Writers at the Ottawa Citizen are taking a lesson from BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post when it comes to headlines and social media updates. And why not? Its website depends on advertiser income so the need to drive traffic is great; the competition for people’s attention is even greater. The Citizen is being clever about it too.
Anyone glancing at their Facebook news feed this morning might have been surprised to read this update: “Forecast: Today is expected to be like being hungover in line at a suburban Starbucks drive-thru”.
The narrative is snappy and interesting. Who would expect this from a Citizen weather report?
The forecast today is expected to be very forgettable. Not bad, not good, just average. Expect some clouds this morning, however things should clear up by noon. The expected high is a pedestrian 7 C. The sky will be clear tonight, with a (kind of crappy) low of -5 C. Ottawa is serving us up a plain cheeseburger. No extras. Not even mayo.
…And you know what? We’re fine with today being average. It snowed yesterday, and that sucked. We’re fine with some weather that’s very similar to being hungover in line at a suburban Starbucks drive-thru — a bit of a headache with a very minimal payout.
There is no boring weather map either. Instead, a cute photo of a goat in wellies is included.
Weather as click bait? It’s an excellent choice! It’s popular, important and low-cost content that is sure to drive traffic. Why not have a bit of fun with it and add value for advertisers while you’re at it.
Who would have thought that the daily newspaper in a government town would take risks (albeit calculated ones) to engage readers, attract new audiences and remain relevant.