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From events to curation, here’s how Billy Penn tries to reach its target audience

Billy Penn founder Jim Brady discusses audience-building approaches for reaching a millennial audience from scratch.

Billy Penn, the mobile-first, millennial-focused news site in Philadelphia, turned to events as one of the key ways to reach and build its audience. In 2014, when the site launched, the small staff hosted an event to get to know its target audience. Attendees received brand swag and incentives, such as a free drink for liking the site’s Facebook page.

This piece explores Billy Penn’s audience-building tactics, from how it planned to use events to how the site wanted to distinguish itself for a millennial audience.

Understanding what its readers care about is critical for Billy Penn as it strives to create groups around news topics and build an events business that caters to those groups. Billy Penn wants to facilitate discussions and engagement around the news both online and in person. In an ideal world, [founder Jim Brady] envisions one day being able to reserve the back room of a bar on short notice to convene discussions on news topics they’re developing.