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How Reach NC Voices connects with readers: email, text messages, in person

EdNC chief growth officer Nation Hahn discusses Education NC's Reach NC Voices, a program designed to foster conversations around education policy.

Education NC—a nonprofit newsroom focused on education in North Carolina—developed Reach NC Voices to foster conversations on education policy via text messages. The newsroom wanted to find a more strategic way to engage in conversations with readers across the state and worked with a local civic tech organization to build the technology as well as an analytics dashboard that allows it to track loyalty.

This article explores how Education NC is reaching readers via email, text messages, and events by focusing on its engagement strategies and technology.

From the start, the site developed what it calls an Architecture of Participation, which defines and outlines its audience engagement strategies by focusing on ways that the EdNC can encourage North Carolina residents to focus their energies and attention on public policy issues.

As Nation Hahn points out in the story, “As we traveled, and as we’ve grown in staff size, we came to the realization that we didn’t have enough people to have a conversation with the entire state.” And, as a result, it decided to focus its strategy on four main principles (and built Reach NC Voices to implement the strategy):

  • Move beyond social media
  • Build relationships
  • Move offline
  • Meet people on their phones, where they’re already living