SnapStream Blog

Monitoring TV channels with PEG Funds

August 06 2013 by MLopez

Recently, I attended the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) conference in College Station, TX. There was one session that really grabbed my attention, it was the session amazingly named: “Better than beer money! 101 ways to spend your PEG funds.” Based on the reaction and conversation that I heard regarding this session, I knew that this was one that I definitely wanted to attend!

What are PEG Funds?

PEG funds are simply funds that are provided to a local government to help support their public access channel(s). These funds can be easily applied to capital expenditures for the channel, for items such as cameras, lights, audio equipment and so forth. The main stipulation for the use of the funds is that they have to be used for broadcasting and running the channel. So, what other projects could these funds be used for? SnapStream?


Monitoring your PEG Channel

Monitoring your PEG channel

I returned to work Monday after the conference and began researching more and more about PEG funds. I spoke with Keith Reeves, Station Manager for Austin's Channel 6, who has tons of first-hand experience with the subject matter. The City of Austin has been a long-time friend of SnapStream and they recently purchased SnapStream using PEG funds.

Keith filled me in on a lot of interesting pieces of information:

  • Who gets PEG funds?
  • How are PEG funds distributed in Texas?
  • How can SnapStream's technology benefit PEG channels?
  • Do these funds roll over year to year?

PEG Funds Webinar

Using PEG funds to monitor TV

On Wednesday, August 14 at 2 p.m. CDT, we are hosting a PEG funds 101 Webinar with Keith Reeves, to share how the City of Austin was able to underwrite 100% of their SnapStream purchase using PEG funds.

Join us to learn more about the little known funds that you may be sitting on and how you can easily address your media monitoring needs while not affecting the city's overall budget.

Five Years of Government Video Expo

November 27 2011 by Rachel Abbott

Five dollar footlongs, five golden rings and five years of Government Video Expo. Five is indeed a prime number. SnapStream is entering its fifth season of showcasing its TV search technology at GV Expo, the East Coast's largest pro video and broadcast expo. Will you be there?

If so, be sure to come and find us! This year, we're smack dab in the middle of all the techie action at booth #523. Exhibits run November 30 and December 1 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in none other than Washington, D.C.

In the context of federal government, SnapStream fits the bill for a variety of purposes, like TV monitoring intelligence and political campaign tracking. At the local level, public information officers leverage SnapStream's TV search and clipping technology to chronicle their media content. In turn, SnapStream supplies a huge workflow boost, expediting media responsiveness while eliminating the chore of manually scanning recorded broadcasts.

Get in touch if you'd like to schedule a demo with us during GV Expo.

City of Austin cuts TV montoring costs with SnapStream

May 20 2009 by Melissa Kidonakis

swineblogimage

Tired of managing VCRs or TiVo’s? Looking for a better way to monitor press coverage? Register for our special web seminar geared towards Public Information Officers in government. The City of Austin will be the guest speaker and will be discussing how they were able to cut the costs associated with maintaining 12 unreliable VCRs by moving to a more cost-effective, unified solution – the SnapStream Server.

The City of Austin will discuss how they:

• Digitally record and archive all TV coverage
• Allow cross-departmental access to those recordings
• Instantaneously pinpoint mentions of interest
• Create clips from full recordings
• Use past coverage for training purposes
• Monitor newscasts
• Create daily media reports
• Respond appropriately and quickly to TV coverage

Event: Learn how the City of Austin monitors TV
When: June 2nd, 2009; 2:30 CST
Guest Speaker: City of Austin

Sign me Up!

Tracking TV in the live music capital of the world

March 03 2009 by Rakesh

austin-sealIn a webinar for city governments that we're hosting today (it's at 2:30pm central, you can register here), one of our customers, the City of Austin's public information office (PIO), will be talking about how they use SnapStream in their city to track and quickly respond to television coverage.

Here's an overview of the City of Austin's story before today's webinar:

Background

First, some background. The City of Austin is the 14th largest city in the United States, the capital of Texas and home to 700,000 residents. Known for its high-tech companies (for example, Dell and Samsung), its government, and seven-time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong, Austin gets it's fair share of attention in the media.

austin-cityhall

And Austin's residents are active citizens, with a great interest in things happening in the City of Austin. Accordingly, there are six TV news organizations in Austin -- ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Univision and News 8 Austin -- all of whom individually cover things happening in Austin City Government. The City of Austin team estimates that there are probably 150 news stories about the City of Austin in any given month -- that's about 33 TV news stories a week!

