Caps, Laughlins Host Meet-and-Tweet With Fans for #CapsSocialNight

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Posted December 17, 2016

(Photos by Caps Outsider)

The Caps hosted #CapsSocialNight on Saturday prior to the game against the Canadiens, inviting fans to the press box to discuss the role of social media by the team and Comcast SportsNet.

Caps Director of Digital Media James Heuser, longtime CSN color commentator Craig Laughlin and CSN Caps analyst Courtney Laughlin answered questions and discussed how Twitter and Facebook have been game-changers for broadcasting as on-air hosts now seek out instant fan participation, and even let the fans drive the discussion.

“Now, we want you guys to give us content for the show,” Courtney told the group. “Send us questions… Now you guys are a part of our show. You help create content for our show… so it’s no longer just us talking about X.Y.Z.”

Though Comcast and Monumental are leading the effort to get their broadcasters involved with social media, Craig credits his daughter Courtney – a millennial – for teaching him. In his 27th season covering Caps game, Craig is still figuring out the ins-and-outs of Twitter features, professing a newly-discovered love of gifs, while also expressing frustration over more complicated tasks, like putting two pictures into a tweet side-by-side.

“Dad that’s so easy!” Courtney said.

Another major shift for the broadcasters is the addition of Facebook Live segments to their already packed schedule. On top of their regular broadcasting duties, Laughlin and play-by-play announcer Joe Beninati now host two segments, giving fans more in-depth analysis than ever before.

“The reason we do it is we want to inform you about the team that we don’t have time for in the game,” Craig said. “So if you’re seeing something you want to ask us, that, you know, it’s a three-minute answer… Joe talks so much I don’t have time for that explanation, but I can explain it on Facebook.”

What does the future hold? More social media. “I can see in five years it’s going to be crazy,” Craig said. “Snapchats, Instagrams… that’s all going to be part of my job… We’re here to give you support, to answer questions that you have about our favorite team, and the opposition if you want. Topics around the NHL, or even fun stuff, how Joe travels, how many suits he has. I will answer anything about Joe, not myself.”

After the discussion, the Caps held a raffle, giving away an @Backstrom19 jersey and special Monumental Network social media-themed pucks. Then, of course, everyone took a group selfie:

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Artist Rachel Cohen and Courtney Laughlin take a selfie.

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Courtney and Craig Laughlin take questions from fans.

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Raffle winner!

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James Heuser, right, spoke about the light-hearted jabs NHL teams take at each other on Twitter.

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#CapsSocialNight