Spellcheck. S-P-E-L-L-C-H-E-C-K. Spellcheck.
For the 291 spellers who made it to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, spellcheck is not something in their vernacular – they don’t need it. Unlike these many young, gifted students, I struggle to correctly spell my name some days.
As the corporate communications intern for The E.W. Scripps Company, and during my first week on the job, I witnessed what few others are privileged enough to see: the internal cogs that keep the smooth ship of the National Spelling Bee sailing. Here are three key takeaways:
Secure a Lively Host for Facebook Live
Scripps, a media company with dozens of TV stations, has immediate access to a wide and varied pool of successful, on-air journalists. For the Spelling Bee’s social media team, the search for a Facebook Live host focused on someone who could be dynamic, flexible and charming for both guests and viewers. The host also needed to be adaptable to pivot the discussion in the best direction. Jamal Andress of Newsy, the national news network, excelled in these areas. As we ushered many nervous children his way, Andress put them at ease and lead them through many adorable and humorous interviews. Securing a lively and capable host places your Facebook Live event on a strong foundation toward reach and engagement.
Keep Your Media Happy
With newsrooms and journalists in 24 markets across the country, Scripps values the media’s coverage of the Scripps National Spelling Bee and appreciates what it takes to cover the iconic event. While not every business or organization may have the same perspective, it is important to provide media-friendly access and a streamlined process to help journalists do their work. Providing clear and detailed instructions with a complete media kit can go a long way toward easing the burden for both organizers and reporters, taking some of the guesswork and chaos out of the situation.
Organize. Adapt. Organize.
A team of well-trained and well-organized individuals work the entire year to create program materials for classrooms and students and to manage the actual Bee Week event. And while they may have dotted all their i’s and crossed all their t’s, room remains for improvement and evolution. The Bee team navigates through change and growth with ease due to a 90-year tradition of organization and adaptation. While striking this balance of strict organization and malleable flexibility is a delicate web to weave, it’s vital to the success of such a large production and, at least in the case of Scripps, a decades-long tradition.