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DAN KNOWLTON: Who is your favourite person to follow on Social Media?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Err… The latest is Dan Knowlton
DAN KNOWLTON: Yeaaaasssss. Get in!
DAN KNOWLTON: Hi guys, Dan from KPS here. I’m here with the lovely Ashley Codianni who’s head of… I’ve forgotten it already. Head of…
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Social and Emerging Media for CNN.
DAN KNOWLTON: For CNN, she’s kind of a big deal, and we’re just here today at the Socialbakers event, Engage Prague and it’s been good hasn’t it?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Yeh it’s been so fun!
DAN KNOWLTON: It’s been good.
ASHLEY CODIANNI: learned a lot.
DAN KNOWLTON: Learned a lot, and in this video, we’re going to talk about CNN, talk about how you guys use social and some of the things you’re going to be talking about in your slot tomorrow.
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Cool.
DAN KNOWLTON: Ok so, tell us a bit about yourself actually, give us your one minute ‘this is me’…?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: So, er, wow! in 1 minute? So I started my career right out of college in traditional TV media. I was working for NBC News in Washington. It was fantastic. Then I went on to, just, I then moved on to a producer role, climbed that way. Then Twitter became… a thing, a thing! And I was like Oh my God.
DAN KNOWLTON: Did you actually use that facial expression?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: No I just, it erm, you know Twitter didn’t really exist when I started my career and now it’s a very big part of my career which I think is important because, you know, I quickly adapted from the more traditional media to the digital space and into the social space and it was around I would say 2012 when I knew that I wanted to go full digital, full social, fully mobile and that’s what I did. So I was at Now This, I went from NBS News to Now This to Mashable and now I’ve been at CNN for almost four years.
DAN KNOWLTON: And which is your favourite?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Oh, stop! They’re all great.
DAN KNOWLTON: Really?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Yeh, I do, I love CNN though. I think we are innovating in ways that other places, you know, haven’t had the opportunity to do yet. I have, you know, just a wonderful team of support around me and I think we’re really able to distribute in very meaningful ways with very large accounts. We have some of the biggest social media accounts in the world and I think there’s so much value in that because the information that we’re distributing is reaching so many millions of people and that’s what I really love about my job.
DAN KNOWLTON: So you’ve got a big fancy job title, I love it, but what does that, what do you actually do, like what’s your, what do you do in CNN?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Sure. So I have three teams. I have a social publishing team, which is a global team. I have a social discovery team which is also a global team that’s social news gathering. And then I have a social TV team which works specifically with the integrations of social and TV. How are our anchors on social? How are the shows distributed on social? So with those three teams, we are breaking news. We are distributing news, and we are amplifying a lot of the personalities and the work that CNN is doing. I’ve got a team of about 30-35 people based in New York, Atlanta, DC, London, Hong Kong and we are a 24-hour digital news organisation.
DAN KNOWLTON: Ok.
ASHLEY CODIANNI: within the larger CNN.
DAN KNOWLTON: So, to try and give some value to the viewers what kind of advice and tips from, from how you manage CNN, what advice could you give to other people on social to get results?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: So I think you always need to be thinking 3 steps ahead. So do what you’re doing now and do it well, but then, go to these conferences, learn from your colleagues. Figure out what the next trends are and then you wanna figure out how you can be there in a very meaningful way and I’ll use one quick example.
DAN KNOWLTON: Please do…
ASHLEY CODIANNI: So, for the messaging app, line, I was trying to figure out with my team how do I get into, in a meaningful way, the APAC market. That’s Asia Pacific. and we looked at where the opportunities were and there was this messaging app called line. So we launched online and now we’ve built an audience of 5 Million plus. We’re distributing content very consistently, that is of value to that audience. We study that audience, we learn their consumption habits and we give them the news that they want to consume that is specific to that area and for us that’s developing a new audience, that’s developing a new habit and it’s just making us a habitual and consistent presence in an entirely new part of the world.
DAN KNOWLTON: Ok, I’ve got a question for you.
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Sure.
DAN KNOWLTON: So there are so many new platforms coming out constantly like there was Vero recently, Yes! Is that a thing anymore? I don’t know. How do you decide which platforms you’re going to, you know, develop a strategy for and use?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: So I would say, you know, don’t do everything right away, all at once. Know if there is an audience there. Know if that audience is going to stick around. give it some breathing room, give it some time. You know I also think back to live streaming with Meerkat was another one that popped up.
