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A Twitterstorm on Twitter about the weather

A guest blog by Joe Diorio

Over a century ago, journalist Charles Dudley Warner* wrote in The Hartford Courant that “everybody talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” Nowadays, meteorologists are doing something about the weather when they talk about it.

Case in point: on December 23, 2015, tornadoes roared across northern Mississippi and middle Tennessee, killing 13 people. As then-WKRN meteorologist Lisa Patton was delivering her report that night she reminded viewers, “I’m using my ‘mom’ voice right now.” Her underlying message was clear: Take what I say seriously.

Patton’s action showed that how we say something is equally important as what we say. And it can come across clearly via the written word. David Drobny, one of three voices behind the NashSevereWx twitter account, demonstrates this regularly in his weather tweets. He also says Patton was “spot on” in her tone of voice on that December evening.

Life-threatening weather events are rare, so many times Drobny will have fun with meteorological terminology by poking fun at his preference for scientific terminology over water-cooler jargon. For example, as a storm headed toward Nashville in January he wrote: “Pro-snow weather terms [include] ‘deformation zone,’ [and] ‘frequent mentions of the ‘dendritic zone’ (impress people by saying ‘DGZ’) … Anti-snow: ‘dry slot,’ ‘dry air monster,’ ‘the low went north’.” He quickly followed up by adding “we cannot be close friends if you like ‘freezing rain’ [or] ‘ice storm’.”

With freezing rain and ice possible, but increasingly unlikely, on the weekend of January 19 and 20, someone tweeted their relief that their drive via I-65 to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center was clear. Will Minkoff, another one of the @NashSevereWx authors, responded “We could all use some culture.”

While Nashville was in the grip of an unusually bad cold spell, NashSevereWx tweeted “26 degrees at the airport. Colder in the hollers.” The tweet was accompanied by an image of John Travolta from the movie “Pulp Fiction,” photoshopped to show him in a large snow drift and holding a snow shovel.

That same day he posted a poll on Twitter, asking readers if bridges and overpasses – which we all know freeze first – are the same thing. Fifty-eight percent of the nearly 400 votes cast over a 60-minute period said they were different. The technical difference does not matter. “The point is they are both elevated and therefore cool off faster,” Drobny says. He was not setting transportation policy. He was driving home the point that drivers should be wary of slick bridges and overpasses.

(FWIW, Dictionary.com says “overpass” – the noun – is a road crossing over something, whereas “overpass” – the verb – means to pass over or traverse a region or space. It also defines “bridge” as a structure passing over something. Let the arguing begin. Break out your Venn Diagrams!)

Drobny’s tweets are indeed humorous, but they all have a bit of weather education included. (BTW, since I didn’t say so earlier, “dendritic” means having a branched form resembling a tree. A good term for a growing weather front, methinks.)

“I try to be humorous,” Drobny explains. “People need to see a lighter tone when I am not concerned, then when I am concerned, and the jokes and good humor evaporate, hopefully people understand the gravity of the situation.”

Drobny started NashSevereWx in 2010. “Friends were contacting me during severe weather wanting to know conditions where I lived (he’s in Williamson County) or worked (downtown Nashville). Weather data and software that had been only for the NWS and local TV meteorologists recently had become available to the weather nerd community. I snatched it up. I was equipped to follow storms myself. Friends were pestering me for information, and I wanted to give to them. Turned out it was easier to put it out there for them on Twitter rather than take multiple phone calls and reply to several text messages.” The Twitter handle gained followers at a rapid pace and Drobny realized he’d need help managing it.

Drobny is an attorney by day. NashSevereWx is something he and two friends –Andrew Leeper and the aforementioned Will Minkoff– run as a hobby, but the hyper-local nature of its weather reporting (it covers only Davidson and Williamson counties in Tennessee) has grown its Twitter presence to over 158,000 followers. Nowadays they have a media partnership with the National Weather Service in Nashville to add more specificity to their tweets.

“Most of what you see on Twitter is me,” Drobny said. “Andrew and Will also tweet, but their primary responsibilities concern other parts of our operation.”

The gang at NashSevereWX may not have a “mom” voice, but they do manage to leverage language to entertain and get their point across.

*Yes, it was Warner, not Mark Twain. Go look it up.

