Cameron Clayton: A Consummate Digital Storyteller
Making sure weather-related stories resonate with viewers and users
By Lindsay Rubino -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/20/2012 12:01:00 AMB&C's 2012 Digital All-Stars
The weather is hardly just a good subject to make small talk about anymore—and with all of the apps, websites and social media integrations now available, the Weather Channel’s Cameron Clayton is making meteorology anything but mundane.
“When people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m a digital storyteller,” Clayton says. “Stories resonate with people.”
Since his promotion to executive VP of digital product for the Weather Channel in 2011, Clayton has overseen a continuous rollout of new and relaunched digital properties, including a major overhaul of the company’s website in May. The site has consistently rated among the top 50 web properties, according to comScore’s most recent Media Metrix. And it now features a streamlined interface that users can easily personalize.
Almost immediately after Weather Channel launched the site redesign, it announced the acquisition of online rival Weather Underground, a digital forecasting and tracking website. Weather Underground will continue to exist as a separate online entity, but it will bring content and resources to the Weather Channel to better inform and connect with their audience.
“The key to our success has been really listening to our users and giving them what they want,” Clayton says. “It sounds pretty simple, but it’s actually pretty hard.”
With the constant rollout of new (and improved) digital products, Clayton makes it look easy. His goal, however, is not for quantity, but to make “weather enthusiasts’ lives easier, better and safer.”
“We’re testing things all the time,” Clayton says, noting that, with the addition of a new Android app to be released later this year, the company is currently testing products with Apple.
The “digital native,” as he calls himself, is a New Zealander and founder of the country’s first digital ad agency, which he began after discovering a burgeoning need for the service in the country. In 2004, Clayton joined the Weather Channel and quickly rose through the ranks. Clayton also sits on the global executive committee of the Mobile Marketing Association.
“The challenge is, how do you tell a really compelling story on digital platforms and screens?” Clayton says. “That’s the fun part.”
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