VRT Nieuws & Sporza

Social Media Consultancy

Emmanuel, online editor at VRT Nieuws asked Prophets to help VRT Nieuws and Sporza to use social media. Focusing on daily management, ethics and the innovative use of social media. We interviewed the staff and set up 3 internal workshops. Based on what we learnt, we answered her questions.

Many challenges

“Can a journalist in public broadcasting express an opinion via social media?”

Emmanuel was facing a range of challenges within the scope of VRT Nieuws and Sporza’s operations. Journalists are actively using social media for newsgathering as well as for broadcasting news. But are they doing it well? Staff are setting up social network accounts for people, broadcasters and programmes, but is there enough coordination and consistency?

Social media offer many possibilities for programme makers on radio, TV and websites, but how do you integrate it into a single concept within the operations of VRT Nieuws and Sporza?

Three types of question

After initial discussion with Emmanuel and the editors at VRT Nieuws and Sporza, Prophets grouped the different questions together and came up with an approach for taking this route further. We started with a general online questionnaire for all the staff and interviewed ten of them based on their profiles. We split the questions into three groups. We discussed questions on social media presence, the use of social media by journalists and innovation within TV & radio programs.

The process

The first qualitative interviews and quantitative questionnaire yielded interesting insights into the use of social media by different types of staff. Prophets also gathered the opinions from ‘the floor’ about the current use of social media and the organisation’s policies towards it. We also highlighted VRT Nieuws and Sporza’s current presence on social media. We set up three workshops based on these insights and the questions from the editors. Each workshop comprised 8 – 12 staff from different departments. Prophets prepared the workshops and provided a report afterwards. We started each workshop by outlining a theme to give them inspiration. There was then was a series of questions to feed the debate.

The result

Prophets processed all the results and added our insight to them. We presented our recommendations to the editors of VRT Nieuws and Sporza, as well as an overview of the next steps to be taken. This was practical advice for the organisation and management. We wrote documentation for an internal policy. We presented several different innovative concepts which we had devised for this process. With our insights, documents and concrete advice, VRT set to work internally. The specific content of this process, the insights and the recommendations are confidential. In this consultancy process, the questions and concerns of the editors were answered by involving the staff themselves in the debate. This yielded an interesting result which has been accepted by the entire organisation.


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