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Joe Diorio is a Nashville IABC member and a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader. You can sign up for his newsletter, “A Few Words About Words,” by visiting his website.


March mixer: A toast to women in communications!

Join us Wednesday, March 13 at Industrious Nashville Downtown for our March networking mixer!

In the spirit of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating Nashville’s thriving network of influential women that are shaking things up in business and communications. 

Come out and mingle with Nashville’s finest communications professionals over tasty libations, delicious bites and engaging conversation. Get to know our members and start building long-lasting relationships with some of the most enthusiastic connectors!

Where:
Industrious Nashville Downtown
414 Union Street, #suite 1900
Nashville, TN 37219
Parking information

Date: Wednesday, March 13

Time: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Reserve your spot today! 

Members are FREE and non-members are $10 to attend! Prepay only. Registration will not be taken at the door. 

IABC is the only place to connect with communicators globally!


Pitch Perfect: Mastering the Art of Media Relations

Three journalists, three different media outlets, one question: is your brand “newsworthy?” Whether you are in the marketing and advertising industry, retail, or something as intricate as bioengineering, assisting the media’s ability to reach you is essential to the longevity and relevancy of businesses everywhere.

Join IABC Nashville Wednesday, March 20, for an in-depth panel discussion with some of the city’s most well-respected journalists as they share their insights on how to sharpen your storytelling skills and establish a good rapport with the media.

Panelists:

Stephanie Langston
Emmy-nominated reporter, WKRN

Ashley Haugen
Managing Editor, StyleBlueprint

Joel Stinnett
Reporter, Nashville Business Journal

Moderator:

Paul Ladd
Senior Correspondent & Director of Listener Response, World Christian Broadcasting

This lively discussion will cover best practices for business communicators reaching out to news outlets including:

  • Researching Your Story Angle
  • Anticipating Journalist Needs
  • Proper Introductions and Correspondence
  • Practicing Good Habits and Earning Favor

Event schedule:

11:30am-12pm – Networking
12:00pm-1pm – Panel Discussion and lunch

Register today


From keywords to intent: Energize your content strategy for 2019

Mark your calendar for our next professional development luncheon Wednesday, February 20, and join us for an in-depth panel discussion that will energize your 2019 content strategy. This is an event you do not want to miss! 

Whether you’re building your first strategy or you’ve been using the same approach for a while, it never hurts to revisit your content strategy plan — to make sure it’s innovative, strong, and intentional.

Come hear from Nashville’s top content strategists as they share with you their insights on how to maximize your brand’s content strategy in the new year! They’ll deliver their recent findings on the latest trends, winning tools, and their own stories of how to build a successful strategy that’s unique to your brand.

Reserve your spot today for this “must see” event

Event schedule:

11:30am-12pm – Networking
12:00pm-1pm – Panel Discussion and lunch

Meet our expert panelists and moderator:

Laura Creekmore
Director of Taxonomy and Content Strategy at Syndigo

Laura Creekmore has been making tech and content hold hands and play nice for more than 20 years. She is director of taxonomy and content strategy for Syndigo, a platform for suppliers and retailers to organize and share product content. For 10 years, she ran Creek Content, a consultancy focused on communications and content strategy for organizations in complex fields like health care and financial services, and before that led digital media at content marketing firm Hammock Inc. and co-created Smallbusiness.com. She has taught content strategy as an adjunct faculty member at Kent State University.

Laura graduated from Vanderbilt University and has a master’s in information science from the University of Tennessee. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Nashville, and a member of the board of directors for the Association of Junior Leagues International, the Oasis Center, and the Tennessee Justice Center. She is past chair of the board of Nashville Cable, and a past president of the Junior League of Nashville. She speaks and presents workshops on content strategy, content marketing, breaking through a cluttered media landscape, connecting with your audience, public speaking, and nonprofit governance issues.

Cynthia Floyd Manley
Director, Content Marketing and Social Engagement at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Cynthia Floyd Manley directs content marketing and social media strategy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, one of the largest academic medical centers in the Southeast. She leads an award-winning social media program for the Vanderbilt Health and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital brands, along with My Southern Health, a consumer health content site.

Manley began her career as a newspaper reporter and editor and is still considers herself a “journalist at heart.” She has served in a variety of roles at VUMC, including public information officer, publications editor, and marketing manager, as well as communications officer for Vanderbilt’s National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center.

