"Jardim Pantanal - Vidas Alagadas" (Jardim Pantanal - Flooded Lifes) is an exclusive documentary series for Reels on Facebook and Instagram. The production is divided into seven one-minute episodes and reveals the story of people who deal with the drama of constant flooding at Jardim Pantanal, a neighborhood in the east zone of Sao Paulo's capital.
The series is an original production of Record TV, the 2nd biggest TV broadcaster in Brazil. It allows these citizens to express the challenges faced in their community and show how they live with the constant fear of losing everything in a storm. They also manifest what they expect from the public administration since they are residents of the wealthiest city in Brazil. The area is located near the banks of the Tietê River - known for its pollution and environmental problems - and has had a routine of flooding for 30 years, an issue that intensifies even more during the rainy season.
This work is also one of the selected projects of a Meta fellowship program in partnership with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). Produced by the transmedia team, this is the first time that Record TV bets on this format entirely for social media.
The strategy was to hear the problem of flooding directly from the Jardim Pantanal's residents, who are the most appropriate people to describe the impact of rain in that region. Therefore, we selected different profiles to report a personal view of the issue. You watch the testimony of a businesswoman, a housewife, a young entrepreneur, a community assistant, a long-time resident, a child, and a community leader. In addition to the statements, each episode has shocking footage of the storms - a work came from a deep research in the Record TV archives, which covered the inundation for a long time. We also produced a teaser to publish before the episodes.
The editing follows the same dynamism as usual Reels videos. However, instead of betting only on Instagram, we also decided to distribute these one-minute videos on Facebook's Reels, a space that has not been explored by Brazilian journalism yet.
No doubt, our biggest challenge was to summarize each story without losing its relevance. This formula, consequently, was designed to explore short and objective speeches from each interviewee. We focused on calling the attention of social media users to the alarming situation these people live in.
Once completed, we chose Portal R7's Instagram and Facebook. These accounts have over 18.7 million followers - and it is among the greatest news portals in Brazil. Furthermore, we used R7.com to publish a reply note from the Sao Paulo City Hall and host all the episodes.
Finally, this strategy enabled the construction of cross-media content on Record TV. During the journalistic program Cidade Alerta, we created an ad and put a QR Code on the screen directing to this address.
The results were uplifting for our team. The episodes and the teaser have had about 1.2 million views on the two social networks. We aimed to achieve more than 100,000 views per video and reach at least 50,000 people per video, successfully accomplished in all publications. In addition, our engagement exceeded 8,400 likes, comments, and shares. With these data, we certainly inaugurated not only a new format in Record TV but also in Brazilian journalism.