The end of April means that graduation season is around the corner. And as social media and video become such essential tools we use to report, here are a few ways you can use both for your coverage:

1. Take it live: Facebook Live and Periscope can have huge upside for your coverage. Go live for the speech or the throwing of the mortarboards. Promote it and watch the views pile up.

grad kid2. Video for the kids: Attend a pre-K or kindergarten graduation and capture some of the incredibly cute moments. We love looking back at our kiddo’s pre-K graduation. During the holidays, newspapers often write stories about children explaining Thanksgiving and the meaning of Christmas. The cutest things are always said. Imagine asking a recent pre-K graduate on video what they think kindergarten is going to be all about.

3. Promote your hashtag: See if your local schools will use your hashtag and promote it at graduation for parents to send their photos to. You could create one for each school’s graduation. People will be posting tons of content and having it be yours has upside.

4. What not to do in college: We often see fun lists created on how to be successful in life but how about one on what not to do? Ask well-known figures in your community to weigh in, and capture their thoughts on video.

grad5. List the graduates: On social media, list all of the students who are graduating and ask students to tag themselves. Post content before you list all of the students so students potentially start engaging with your content as they tag themselves. You could also consider running a list of graduates in a video, like the credits for a movie.

6. Have fun: Remember the importance of a creative and social tone on social media. This is especially important when you are writing about youth.

7. Get parents involved: Advertisements from mom and dad have long been popular fixtures in graduation sections. But how could you take that idea online? A video of mom and dad congratulating the proud graduate? What about taking that to social media and posting in there and tagging the student?

8. Student speeches: Newspapers often print the valedictorian’s speech. If you can’t shoot a video during the actual speech, pre-record it and release it after the graduation. Use text overlay for social media. Tweeting the speech would also be fun.

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