Social Media Case Study: The Weatherman’s Social Space

I have a good friend that is a Chief Meteorologist in North Carolina at a station I used to work, WCNC-TV in Charlotte. It is the NBC Affiliate and we worked together for close to 3 years. While I was there, he was the weekend weather guy and since I left, he was promoted to Chief Meteorologist.

Why am I telling you about my friend Brad Panovich, well…he is a weather nerd! He has a passion for weather and understanding how weather effects our daily lives. He also has a passion for the science of weather study. I would imagine Brad probably would fit well with the many of the weather and storm chasers in the midwest. You know those people that chase tornados. He would not chase them just to document their relative activity for the thrill. He would chase a tornado to document the pattern to understand the science.

His passion is shown in his use of technology…he uses it to tell his story and the story of the weather that interests him daily. If you are local to Charlotte, NC…you can watch his “stories” on WCNC-TV. You can also check him out on But, if you go to his house…he has more computers in his office than I do. He uses them to track weather patterns and share his findings. He uses the power of the web and the social space to keep people informed. He has realized that there is a group of people that wants to understand weather, but do not live in the Charlotte DMA. The television signal does not reach the people he feels like can be informed by his understanding of weather knowledge.

He uses a blog, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook to share his knowledge and findings for others to watch and understand. I do not watch local weather and meteorologist here in the Upstate of  South Carolina, I follow those whom I have a relationship. So when Brad started reporting the weather via his blogYouTubeTwitter, and Facebook.

Just today, most of the Southeast is complete holding pattern waiting to see if this latest winter weather storm is actually going to materialize. Most of us South Carolinians are sometimes skeptical of the prospect of winter weather. It is often reported to expect snow, everyone goes and cleans out local grocery stores of bread and milk, then nothing happens. We have this thing called the Blue Ridge Mountains…sometimes it gets in the way.

So what do I do while I am waiting to see if the white stuff blesses us with its presence, I pull out my iPad to look at the radar on the Weather Channel App, and see what Brad is posting on Twitter, Facebook, and his blog. I do not turn on the local channels here…they seem like talking heads. Brad, I know him! I know his passion. I have sat through hurricanes with him, chased tornados with him, stood in freezing rain with him…this guy knows his stuff.

The social space is a natural fit for him. Television limits his reach. He doesn’t just work his weather reporting shift at WCNC-TV, five days a week. He is sitting at home, in front of his massive computers, tracking. He is studying the weather system. He is using his blog as his weather notebook, jotting notes for us to see what is happening. He is recording the computer screen as a video, showing us what he is finding. He posts it to his blog, Tweets and updates his Facebook with the link. People like me ask questions via Tweets and Facebook, and he answers. He has created a touch point to audiences beyond the reach of WCNC-TV’s digital transmitter. The social space is his natural place to blog, chat, update, and engage with people concerning what he is most passionate about…weather.

Why am I telling you about? Because he is telling his story everyday with the use of technology. How neat would it be for people like Brad to sit on a panel, and talk about how they use new media and the social space to tell their story. We marketers could learn so much.

You want to follow Brad and his passion, check him out here at the following places:

Brad’s Blog:
Brad’s Facebook:
Brad’s Twitter:
Brad’s YouTube:
Brad on