Over the course of four years, the Arizona Republic built an Arizona Storytellers series that became profitable and gave them a means to engage their citizens, through events that attract sellout crowds at intimate venues that old 150 to 250 people. The event involves giving a forum for local residents to tell their own stories. The series was inspired by a video project the organization did at the point of the state’s centennial, highlighting the importance of looking at events as a natural extension from editorial projects. And the staff attributes success for these events in part to forging strong local partnerships with a community college and with the local NPR affiliate, KJZZ.
“Storytellers opened our eyes to the bigger opportunities and broader opportunities to build those personal, face-to-face connections with both our existing audience and exposing us to new audiences,” said Randy Lovely, senior vice president for news and audience development at the Republic.