Tutorial #8: Compare and Contrast Stories

Tutorial #8 by Gerard Braud, iReporter Evangelist

(Editor’s note: In 2013, CNN selected me as one of their top iReporters, out of more than 11,000 reporters. This is part of a series of articles that share how to be a good iReporter and how to make CNN iReports a vital part of your crisis communication and media relations strategy.)

Tutorial 8 CNN Gerard BraudThink about when you watch television news. If there is a natural disaster, in order for you to appreciate the magnitude of the disaster, don’t you really need to know what things looked like before the disaster?

The best stories are told when the audience can see before, during and after an event.

I want this to always be your goal when you file your CNN iReports. This means not just filing one report, but filing several.

Watch today’s video tutorial to learn more.

During Hurricane Isaac in 2012, as it impacted my home in Mandeville, Louisiana, 30 miles north of New Orleans, I filed CNN iReports for five days.

My first report was on a clear sunny afternoon, as I told the audience how Lake Pontchartrain would flood portions of the community. You can watch that original video here.

The next day, I filed several more iReports as the storm moved in, and specifically, as Lake Pontchartrain caused flooding, just as I had predicted in the previous video.

Over the next 24 hours I continued to file reports showing the progress of the storm.

As flood waters receded, I filed reports about the damage, cleanup and aftermath.

The audience was able to compare what was to what is.

My goal for you, if you are a spokesperson, public relations expert, or Public Information Officer (PIO) for a government agency, is to make iReports part of your crisis communication and media relations plan, and to think in terms of telling compare and contrast stories.

This link will take you to my tutorials on the CNN iReporter website. I hope you take the time to view, study, and share all 23 videos and articles.

This link will take you to the index for all of the articles and videos.

If you, like many others, think this information would be valuable as a workshop at a conference or corporate meeting, please call me at 985-624-9976. You can also download a PDF that outlines the program, Social Media iReports.pdf so you can share it with your meeting planner or training manager.