Weather Communications Has A Problem And Business Thinking Can Fix It

As a meteorologist, a weather communicator, and someone to aims to be humble, I’ve come to accept and respect that the weather community has a critical issue that needs to be addressed. As a businessperson, I see business problems being solved daily, but I also see a solution to the mounting weather communications problem.

Bruder Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Police Vehicle With Policeman And Accesso

This problem is better shown than explained. It’s worth noting that there is a lot of great weather communication out there, and I’m not going to target specific people or companies as much as the product itself. To show this example, I will use New York City, a place I have never worked and with weather communications companies for which I have never worked.

T-Rex and Triceratops Foam and Plastic Connector Set - Bloco Free Shipping

As I write this, Hurricane Florence is a major hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean. Here’s what the New York City NBC affiliate has to say recently:

Small Army - North American P-51C Mustang, 250 piece - Cobi Free Shipping

When I read this, I think to myself:

“What is the ‘breakdown’ coming up? You just gave me the whole forecast. Why do I need a breakdown?”
“What’s on the app that I can’t get here? You just gave me the current conditions of the storm and earlier you tweaked out the track.”
“What are the latest updates? When are these updates coming? Didn’t you just tell me 95% of what I need to know about the approaching hurricane?”

Here’s some of what CBS in New York has to say:

The screaming message here is it will be a cloudy, wet, breezy day in New York. But I’m left with the following questions:

“I could get this on my smart phone now. Why do I need to see your communication that takes up more than a minute of my time?”
“You just told me what was going to happen today. Why do you need to tell me again?”
“There’s a lot of information about others, but I just want the information about me.”

Here’s some of what ABC in New York has to say:

Ebbro 1 20 McLaren Honda MP4-30 2015 Japan GP Model Kit

Eduard 1 48 ‘Limited Edition’ Harrier GR.7 9

Again, I’ve grabbed some tweets that showcase local warnings, a snapshot of current conditions, and a link to a website where Florence is likely heading…but I’m left with the following questions:

Revell Monogram 1 48 Junkers Ju52 3M Transporter Model Kit SEALED BAGS

“When is the greatest risk here and south of here from Hurricane Florence?”
“How is Florence going to impact me?”
“You showed me it’s raining now. When is it going to stop?”
“I see the radar and the warning. Where can I go for more information?”

Dragon 1 35 scale Jagdtiger Porsche Production Type 2 in1 optional Zimmerit ver

There are other weather communicators out there talking about New York, and here are some of those tweets:

This is just a sampling of tweets (from Twitter). People can follow and trust who they wish, people can get weather from other social media sources, they can get weather information from non-social media sources, or they can – to be honest – live their live without getting informed on the weather at all.

As someone who used to work as a meteorologist (and still is one per my degree) but now works in business, I see the communications problem more clearly now.

Comet 4 Flugzeug Modellbaukasten 1 100 Vintage Box 1966 model kit

Among other things, successful businesses have:
– A product or service people want to buy or use
– New products and services over time to create growth
– Profitability, especially if it’s increasing
– Good leaders, ethics, goals, and boundaries
– Create unique value, especially compared to others
– Have competitive advantages, especially sustainable competitive advantages

HEL85795 - Heller 1 16 - Citroen DS 19 (60th Anniversary)Eduard Limited Edition 1 48 F-86F-25 30 Ultimate Sabre Aircraft Model Kit1 35 Scale resin model kit Afghan Rebels, Big Set fig.DRAGON 6464 Sd.Kfz 138 Marder III Ausf.M Initial Production NEW 1 351 6 Lost in Space Robot B9 Deluxe Model Kit by Moebius

Kroger isn’t the only one with good ideas, but they have a value stream. They know how to get you in the store, to the gas pump, using their app, and using their services. They make money not because they create value for you, but also because they have many ways to get your money and connect the value from one place they own to another.

Takom 1 35 02098 SdKfz 171 Panther A Mid-Early w interior Model Military Kit

I tell you all of this to highlight the weather communication problem: there is very little sustainable competitive advantage in weather communication right now. ABC, NBC, and CBS in New York (above) didn’t just give the same or similar forecast; they also:

Miniart 1 35 - T-55a Late Mod. 1965 Soviet Tank

– Have the same look and color scheme
– Have no information I can’t get on a free/ad-free smartphone app, from Alexa, or on the Internet
– Largely lack a link to easily get additional valuable information
– Largely lack a call to action or impact
– Don’t cross-promote
– Don’t incentivize

The other weather tweets :

Trumpeter 1 32 - Junkers Ju-87a Stuka - (tru03213) - Tru03213 132 87a

– Largely lack a link to easily get additional valuable information (or don’t motivate)
– Largely lack a call to action or impact
– Take a significant amount of time to read or process
– Lack the locality of weather
– Don’t incentivize
– Don’t cross-promote