Standfirst for Alexa allows you to manage content that is played by Alexa when you ask "Alexa, what are my Flash Briefings" or "Alexa, tell me the news."

A Flash Briefing Skill is one which you can add to your Alexa device. A Flash Briefing is read out or played by Alexa when you ask it “Alexa, tell me the news” or similar. You would expect to create something each week as a minimum. Once played, a briefing is usually not read again so long as feeds are correctly formed and structured. This is important because if a feed is incorrectly structured then your repeated briefing will bore your listeners!

Alexa’s Flash Briefings support three content types:

  1. Video (invitation only by Amazon and only by special request to us)

  2. Audio (MP3 format) either hosted through us or located elsewhere

  3. Text (read out by Alexa’s default voice)

Larger organisations such as Sky News or BBC produce video Flash Briefings, and newspapers tend to produce MP3 briefings which are much like short podcasts. Very few use the text-to-speech option, but it’s there for small publishers. Just remember that text to speech, although it’s come on a long way, can sound monotonous for longer pieces, so they must be kept short and snappy!