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Posts Tagged ‘reader engagement’

3 Ways to Up Your Reader Engagement

We all have social media and digital best practices coming out of ears. But after thinking about how big media companies make their dough, I realized that, although there aren’t always the resources and staff and innovation teams at smaller papers, there are some simple, almost silly, tips smaller papers can take from the behemoths in terms of reader engagement. Things that make your organization seem relevant and savvy.

1. Go Vice

Ok, you don’t have to start covering the sex beat in your town, but start thinking outside the box. Vice isn’t just a magazine anymore, it’s also a production company, and a marketing agency. Is there a crime beat reporter who could easily start posting video reports along with his written one? Are there events or causes you could sponsor that you aren’t? Run a summer program where high school students can run their own vertical. Nothing is more niche than a local hometown. Be all over it. If there is a kinky sex beat, start covering it.   Read more

What You Can Learn From Profitable New Media Companies

It ain’t easy being in the media business these days, or so they say.  There are in fact lots of people allegedly, or actually, raking in digital dollars, according to this article from Fortune. They’re all content producers with a journalistic twist. They are all different in their own ways, but you can parse out some ingredients for financial success in the industry. 

Not surprisingly the top, profitable companies are: The Huffington Post, Gawker Media, The Awl, Business Insider, SAY Media, Vox Media, and BuzzFeed. 

So what sets them apart?

 1. Niche, Niche, Niche

Choire Sicha of The Awl says they only want to be read by ‘smart people,’ and as it’s grown, it’s added other niche sites to its cache, like the female focused The Hairpin. Business Insider lives off of business and technology news and gossip, straight from the mouth of editor ‘Wall Street bad boy’ Henry Blodget. Gawker peddles snark, and BuzzFeed caters to culturally in-tune Millenials and their parents. HuffPo is grandfather of all of them — they have the verticals and dedicated, SEO hungry, writing staff for everything. By dabbling in it all, they essentially cater to segmented, yet focused, audiences. All of these organizations are like the good old magazines of the paper days: each site has a distinct look, feel and tone, reminiscent of say, Sassy or even Spin. It’s no wonder that Jane Pratt is part of the profitable crew under SAY Media. All of this ties into the next thing profitable companies have in common…  Read more

Facebook’s Best Practices for Journos: Optimize Graph Tags, and Your Editorial Staff

When Facebook released their Best Practices guide for media last week, I admit I thought it was cute. In my world, I consider Facebook sort of my ‘private life,’ a space I reserve to share thoughts and internet things with people I actually know, whereas I consider Twitter my more public persona, where I follow strangers’ opinions. Facebook’s advice seemed like they were pointing out the obvious (‘have your content creators use the ‘Follow’ button’) in a last ditch attempt to make the social network as relevant as Twitter, especially in the wake of the all the ‘social media as wire service’ talk since the Boston marathon bombings and manhunt.

But that’s sort of a fallacy. In fact, one billion people still use Facebook, all the time. When I’m honest with myself, my newsfeed is just as full of wedding photos and lunch break musings from my real-life acquaintances as it is new posts and headlines from my favorite media outlets, just like Twitter. And Facebook is starting to get savvy about helping those publishers garner traffic and reader engagement. It’s not a bad product. 

Slate is the best example of a using Facebook to successfully engage their readers; it’s even the case study in the handbook. They’ve doubled their Facebook referrals between the second quarter of 2012 and the first of 2013. Read more

5 Stats to Note From Poynter’s iPad Eye-Tracking Study

Last week, Poynter shared findings from its recent eye-tracking study. Using “eyetracking gear, observation and exit interviews,” Poynter tracked 36 people as they engaged with news stories on an iPad, an article for the study noted.

In order to make sure differences between study participants were apparent, Poynter brought in candidates from two separate age groups: 18-28-year-olds and 45-55-year-olds.

According to Poynter, iPad users in the study fell into one of two categories when they were interacting with a news story:

“People were either intimately involved with the iPad screen while reading during our recent eyetracking study — keeping nearly constant contact while touching, tapping, pinching and swiping to adjust their view — or they carefully arranged a full screen of text before physically detaching as they sat back to read.”

Read more

Newspaper Prom Dresses (As Awesome As They Sound)

This newspaper dress contest was too fun not to pass on.

When I was in high school (which wasn’t that long ago, eh hem, a decade), I remember some kids entering a contest for designing and wearing duct tape prom attire. This takes it to a whole other, way more awesome level.

The Detroit Free Press encouraged local students to design prom dresses made from newspapers for the chance to win $500. And what the local girls came up with is nothing short of awesome.


Users can select their favorite dress and rank them to help determine the $500 winner.

The Freep says it received more than 20 entries. You can check out the photo gallery of the top eight newspaper dressmaker finalists here. And you can vote on your favorite until midnight Thursday.

This is a great example of a way for a newspaper to engage its readership — especially its young readers — and promote the print product in a creative way. They tie it together nicely with the smooth voting/ranking mechanism and online contest. Innovative and fun for participants and other readers.

Thanks to Poynter for pointing this contest out. They also have some fun links to other newspaper fashions, including this gallery of newspaper dresses.

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