Tutorial #7 How You Can Be the Source of Breaking News During Hurricane Season

Tutorial #7 by Gerard Braud

This month when you visit this blog, you will learn secrets about how and why you should be crazy about iReports and using smart phones and tablets to broadcast to the world. In this blog in particular, you can learn how you can be the source of breaking news during hurricane season, during a natural disaster, or any of the crises you face. You can be the official spokesperson to the media on behalf of your organization, rather than speculating eyewitnesses on the street.

Tutorial 7 Gerard Braud

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Out of all of the people that CNN could put on television, why would they pick you? What can you share that is newsworthy?

This is an important question to ask. The answer may be easier to understand when I explain how and why I became the guy who was broadcasting live from my front porch during Hurricane Isaac in 2012.

Over the next few days you will learn the background story of how I was selected by CNN.

With 7 feet of floodwater surrounding my home and no electricity for 5 days during Hurricane Isaac, I was able to broadcast live to CNN using only my iPhone, G3 and Skype. Amid the rain, heat, waves, snakes, alligators, debris and dead animal carcasses, I kept broadcasting.

Because of the reports I filed from August 26-September 2, 2012, CNN producers chose my reports out of all the reports filed by 11,000 iReporters in 2012, to be recognized for continuing coverage of breaking news. The reports were seen both on the CNN iReport website and they were broadcast by CNN and HLN to viewers around the world.

These reports took viewers into places that even CNN news crews couldn’t reach with their million dollar satellite trucks and $60,000 HD cameras.

I have been a CNN iReport evangelist since the program began. During 4 major weather events my iReports have been broadcast on CNN and on multiple occasions have lead to live broadcasts.

The first time was when I witnessed a funnel cloud during Hurricane Gilbert. I simply uploaded a short video with no narration to iReports. CNN showed it, then my phone range. A friend in California called to warn me there were tornadoes near me and he had just seen it on CNN.  Ha. Funny how that worked.

CNN Ireport gerard braud snowOn December 11, 2010 we had an unusual 5 inch snow fall in the town I live in, near New Orleans. I had not sent out Christmas cards yet, so with my point and shoot camera I produced a short news video about the snow, then wished everyone Merry Christmas. I uploaded the video to iReports. Their producers vetted the report and confirmed it was real. They edited off my Christmas greeting, then used the rest of the video all day long to run before every weather report. That was really cool.

CNN asked me to do a live report via Skype, but that got canceled because of breaking news. That was the day the body of Caylee Anthony was found in the woods, leading to the murder trial of the child’s mother, Casey Anthony.

Tropical Storm Lee iReport

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In August of 2011, Tropical Storm Lee came through New Orleans and my little town of Mandeville, LA. A week before, I had moved into a new house on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The storm surge filled my yard with 5 feet of water. Using my iPad and Wi-Fi, I shot a 90 second news report, then uploaded it to iReports. Within minutes, producers were asking me to do live reports. So with an iPad as my broadcast camera and Wi-Fi as my broadcast channel, I was on the air for 2 days.

These 3 events set the stage for Hurricane Isaac in August 2012 and the series of reports for which I was nominated. You will learn more details in our next article.

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.

 

 

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