Skip to content

Twitter Profile: King5Seattle

20 October 2009
This profile was written for the University of Washington Twitter Book according to a Case Study Template.

King5Seattle is an NBC affiliated broadcasting Station in Seattle. But instead of broadcasting a newsfeed, their stream is a flow of conversations – with relevance to their audience!

King5Seattle - has what national boradcasters don't have, yet - personality!

King5Seattle - has what national broadcasters don't have, yet - personality!

Out of 100 Tweets:

1 @reply

8 Hashtags

60 mentions (RT& “via”)

86 links out of which 61 led back to King5 or other NBC affiliates (passively “self-promotional”). Many others include stories from other (news) organizations or scenic pictures made by locals. 10 tweets actively promoting the station

Date data downloaded : Aug 13th – Aug 17th
Industry sector : News Media

Twitter ID : @king5Seattle
Followers : 5 988
Following : 1 934
Ratio followers/following : 3,1 : 1

Number posts : 5 207
Account created : Jan 23rd, 2009


King5Seattle Bio - Very transparent!

King5Seattle Bio - Very transparent!

News, weather, traffic and more for Seattle & all of Western Washington. NBC . We’re also @king5sports, @king5olympics and @GetJesse

Twitter :
Bio link :
Facebook :
MySpace : none
LinkedIn : none
Org Blog :
Org website home :
Other :



King5Seattle is an NBC affiliated broadcasting Station in Seattle. But instead of broadcasting a newsfeed, their stream is a flow of conversations – with relevance to their audience! Although their competitors Komo, Kiro7 and to some degree Q13Fox are making strong efforts to reach out to the Twitter community, King5 stands out as the most “human” and engaging station on Twitter. The station focuses on providing mainly regional or local news and adds national news if they have a high entertainment value, which makes their feed interesting.

King5Seattle deliberatley places hooks in headlines and tweets

King5Seattle deliberatley places hooks in headlines and tweets


A. General
(A.1) Background: Customized and includes contact information for news tips. Way to take advantage of citizen journalism! Well done.
(A.2) Avatar: Since several people tweet here, the company logo identifies the brand.
(A.3) Bio: “News, weather, traffic” and reference to other accounts. A little stiff, but informative!
(A.4) Transparency: It is NOT clear who is tweeting from the profile. Several people are trying to tweet on the account “under one voice” (King5Seattle woman in class)
(A.5) Bio Link: Links back to the company homepage

B. Tweets
(B.1) Replies: King5Seattle hardly addresses individuals on Twitter other than mentioning Link providers. Specific questions are dealt with via DMs
(B.2) ReTweets: The station does a great job not only retweeting, but adding value or comment to tweets provided.
(B.3) DM requests: I didn’t find any, but I know they DM a lot.
(B.4) Hashtags: Used sparsely, but deliberately for topics that don’t come and go over night.
(B.5) favorite Tweets:

Biting, but catchy and interesting - King5Seattle tweets

Biting, but catchy and interesting - King5Seattle tweets

(B.6) Narrative summary:

King5Seattle does a great job at providing relevant and interesting tweets to their regional community in a personal voice. They entertain, inform and help to form opinion through their tweets. The followers become part of the stream as King5Seattle uses reader suggestions. A high number of Retweets and mentions shows a strong level of engagement with the community and indicates that the station actively searches Twitter for certain topics and discussions. With a biting humour, the station spices up its tweets adding entertainment value to news value.

C. Questions/Suggestions
(C.1) Questions unearthed during analysis: Why does the profile not show who is tweeting? Is this part of the limbo between being personal and not getting attached to personas?

(C.2) Suggestions for improvement: Other than providing transparency about who is tweeting, it is hard to make suggestions. The network has gained 6000 followers in about 8 months, which is an indicator that their method is working, considering the station size.

One way to increase the quality of relations with other Tweeters would be to “institutionalize” input by others. Making it attractive for people to tweet suggestions regularly might save some time on searching topics and increase the identification with the station. A look behind the scenes of the station might also be interesting for the audience.

Other news organizations have meetups of their followers. Although those are self-organized, King5Seattle could encourage such meetups.

D. Analytic Services

Twitter Grader: 99.99 (out of 100)

E. Conclusion
King5Seattle is doing a really good job as a regional broadcaster on Twitter. They manage to provide useful and appealing information with a humorous and human voice and make their audience part of their program. At the same time that they are reaching out to participate in existing conversations, they slide in the one or other self-promotional tweet, without making it seem a blatant self-ad.

King5Seattle thus manages what journalists on a national level do not quite seem to be able to do: They create a sense of community among news consumers in which the station itself is on eyelevel with the other Tweeters. While journalists at big news organizations are too busy to participate in a conversation, this station goes out and dives into it without turning its own stream into a flow of noise.

This echoes a general development in Digital Journalism: Local and Hyperlocal reporting have gained importance over the web. While theoretically, the internet allows people all over the world to communicate with each other, the most productive and valuable relations grow within a limited geographic range. People feel strongly and care about what happens in their space, because it directly affects them. In times when local newspapers are dying, Twitter is a convenient tool to deliver those local news in collaboration with users as citizen journalists.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: