Profile: web producer

Paul Deane is a web producer at the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol. He explains his role on Planet Earth Live, which was broadcast on BBC One in the UK, Nat Geo Wild in the US and BBC Worldwide.

The role
The extension of traditional live broadcasting to online and social media platforms enables programme makers to continue storytelling outside of a transmission. Paul, along with an assistant producer and a researcher, was responsible for providing the Planet Earth Live audience with images, short clips and updates to complement the storylines in the show.

"We're using whatever platforms we have at our disposal to put content where people want to consume it." – Paul Deane

The various production teams based around the world sent clips and pictures for the web team to use. Paul ensured there was content they could publish throughout the day and night, leading up to, during and after the live show.

He also made sure the content fitted well with what was being covered in the programme on a given day. This required working closely with the live broadcast team to have a good idea of what was coming up.

Paul talks about the core skills needed to be a web producer.

- Good visual communication and storytelling skills. You need to be able to understand what stories viewers are most likely to want, and on what platform they want to consume them.

- Good writing skills. Throughout the day Paul wrote a lot of short copy. Whether replying to a viewer or posting a description of a clip to Facebook, that copy had to be articulate and correct.

- Technical skills. It is essential to have at least a basic understanding of web technologies.