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.

Trumpeter 1 48 Mikoyan Mig-27 Flogger D

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.

Vintage Rare Airfix Spitfire BDK 1 72 Scale. Kit Complete becoming scarce

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:

Tamiya 24345 Mercedes AMG GT3 1 24 Car Model Kit

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:

Revell Revell07425 25.9cm mercedes-benz Actros Mp3 Model Kit - Mercedesbenz

Revell 1 25 Scale Steve Mcqueen Bullitt Dodge Charger Metal Kit Sealed MB

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:

Ebbro E019 Lotus 91 - Belgium GP 1982 1 20 Scale Kit

“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?”

Tamiya LaFerrari Yellow Version 1 24 24347

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.

Shipyard 1 350 S350003 Upgrade Parts for Hobbyboss Italian Heavy Cruiser Zara

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

Kamizukuri 1 700 feeling parts Naval Battleship Base 3 Yard Crane Model Set C3Trumpeter 1 350 05312 HMS Repulse 1941Trumpeter 02821 1 48 HU-16A AlbatrossToyota MR2 MR 2 SW20 1996 Red Kit 1 24 Fujimi ID-15 NEWHobbyboss 1 350 86507 French Navy Battleship Strasbourg

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.

Full Resin kits SD RX-104FF Penelope

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:

01556 Trumpeter 1 35 Model T-62 ERA Mod.1972 Modification Panzer Tank Vehicle

– 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 :

Nissan Skyline Hakosuka Works 1 24 ( Aoshima )

– 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