Hearst Communications Inc., referred to as Hearst, is a leading American Mass Media company based in New York City, New York, with 20,000+ employees, including reporters, journalists and other editorial and broadcast media personnel.
Hearst broadcast media personnel covered the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention in the 2016 presidential election cycle.
In a very contentious political atmosphere where it was impossible to know in advance where security issues would arise, Hearst needed a means to anticipate security situations that could potentially impact deadlines for reporting and logistical operations for broadcast media coverage (which in turn could impact ratings and breaking media coverage), as well as communicate situations to broadcast team members.
It was important to Hearst to avoid dedicating resources to reacting to incidents, which could disrupt operations and result in lost media coverage opportunities. Instead, the company desired to leverage personnel on the ground to gain threat intelligence and proactively prevent potential incidents that could inhibit broadcast teams from completing their jobs.
Using LiveSafe, a leading mobile safety communications platform and risk mitigation tool, approximately 150 company reporters and other editorial and broadcast media personnel assigned to cover the conventions were able to stay connected through a customized mobile application. The solution allowed employees to share risk and security insights they encountered in real time with Hearst security personnel. It also allowed Hearst security to share safety updates, increasing the situational awareness of the editorial teams on the ground.
Using the situational awareness and intelligence gained from LiveSafe, teams were able to navigate around restricted access points, protest activity and changing security checkpoints, and communicate best locations to station trucks.
LiveSafe Force-Multiplied Hearst Capabilities at the Conventions
- LiveSafe set up geofenced alerts, notifications and communications around the physical areas involved in the conventions. On-the-ground security updates were broadcast to the employees who were directly impacted within this geofenced physical vicinity.
- LiveSafe created a custom user group to connect the 150+ personnel who came together to cover the event, hailing from news operations and organizations across the company and the country.
- Hearst security was able to monitor the convention centers, gather insights, and increase situational awareness as a result of using the crowd-sourced intelligence from the LiveSafe user group; and communicate security updates to the group.
- The Hearst security team also was able to exchange information with Secret Security and the FBI in real time.
Using LiveSafe prevented issues and enabled Hearst to avoid set-backs at the conventions and help mitigate potential loss. Personnel on the ground and security staff benefited from better communication, and increased situational awareness resulted in the ability to attain more effective media coverage and competitive advantage.
- LiveSafe helped on-the-ground teams avoid physical encounters or confrontations and better position for coverage in the right places.
- Hearst’s journalists were able to access the convention floor faster than other media companies.
- Stories were produced and deployed faster than other outlets, giving Hearst a competitive advantage.
- The LiveSafe solution allowed journalists to increase the quantity and quality of stories.
Eve Burton, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Hearst, had this to say about the value of innovative security as a primary business objective: “We were able to put the print [media representatives] together with the broadcasters who typically and historically have never seen their worlds as the same [which could be criticized as a contributor to media organization disruption]...here we had, all of a sudden, a business solution that had a security component, that integrated the two—and it actually allowed us to be sure that the number of stories, and the quality of the stories were actually better than the competitors, because they were still figuring out where to get into the convention centers.”
“Whether your job [at Hearst] is to be concerned about the safety of people, the cost of the truck, the insurance that takes care of business disruption, getting ratings on the air, being sure that you keep your towers up so that you’re on the air—that whole group of people came together and began to see that security is actually an imperative to business.”