CNN’s Black in America television special attracted as many as 2.6 million viewers in a single sitting. Despite its success, CNN has yet to take full advantage of what has the potential to be a marquee brand online. It would be to the widely-acclaimed cable news channel’s benefit to take one of the following steps in developing a continuing online relationship with the millions of fans and critics who watched the original Black in America and are anticipating its upcoming sequel this July.
Revamp the CNN Black in America Web Site
CNN obviously has not dedicated the same kind of resources to its Black In America website as it did its TV special, or any other CNN television program. It is partly understandable. CNN are experts at providing in-depth and timely news on television. But in today’s multimedia world, better presentation should be expected of its online properties. The website has a good bit of content, but in a format that is pretty hard to follow. It would be easier if the links listed were organized a few groups and included titles that clearly link to topics covered on the TV special.
Leverage Relevant Time Warner Subsidiaries
CNN, Black Voices, and Essence all fall underneath the Time Warner umbrella. So why not let each division do what it does best, letting CNN cover the special in depth and collect all the relevant footage, while blackvoices.com and/or essence.com creates a separate page on its website addressing an audience they already have an intimate relationship with on the web? Given the rumors of high Chinese walls, red tape, and the supposed inevitable spin-off or sale of AOL (the division under which Black Voices operates), it is easier said then done. But this arrangement can be ideal for all parties involved, as experts get to do more of what they know and content and income are kept within one parent company, limiting chances for disruptive conflicts with external partners.
Partner With Third Party Websites
It would make most sense for CNN to partner with an established and presentable website that already has a relationship with the show’s intended audience and carries URL similar to the show’s title. That makes blackamericaweb.com a top contender, especially since it already develops original content and posts external content on its site. Diversity City Media’s blackinamerica.com has already benefitted from the program, but the it is hard to see how a website intended to foster relationships between individuals, not develop, manage, or market content, could effectively leverage CNN’s Black In America brand.Category: Digital Media, News, web 2.0 | Tags: aol, Black In America, black voices, CNN, Content, dante lee, Diversity City Media, Essence, Multimedia, Soledad O'Brien, television, time warner, TV