Newspapers everywhere will cover Black Friday with a typical rundown of how busy stores were and how crazy shoppers were on Friday.
It’s a story that’s still worth telling as it’s the way many of us spend the day after Thanksgiving and potentially provides an economic indicator to the holiday season.
And while a roundup for the day is fine, there are ways to make coverage more interesting. Here are four ideas:
1. The workers: When I was editor of the Niagara Gazette (the paper I was at before coming to GateHouse Media), I had a reporter spend time with a Wal-Mart greeter on Black Friday, detailing what it was like dealing with customers. It was a great profile and offered a nice element to the day’s coverage. It was the best thing we had in the paper that day, as far as I was concerned.
2. One word: Ask social media followers and friends to describe the one word or share one photo that captures how their Black Friday is going. It would be a fun way to show digitally — and in print — what the day was like for those living in your community. It could create nice social media engagement that could be in very real time.
3. The dedicated shopper: Put a callout on social media seeking the ability to follow a dedicated shopper throughout the day. Meet the shopper at their house, get coffee with them and follow them from store to store. It could make a neat time lapse video or Scribble Live blog documenting their day. In print, you could turn the experience into a photo page done in a timeline format
4. Best deals: Create a hashtag in your community, something like “Citynamebestdeals,” where you would encourage readers to submit the best deals they are experiencing on Black Friday. With the correct promotion, it could be a real time view into where to go to get deals. To make effective, you would need to promote in advance and then use all platforms to promote the best of the deals being shared.
Have some fun with Black Friday but also find ways to get useful information to your audience.