Austin's Public Information Office

Wikipedia has a good description of the job of a public information officer:

"Public Information Officers (PIOs) are the communications coordinators or spokespersons of certain governmental organizations (i.e. police departments, army, city, county, state governments). They differ from public relations departments of private organizations in that many of them typically do not engage in marketing, but solely in providing information to the public and the media..."

So Austin's Public Information Offices are responsible for being spokespeople for the City and for coordinating all other communications activities with the media and citizens.

The City of Austin has one central public information group, called the "Corporate PIO", and then there are another 25 to 30 department PIOs for each of Austin's various city departments, including:

  • Austin Police Department
  • Austin Fire Department
  • Austin Water
  • Austin Energy
  • Austin Convention Center
  • Economic Growth and Redevelopment
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Public Works

austin-departments

Austin's "Corporate PIO" handles anything relating to the central city management and larger issues that span multiple departments. With 6 local TV news organizations and television being approximately 60% of all media mentions the city receives, monitoring TV has always been important to them.

How the City of Austin USED to monitor television

Before SnapStream, the City of Austin's Corporate PIO and 25-30 department PIOs monitored television in a fragmented fashion -- everyone was doing their own thing.

VCRs and VHS tapes: The "Corporate PIO" group and 2 other departments PIOs had large banks of VCRs that they used to record television onto VHS cassette tapes. Naturally, VCRs were a labor intensive solution.

austin-vhs-vcrs

DIY PC TV Recorders: Two other department PIOs had built their own DIY PC TV recording devices. These devices requires constant upkeep and maintenance and were, ultimately, unreliable.

austin-diypc

What the rest did: All the other PIO department would call the "Corporate PIO" group asking to be sent physical VHS tape copies of media mentions they had received. This put a lot of burden on the "Corporate PIO" group to take requests, dub tapes and then physically ship VHS tapes around the city.

So the way the City of Austin used to do media monitoring was fragmented (everyone was doing their own thing), expensive (lots of labor went into making recordings and then making cuts of those recordings), and time-consuming.

How the City of Austin monitors television TODAY (yes, with SnapStream!)

Sometime in 2007, Keith Reeves at the City of Austin saw a demonstration of SnapStream at a TATOA event and after a few more meetings, the City of Austin bought a 10-tuner SnapStream Server in 2008.

austin-snapstreamserver

The City of Austin's SnapStream Server is hosted inside of a data center in Austin City Hall and it's used by all the department PIOs across the city. The ability to schedule new recordings is limited to a few administrators. Here's a breakdown of how the City of Austin uses the 10-tuners on their SnapStream Server:Tuners 1 through 6: These are used to record every news broadcast from Austin's 6 news channels -- FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision and News 8 Austin.Tuner 7: One tuner is dedicated to recording the City of Austin's municipal channel -- this includes recordings of all City Council meetings and many of the City's other public meetings.Tuners 8, 9 and 10: The last three tuners are dedicated to record one-off newscasts (for example, if there is a news segment on CNN that the City of Austin knows they'll be covered on) and to record TV shows requested for educational purposes. For example, there was a documentary airing on TV about a particular gang that was moving into Texas and the City of Austin's Gang Task Force was able to request that video and use it for educational and training purposes. Finally, these last few tuners allow for very limited live TV viewing by a handful of users.

Single solution with self-service for departments: Now, SnapStream's client software is installed on 50 desktops throughout the city. When a particular department wants a TV clip, rather than calling Austin's "Corporate PIO", they just run the client software, search for what they are looking for and create their own clip.

austin-desktop

Keith Reeves, Manager at Austin 6 and the architect for SnapStream at the City of Austin says, "SnapStream has allowed us to cut down on our DVD dubs for City Council meetings and various department PIOs. Before, we'd get consistent requests for burning stuff for each of the 25-30 departments around the City of Austin! Now we just tell them, talk to the rep in your office and they can make you a clip of just that segment. You don't have to wait on us, just go do it yourself."

And as other city government employees have seen SnapStream, additional users have wanted access to the City of Austin is in the process of adding additional clients to their SnapStream setup.

Getting more done with less: Reyne Telles, the Media Relation Manager at "Corporate PIO" says that as the City of Austin has been on a hiring freeze and his team has been short-staffed, SnapStream has enabled his group to do more with less. And Reyne is able to respond and react more to the media.

"If I get a call from a reporter at ABC asking about something that was said on another network in Austin, I can immediately pull it up in SnapStream, see what was said 10 minutes ago and get back to the reporter very quickly with a response," said Reyne.

UPDATED: View the webinar.

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