The TODAY Show, the NBC News morning show, has transformed itself into a digital brand in recent years. On social media TODAY continues to beat competitors. According to Socialbakers, as of August 3rd TODAY had a larger fan base on Facebook with 4.6MM page likes versus Good Morning America's (on ABC News) 1.6MM. Additionally, the Nightly News on NBC, now with Lester Holt, had its biggest month on Facebook in July.
The summer has been a big opportunity for TODAY to grow their digital footprint with the success of their summer concert series that they launched on Snapchat. Found Remote recently attended TODAY's Keith Urban concert and interviewed social media manager Anthony Quintanto about what it took to capture the event that trended throughout the morning.
Capturing unplanned moments
Quintanto told Found Remote that one of the hardest things is to capture the unplanned moments. Keith Urban randomly gave a fan his guitar and he had to "sprint and get a photo of her for the social team so they can tweet it out instantaneously," because he knew how big a moment it would become.
With live TV it's not always possible to know when these moments will happen and what will become big. Quintano described that sometimes the moments are planned but the two guitars that Urban gave away to fans wasn't. "Maybe production knew about it, I know security hadn’t really known in advance but that was pretty fun and I have never seen that and I’ve been working with concerts for five years now."
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 7, 2015
The benefits and challenges in having greater access than even the press photographers
As Quintano navigated the event capturing the best moments, it was interesting to see the traditional press photographers neatly organized in a blocked off section to the right. Found Remote asked him if he enjoyed the exclusive access.
"It’s wonderful but it’s challenging too because you have the broadcast cameras with their cables and that’s the reason why they don’t let a lot of photographers in there," he explained. "It’s challenging to dodge and weave through them as they’re shooting, but over time you get used to where they’re going to be and adapt," he added. Here's Quintano smartly navigating on stage to capture Urban interacting with the fans in the crowd.
Selfies and Snapchat:
"Keith Urban uploaded a selfie and signed it on Snapchat which is always fun and then we had someone from our team right up next to the stage giving up close shots as if somebody was right there in the VIP pit having that same experience," Quintano told Found Remote.
"There are a lot of challenges on the phone camera"
Quintano who is known in the industry for his exceptional photography in addition to his social media skills. He described the equipment he uses for capturing the biggest events on the TODAY Show.
"I have a selfie stick with a GoPro on the end of it and we log that shot every time because it gives you the scope of the crowd with the wider lens and we let the fans hold the selfie stick, so it’s giving them their experience and their time to shine," he explained to Found Remote. "I’ll try to get a unique shot at every concert. So, whatever device or lens that could give me that unique shot is what I use," he added.