I’m super excited to debut a KloboMedia series on how start-ups and other small companies are using social media to grow their visibility and brand authority. Yes, in the beginning, we all want customers. But before you get loyal followers, you have to make a statement to the world about who you are and what you believe. It’s a tall order – especially for people whose first priority is making sure the business gets off the ground. Let’s look at how the team at the Global Weather and Climate Center, a website focused on the global climate, is pulling it all together.
KloboMedia first met two of the guys who manage the Global Weather and Climate Center (GWCC) at the National Weather Association 2016 conference, held in Norfolk, Virginia. We were attending to spread the word about our social media analytics product for personal brands, TheSocReports. They too had a start-up and were interested in exploring ways to help one another out.
Michael Mogil and Jordan Rabinowitz similarly met at a meteorology conference — that one hosted by Lyndon State College in Rutland, Vermont back in 2011 after Mike delivered a Friday evening opening ice breaker on weather communication and many things about his own company’s great work and core initiatives. This was then followed up by a later coincidental reunion back in mid-October of 2015 at the National Weather Association meeting, held in Oklahoma City. They hit it off.
The Global Weather and Climate Center story
Mike’s and Jordan’s shared fascination with weather provides natural chemistry. But what makes their partnership more interesting is the generational divide. Mike has an extensive background in science writing (trade books, newspaper and web-based features) and teaching/tutoring, along with a specialized expertise in forensic weather services. He’s a nationally known meteorologist (M.S. – Florida State, Certified Consulting Meteorologist [CCM] and Certified Broadcast Meteorologist [CBM]) and has grown a business providing weather-based forensic services to attorneys and insurance companies in both criminal and civil matters. Mike’s ability to communicate technical information in an easy-to-understand manner comes in handy in litigation – like being able to advise the precise time it started raining in order to convince a jury that the driver would have had problems avoiding an accident.
By contrast, Jordan is relatively new to the study of weather (but no less passionate). He’s a graduate student at the University of Missouri-Columbia in the Soil, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences Department. I asked Jordan how he discovered weather blogging as a career path, “I got early experience in writing blogs and public forecasts during college (as an undergrad) as part of an independent blogging website coupled with being part of a winter weather forecasting panel back at the State University of New York at Oswego. My personal expertise is tied to advanced tropical meteorology research and associated work.”
Our interview continued …
How did you get idea to create a website focused on the global climate?
Back in 2013, the initial idea was generated during a post-Thanksgiving dinner conversation with my close friend and colleague, Jake Mulholland. Jake’s now based at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, but at that time, he and I were still attending the State University of New York at Oswego for our Bachelor’s Degree in Atmospheric Sciences. From there, we mutually opted to start by creating a basic Facebook-based page which primarily focused on covering weather across the Northeast region and ultimately across the country which went under the name “Northeast Weather Forum.” As noted above, as the page continued to grow beyond the point of a Facebook-contained website, we opted to expand into a larger copyrighted website which would provide the adequate space and versatility which was needed to further our abilities to communicate to people on the world stage.
There are many sources, both traditional and digital media, devoted to coverage of weather. What makes GWCC different?
I would say that what separates us from the rest is the wide array of topics which we cover as well as the day-to-day versatility/variety of regions and subjects which are covered. We also strive to enforce an education angle for both the younger and older generations alike. In addition, we provide great opportunities for up-and-coming scientists as well as those which have years of experience in the field to respectively contribute to our global coverage and education initiatives.
How do you create the content?
We create the content by utilizing content from both various partnered weather broadcasters from around the country as well as various National Weather Service offices spread around the country as well. In addition, we have a number of major pages on Facebook which we follow and/or partner with and will consistently utilize their content within our posts to mutually benefit the respective groups’ initiatives. Aside from that, we sometimes receive content from various followers from around the country and the world and we periodically integrate their images and/or videos into posted content within GWCC.
Who is your target audience?
Our target audience is essentially anyone around the world who is interested or even those who are not interested in the atmosphere or climate science but may be curious about it and wants a consistent, timely, and reliable source of factual and reputable information. We want to appeal to any age group going from young elementary school aged kids and all the way up to retired seniors who enjoy science or have questions pertaining to different aspects of the atmosphere or the ocean-atmosphere system.
What is your social media strategy?
Our social media strategy is primarily dedicated to working on the expansion of our audience reach within both Facebook and Twitter. However, we also have a more modest presence with Google and may be developing a newer presence within Instagram in the near future. (Editor’s note: The GWCC Facebook page has a very respectable 6,300+ page likes. It’s an active page with at least a post daily – and often many more updates during big weather events. The team @-mentions extensively.)
What is the biggest challenge of running the website?
I would have to say that the biggest challenge with running the GWCC website is our ability to consistently maintain all of the various sections and topics which we cover. Due to the growing complexity of the world in which we live and all of the rapidly-moving components which continually are happening, it can often be quite difficult to remain broadly interactive with all the different regions of the world. Hence, this is one of the main driving factors for why we continually are working to expand the horizons and spatial coverage of our staff both around the country and the world for that matter.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We are incredibly proud of the fact that we have successfully reached people in over 140 countries all over the world and that we are continuing to grow with every passing day. We are also proud of the very diverse team of scientists we are continuing to grow and expand with each passing week and month as more people apply and come aboard. Hence, we are very excited for what lies ahead for this quickly expanding organization.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | CEO Jordan Rabinowitz