How The Hill used Storify Enterprise at Nerd Prom

We gave The Hill a trial of Storify Enterprise for their coverage of the White House Correspondent's Dinner (affectionately known as "nerd prom" to many). Here's what you can learn from their experience to improve your own stories.


  1. "Everyone we write about is here."

  2. For many, The Hill is considered a premier source for policy and political news. There's never a lack of stories to report on in Washington, but some events are obviously bigger than others. Namely, the annual White House Correspondent's Dinner, a red-carpet affair that's gained tremendous amounts of attention in recent years. The combination of celebrity attendees, comedian hosts, powerful politicians and mainstream media bring casts a glaringly hot light on D.C.
  3. For one night, everything The Hill covers converges into one hyper-mainstream event. It's almost like their Super Bowl.
  4. You can find some of The Hill's WHCD coverage here
  5. It was important for their team to use every resource on hand to capitalize on the attention and expand their audience, so leading up to this year's dinner, we caught up with The Hill to offer them a trial of Storify Enterprise to help with the coverage. Here's what we saw and learned, and what you can apply to your own stories from it.
  6. "Storify allowed coverage to come alive, putting readers in the moment."

  7. Before, during and after the event, content was coming in from all angles -- The Hill's official reporters on site, their social media teams recording or photographing the action across platforms and posts from attendees to name a few.
  8. "We needed ways to develop content quickly but still have users interact," said Neetzan Zimmerman, The Hill's Senior Director of Audience and Strategy. "Storify enabled this seamlessly."
  9. Using Storify Enterprise's Live Story Updates feature, new content appeared on The Hill's website in real time as reporters published it from Storify. This gave their coverage the feel of a live blog as the event unfolded, but The Hill took things further by using live updates in a unique way:
  10. • As the event unfolded, the story reflected this, giving readers a live look at things like red carpet arrivals.
  11. • After the event wrapped up, the story transformed into a recap of what occurred, optimizing the reading experience for when their article was discovered.
  12. As for results, The Hill's early stats revealed that the time on page was up while bounce rate was down for the article.
  13. New to Storify? You can try creating a "living story" yourself. Your story isn't set in stone just because you hit publish. Embed it anywhere, and continue to edit and publish updates on Storify as more info or relevant social media pours in. Readers will see your updates if they refresh the page or return to the story later.
  14. Using Storify Enterprise? You can take this to the next level. Just like The Hill's coverage, readers of your stories will see updates appear in real time anywhere they're embedded on your site, making it an ideal feature for live blogs, event coverage or breaking news situations. This happens automatically, so there's no technical know-how needed.
  15. "Eye-catching content that bonds with readers."

  16. For The Hill, it was important that their team's reporting and social media stood out. "Our media is packaged certain ways for each social platform," said Shannan Bowen, Director of Audience Engagement.
  17. "I know I get a lot of my news from social media," added Zimmerman. "Traditional news stories are framed as the author wants. This organized social content in a way that's easy to consume. It's very current; it fits the way people enjoy getting news."
  18. The Hill's event coverage pulled in staff photos, official social media and attendee UGC alongside their own added context.
  19. To emphasize their content, The Hill used Storify Enterprise's Custom Story Display options. These allowed the embedded Storify content to blend in seamlessly with the look and feel of their site, allowing the story itself to stand out and removing visual or branding elements from the reader's experience.
  20. New to Storify? You can try some simple story customization yourself with the embed options at the top of your published stories, or choose from three basic templates for how your story's displayed.
  21. Your stories can be viewed in default, slideshow or "grid" templates.
  22. Using Storify Enterprise? Your embed options include the ability to remove all Storify branding completely, customize story fonts and colors with just a few clicks or even utilize the Storify API to create a truly unique story displays that blend into your site seamlessly.
  23. The Hill made made quite an entrance at nerd prom this year. We hope the lessons here encourage everyone to not be a wallflower when it comes to integrating curated social content into stories.
  24. Want to learn more about any of these options or ask about getting a trial of Storify Enterprise for your newsroom or social media team? Contact us here anytime!