronto audience. Reporting from within the crowd Narcity reporters were able to give the community access to the feel, energy, and chaos of the convoy rally. Whereas most media report from stand-up positions or away from the crowd, Narcity situated itself in the fray and gave a raw, gritty, unfiltered experience to our audience. Our coverage was able to amass thousands of live viewers at the moment and north of 170K+ on-demand views across multiple live videos over the course of event coverage.
For Narcity, our ability to bring this project to life is largely a result of a pre-established internal process combined with content and story recognition. First, by laying the groundwork ahead of time for us to be able to respond to such a lightning rod moment we were able to react swiftly and with precision. This included training our staff for live coverage of events but also including education on how to handle themselves in potentially dangerous situations via the Tundra Group. From there, layering on an understanding of the various social platforms, how to create unique content for them, their live coverage nuances as well as creating content for vertical, horizontal, and various lengths.
After recognizing the opportunity presented by the Freedom Convoy we went into planning mode. How would we cover (live vs. to-tape content capture), what types of content (short form, long form, photography) and had meetings with our video and multimedia reporter ahead of time to plan out where they would intercept the convoy, how to engage with the crowd and what key moments we were looking to for social.
The biggest challenge we faced was on the ground during the event as there were thousands of very rowdy people in a very hectic and somewhat dangerous environment at the various 401 highway overpasses. Our reporters acted smart and with precision staking out key areas for live content coverage all while supporting each other's safety. Able to gather live, video, and photography content we were able to paint a picture of the entire experience and really bring our readers into the moment from their homes. While most of our competitors covered it as a traditional news story, away from the crowds, our embedded reporters got reactions from those protesting and showed the true nature of the event.
A central mandate of our social content is to be the future of local news in Canada. Part of that content mandate is our ability to bring our audience right into local events through live coverage. The freedom convoy presented this opportunity to us as many across the company within our audience felt passionate about this convoy (either for or against) and while not all could attend, our ability to bring them into the action and feel connected to the moment was essential. Additionally, we were able to package the important moments and news elements for those that could not experience in real-time with us into content for all social platforms including TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. Given our ability to drive significant viewership, a large spike in audience growth on our platforms, and also cover an important moment in Canadian history, we felt this was a very large success for our social coverage team.
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