Got Game on Twitter? Here are 10 Steps for Strong Twitter Coverage at a Sporting Event

Up to the minute game coverage can be a draw for current fans and alumni/ae players, which is why — for up to the minute reporting — Twitter is our social media of choice. To streamline the process and for quality control, the RubicOnline staff developed a guide for reporting in 10 simple steps:

  1. Tweet the reporter name and the team / sport you are covering: include where and what time the game is approximately 24 hours before the reporting will begin. This serves as your by-line and let’s Twitter users decide how many notifications they want from us during the game.
  2. Tweet varsity games, because those are the ones league records are built on.  JV and C are important, but should be reported on differently.
  3. Make sure to Tweet from the beginning of the game (warm up, if possible). Tweet who the opponent is, stats on previous play (if available), who our starters are, who is pitching/in goal, etc.
  4. Once the game starts, post a tweet every 2-3 minutes.  At minimum, tweet each score and penalty and all of the big plays. This is for both teams, not just us.
  5. Include photos and short video in your Tweets.  These are the posts from our Twitter feed with the most engagement (and likely retweets). Photograph the players, the fans, and the field.  Video key moments (big scoring chance, finish of a race, etc.)
  6. Don’t use all caps, exclamation marks, or celebratory comments. You are posting as a reporter, not a fan.
  7. Tweet noticeable patterns in play (weak defense, consistent completed shots from a place on the court, etc), negative or positive about the SPA team.
  8. Tweet the final score and (again) don’t say congratulations to the SPA team — stay unbiased.
  9. If someone disagrees with your reporting on Twitter, don’t delete anything.  Bring the concern to your adviser and your editor and we will follow up. (We’re a team, too.)

Finally, upload a new (alternate form) story including best vertical photo with a caption to our website that includes the nutgraph, the final score, and a quote from a player in the photo.  Embed the Twitter feed below this 50 word summary using TweetDeck. Make sure they are reversed, so they read from oldest to newest tweet in the scroll.  This is at minimum; you can always do more.

Kathryn Campbell

Director of Publications at St. Paul Academy and Summit School, I advise The Rubicon/RubicOnline news, Ibid yearbook, Aureus feature magazine, and Iris Art and Literature. I was the 2015 MN Journalism Educator of the Year. I work as a critique judge for CSPA and NSPA, and have been a Pacemaker judge for print and online publications. I currently serve on the board for JEM, the advisory board for NSPA, and am the Intellectual Freedom Chair for MCTE. It is my greatest hope that New Voices legislation will pass in all 50 states while I'm still an adviser.

Kathryn Campbell has 2 posts and counting. See all posts by Kathryn Campbell

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