She serves as an external advisor to the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network, is a member of SocialMedia.org and SocialMedia.org/Health and is active in the Association of American Medical College’s Group on Institutional Advancement.

Jesse Spear
Media & Content Marketing Strategist at redpepper

Jesse Spear is the Media & Content Marketing Strategist at redpepper — a creative agency in Germantown known for its work with Cracker Barrel, Slack, and Mars.

After growing up on Long Island, NY, she made her way south, earning her B.A. in both Media Studies and Spanish from the University of Virginia, then receiving her Master’s in Marketing from Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management. During her year at Vanderbilt, she realized her affinity for Nashville, agency life, and BBQ nachos.

At redpepper, she’s responsible for the agency’s internal content strategy. Jesse has made subject-matter expertise a strong pillar of redpepper’s content portfolio. Her efforts have led to a 219% increase in blog traffic, the implementation of a unique content calendar structure, and fine-tuned targeting tactics. As a newcomer to Nashville’s agency scene, she offers a fresh perspective on the importance of a creative, cross-platform content strategy.

Moderator Sarah “Birdie” Loeffler
Content Strategist at NDC, Inc.
IABC Nashville President

Sarah “Birdie” Loeffler is the Content Strategist at NDC, Inc. and has been a dedicated member of IABC since 2014. In 2018, she received the President’s Award for exceptional contributions by a chapter member to the health and growth of the chapter.

Birdie has a technical writing background and specializes in translating technical information into easily accessible and creative language for marketing purposes. At NDC, she oversees the marketing content strategy to provide a personalized experience between the NDC brand and their customers.

Reserve your spot today for this “must see” event

 


IABC Nashville Announces 2019 Board Of Directors

Special thanks to PR Newswire for news release distribution.

NASHVILLE, Tenn.Jan. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The International Association of Business Communicators’ Nashville chapter (IABC Nashville) announced today its 2019 board of directors.

“We are honored to have such a talented and diverse group of business communicators serving on our board this year,” said Sarah “Birdie” Loeffler, IABC Nashville president. “As Nashville’s only global-affiliated professional organization for communications practitioners, it takes a substantial amount of time and effort to produce relevant and beneficial programming for our members. I am confident that this group will accomplish this tremendously.”

The new board consists of experienced communications professionals in the region from various industries and specialties, including public relations, marketing, internal communications, graphic design, corporate communications, instructional design, and more.

2019 IABC Nashville Board of Directors

  • President: Sarah “Birdie” Loeffler, NDC, Inc.
  • President-Elect and Vice President of Social Media: Mollye Dietrich, HCA Healthcare
  • Past President: Gene Boulware, The Vincit Group
  • Secretary: DeAndra Mack, CoreCivic
  • Vice President of FinanceLysa Rigo, Communications Consultant
  • Vice President of MembershipKristin Appelman, Concept Technology, Inc.
  • Vice President of Professional Development: Kellie Keyes Davie, Keycom PR
  • Vice President of Communications: Kerry Burke, Cigna
  • Vice President of Awards: Mich Michaud, Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • Vice President at Large: Genma Holmes, Holmes Pest Control, GSH Consulting, LLC
  • Vice President at Large: Ryan Stout, Astute Communications
  • Vice President at Large: Lynn Yates, Freelance Writer/Media Consultant

The goal of the 2019 board of directors will be to help its members and other communications professionals in the region to enhance their career goals through professional development workshops, networking events, accreditation, and work recognition through its annual Music City Gold Pen Awards.

To learn more about IABC Nashville and its upcoming programs, visit us at Nashville.IABC.com or on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

About IABC Nashville 
IABC Nashville is the local chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, serving middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky. The Nashville chapter is one of more than 100 chapters in 70 countries, with a mission to provide professional development and networking opportunities to members, as well as the larger communications community. In 2017, they received the Small Chapter of the Year Award for outstanding efforts to bring professional communicators together in significant and inspiring ways.

The chapter is diverse, with members representing agencies, government, corporations, universities, and nonprofit organizations. IABC Nashville also offers ties to job bank services and the annual Music City Gold Pen Awards program. IABC is the only place to connect with communicators globally.

SOURCE IABC Nashville

Related Links

http://nashville.iabc.com


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