DAN KNOWLTON: Yeh. Were you on Meerkat? As In CNN, did they go on?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: No I just think, but you also want to be in places that are valuable to your brand. We don’t need to be everywhere all the time. We need to be in places that matter all the time. where are audience are, where you can build that audience, and so it’s just being mindful of when we made the decision to launchonlinee we knew there was an audience there. So I think it’s just, don’t do everything right away. think about what’s of value to you.
DAN KNOWLTON: Cool, OK.
DAN KNOWLTON: What I’ve also got is a quickfire round. So I’ve prepared some questions.
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Oh great.
DAN KNOWLTON: and I want this to be quick kind of answers
ASHLEY CODIANNI: I’m ready!
DAN KNOWLTON: So you ready?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Yes.
DAN KNOWLTON: Describe yourself in one word.
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Energetic.
DAN KNOWLTON: I can tell! Favourite person to follow on Social Media?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: The latest is Dan Knowlton!
DAN KNOWLTON: Yeessss! Get in! Favourite Social Media tool?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Favourite social media tool… Erm, I use a lot of tools. Erm Newswhip and Crowtangle I use daily.
DAN KNOWLTON: Ok, biggest social media crush?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Biggest social media crush.
DAN KNOWLTON: Hahahaha. Come on Ashley
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Oh my god I can’t, nothing really comes to mind, erm…I don’t have anyone that I…A celebrity crush? I don’t even have a celebrity crush. Oh, I mean, I am a big live music fan so I do like Dave Matthews. Like the Dave Matthews band I’m in to them.
DAN KNOWLTON: No idea who he is.
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Yeh sure.
DAN KNOWLTON: Ok. Best Conference?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Best Confer… Oh, I mean, the one we’re at. SocialBakers.
DAN KNOWLTON: Other than this Conference?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: I do enjoy South by Southwest and Online News Association in the US.
DAN KNOWLTON: Favourite Song?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Oh my gosh, favourite song… I wanna be cool. hahahaha. I wanna be cool. I don’t really have, like a go to favourite song. Erm, Errr. I do… Beyonce’s Who Run The World, Girls!
DAN KNOWLTON: That is a wicked song! Favourite show on Netflix?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Oh errr, this should be easy but it’s not. I just err, I just finished binge watching Love but Oh my god I’m so into Handmaids tale but that’s not netflix but.
DAN KNOWLTON: Ok Cool. Favourite brand on social media?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: I think, and this is gonna… I do love refinery29. As a corportation though I think General Electric, GE, they do a really good job as a corporate entity.
DAN KNOWLTON: Andrew and Pete or Dan and Lloyd?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Oh, Dan and Lloyd!
DAN KNOWLTON: Yessss!
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Sorry Andrew and Pete.
DAN KNOWLTON: Who would win a fight between a shark and a lion?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: A Li… I don’t know. Oh, that’s a tough one. Shark, Lion, Lion,
DAN KNOWLTON: Favourite social platform personally?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Oh, honestly I’m kind of addicted to them all. Bad.
DAN KNOWLTON: Ok, which apps do you have on your homescreen of your phone?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Let‘s take a look see here. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Lyft, Uber, Line, Wechat.
DAN KNOWLTON: Love it! Favourite story you’ve ever covered on CNN?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Oh 2016 election!
DAN KNOWLTON:How did you get your job at CNN?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Lots of interviews and lots of heckling, no just kidding.
I have some really great mentors that have guided me through my career, that I really love.
DAN KNOWLTON: What’s the best way for someone to get your attention on social? There are lots of people that are trying to get your attention what’s the best way for someone to get your attention?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: I’m honestly pretty active on Twitter. If you message me directly it’s likely that I’ll see it.
DAN KNOWLTON: Good. That’s it, that’s done.
ASHLEY CODIANNI: I hope my answers were good!
DAN KNOWLTON: They were good! They were good. Is there anything that you want to tell the viewers. That you want them to go and look at or any?
ASHLEY CODIANNI: Follow CNN across all of our social media platforms. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and
ASHLEY CODIANNI: my biggest piece of advice for brands, news publishers etc is be authentic and don’t deviate to much from your core, just be what you’re good at and continue to do that.
DAN KNOWLTON: Love it! Thank you so much Ashley, this has been amazing and please do like, share and subscribe. Thanks!
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