TRT World wins two Google awards

Winners were chosen from thousands of entries in six different categories

TRT World wins two Google awards

By Faruk Zorlu


TRT World won the “Best Persona” and the “Best App By Students” awards at the Actions on Google Developer Challenge on Dec. 9, 2017, the TV station announced in a statement.

The statement said the winners had been chosen from thousands of entries in a competition covering a broad range of award categories.

“The TRT World News Quiz was judged and evaluated by members of the Google Assistant team including engineers, product managers, and UX specialists who scored each app based on creativity, relevance, quality, and usage,” TRT World said in the statement.

Ibrahim Eren, the director general and chairman of TRT, was quoted in the statement as saying that TRT World was one of the first international news organizations to build an editorial production workflow for publishing to Google Home and Alexa.

“We have plans to leverage the same content to develop and enrich new products across TV, Web, Mobile, and Messaging,” Eren said.

Murat Akguc, the managing director of TRT World, noted that their digital strategy was to aim at entering the homes of connected consumers in competitive markets like the U.S.

He said voice apps were an interesting opportunity "to drive reach, retention, and engagement across a new category of emerging devices."

“As a media company in its early days of achieving its aspiration of worldwide reach, it was a challenge to prioritize Google Home and Amazon Alexa over chatbots, but we decided to capitalize on the underlying workflows and processes that are being put in place as the foundation for delivering even richer experiences across a wide variety of platforms,” Akguc said.

In-house volunteers played major role

Derrick Fountain, the head of TRT World Digital Products, said, in order to offer smart speaker users the best experience, they had recruited and trained in-house volunteers and ran internal pilots for months, adding, “ironing out the workflow was the biggest challenge.”

“The process starts with story selection and writing, moves to voice narration in an onsite studio, and finally ends with editing and publishing to a number of audio platforms,” Fountain said.

The News Quiz application, which can be accessed on both Google Home and Amazon Echo, was originally developed by Furkan Akyurek, now an R&D engineer within the Digital Products team at TRT World, who was still a student at the time of submission.

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