What more than 12 million articles and 696 million tweets tell us about the pandemic…
Turbine Labs began tracking coronavirus in the media more than one year ago.
Fast, meaningful intelligence is our speciality, and we wanted to help the public navigate this crisis without the noise and chaos of the 24/7 news cycle. So we developed the Daily Coronavirus Leadership Briefing — a clear, unbiased, thoughtful guide to the quickly evolving events of the pandemic — and we offered it free of charge.
In the last year, Turbine Labs’ AI software tracked more than 12 million media articles and 696 million tweets that mentioned the coronavirus. In the time it took us to send 265 daily briefings, we came away with three major insights.
THE MOST CONFUSING PHASE OF THE PANDEMIC WAS ALSO WHEN MOST BIG DECISIONS WERE MADE
The amount of media published about the coronavirus surged in March and April last year, just as outbreaks shuttered schools and offices across the country. Information swelled in those weeks, but so did speculation, misinformation and confusion.
On March 20, the same day that the state of California entered its first lockdown, Turbine Labs’ AI sifted through 125,600 media articles and 15.7 million posts on Twitter. It was the most content published in one day about the coronavirus.
Faced with crucial decisions at that time such as whether to shift to remote work, how to handle sick employees and what the pandemic could mean for the health of our economy, business leaders needed a clear path forward, and they needed it fast.
Readers of the Coronavirus Leadership Briefing only had to consume 0.0006% of the 708 million media articles and social posts about the coronavirus this year, but they were better informed and less fatigued. It would have taken a human 111 million hours – more than 12,000 years – to read through the content that Turbine Labs catalogued each day throughout the last year.
Our briefing reached its highest level of engagement on March 25. The most highly clicked articles provide a lens into some of the top concerns at that time: how a Seattle restaurant managed to continue doing business even in lockdown, Congress’ agreement on the first $2 trillion stimulus package, and how to be an empathetic leader during the pandemic.
READERS WANTED THE FACTS, BUT THEY WANTED SOME ADVICE, TOO
Among the highest-clicked articles in our daily briefings were those dedicated to helping business leaders thrive in unprecedented times.
The breakdown of our Coronavirus Leadership Briefing is intentional; we wanted to deliver the crucial news of the day, but we know that sometimes our readers are left asking — what now? So we identified a section in our briefing – Navigating the Pandemic – dedicated to articles of reflection and forward-thinking solutions.
Among the most popular articles in the last year: Five Ways The Coronavirus Could Get Employers In Legal Trouble by Chief Executive, 8 Questions Employers Should Ask About Coronavirus by HBR, and The pandemic has been an impetus for innovation, by Fortune.
MUCH OF THIS PANDEMIC WAS UNPRECEDENTED, BUT SOME THINGS WERE DOWNRIGHT QUIRKY
In the last year, we reported the somber milestones of cases and deaths reached in the U.S. and around the world, economic hardships, worsening disparities, and the implications of how the virus was shaping our everyday lives.
But we also reported on shortages of jigsaw puzzles, baking goods and roller skates — items that helped us pass the time in isolation. Our readers, like us, were interested to learn that social isolation had inspired an equal demand for porta-potties, psychics, and smaller Thanksgiving turkeys.
Over time, we learned just how much the coronavirus had influenced every aspect of American culture, from the names we gave our pets to the costumes we wore for Halloween to the future of architectural design. It fueled a renewed obsession with mushroom hunting in Russia, the marketing of companion robots that flatulate in Japan, and viral videos of Zoom faux paus (a court hearing with a cat? In the pandemic, anything is possible.)
TURBINE LABS’ METHODOLOGY WORKS
We knew we were onto something when our readership for the Coronavirus Leadership Briefing started to expand by word of mouth. In a crisis that grew more politicized over time, our clients raved about the ease of access to the most crucial news, free of bias or commentary. Our subscriber list is now more than 5,000 strong.
Knowing that the best information doesn’t always come from the same publication, we brought 573 unique outlets to the forefront of the Coronavirus Leadership Briefing.
Turbine Labs doesn’t just count media and social posts — we use tools that provide a shortcut to meaningful insights. After identifying the most highly shared, impactful, and actionable news, real data journalists parse through the information and present it as objectively as possible.
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