Media Insider: How Social Media is Helping Houston Deal with Harvey, New Podcast Playbook Aids Advertisers, Snapchat Verifies Influencers

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round-up of media stories from the week.

Coast Guard responds after Hurricane Harvey

Photo by Coast Guard News, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

How social media is helping Houston deal with Harvey floods

Stranded Texas residents posted to Facebook and Twitter to seek help from emergency officials, organize rescue missions, and provide user-generated images of the flood damage. CNN Media reports that cell phone towers were functional despite flooding rains, so citizens were able to read updates from local officials and post their own. Local officials emphasized that social media should not be used as a replacement for calling 911, and residents were told to continue monitoring mainsteam news sources for weather updates.

Social media is helping the rescue and relief efforts in Houston, but it’s also helping to spread fake news and scams about the storm.

IAB bows ‘Podcast Playbook’ to aid advertisers

The Interactive Advertising Bureau released the IAB Podcast Playbook to help advertisers navigate the media landscape around podcasting. According to MediaPost, the playbook offers insights into audience demographics, listener behaviors, creative treatments, ad formats, delivery and targeting, ad effectiveness, and measurement. IAB research, included in the playbook, forecasts that podcast advertising revenues will exceed $220 million this year.

HowStuffWorks is the latest podcast company to round up new funding.

Snapchat is finally cozying up to internet celebrities and giving them special perks

Snapchat is starting to verify influencers, giving them access to special features that normal users don’t have. Snapchat started verifying top celebrities in the app in 2015, but early normal Snapchat users (like Cyrene Quiamco) did not see the same acknowledgement, despite their large followings, reports Business Insider. In addition to all the perks that come with being verified, Snap plans to create more features, including better analytics and more prominent placement in search.

Read: 5 tips on how to become an Influencer.

Newseum’s leader resigns amid review of finances

President and Chief Executive Jeffrey Herbst resigned from his positon at the Newseum this week, amid review of finances. According to The New York Times, the Newseum has always struggled financially, with Freedom Forum being the primary funder. Jan Neuharth, chairwoman and chief executive of the Freedom Forum, said, “The current model — where the Freedom Forum is the primary funder — cannot continue.” A replacement for Herbst will be decided during the financial review.

ICYMI: Neil Brown will be Poynter’s next president.

Medium will now pay writers based on how many claps they get

Medium plans to let more authors publish paywalled articles and will determine their pay based on how many claps — or likes — they get. The “clap” button replaced the “recommend” feature on Medium, and readers can click it as many times as they want, according to The Verge. Subsciber fees will be divided between the different articles read each month, and the article with the most claps will receive the higher payment.

Add this to your list of story tools: The Flyr app enables journalists to make animated stories from scratch or by choosing from a selection of templates

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Tabresha B. Langham is a Customer Content Specialist with PR Newswire. She also is a social media junkie, foodie, music fiend and Auburn University Alumn (War Eagle!). Tune into her insights as a social curator at @PRNmedia, or follow @TabreshaL.

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