This article explores ways in which journalists can immediately start applying the research to their newsrooms—as well as the need to develop measurement strategies.
Reaching new audiencesSubscribe to Updates Reaching audiences (and making it easy for audiences to discover you) should be an essential function of any news enterprise. Part of the challenge, however, is identifying the right audience — and then using the right tactics to attract them. This section of Better News guides you through key decisions to help your organization reach new audiences, and proven tactics for doing so.
Big Picture A primer on reaching new audiences
Reaching audiences is no longer just another function of marketing and circulation teams in traditional business departments of media organizations. The role of attracting readers/viewers/listeners belongs to everyone, including (and especially!) the newsroom.
Plan Strategic considerations for reaching new audiences
Three ways newsrooms can reorient toward getting content in front of the right audiences.
A benchmarks study by M+R that shows trends in nonprofit digital engagement and fundraising.
A breakdown of how the subscriber funnel works with the goal of retaining your audiences.
Begin your approach to reaching new audiences by tearing down a wall — the one between editorial and marketing.
Analytics platform Parse.ly provides a beginner’s guide for getting to the bottom of who your target audience is and what they need from you.
Here’s how emerging roles like growth editors are taking shape in newsrooms and ensuring that great journalism finds the right audiences.
Do Tactics to help you reach new audiences
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: Engaging with and fundraising to a digital-first audience doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel or put your content behind a paywall. But you may need to get input from people across different departments and create small cross-departmental teams with different expertise to complete effective fundraising campaigns.
As the website experiments with targeted content for specific audiences, it’s also testing out services that will serve its broader audiences.
Volunteers helped the four-person startup newsroom take on a citizens agenda approach and build a comprehensive voter guide.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: The Miami Herald in August 2018 created Sports Pass, a sports-only digital subscription plan, allowing sports diehards both in and out of market to subscribe at a lower rate than a full digital subscription.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: The Sacramento Bee used a SMART-goal setting process to find audiences willing to pay for its work.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: As part of a newsroom reorganization, The Philadelphia Inquirer built an audience development team to support its transition to a digital subscription business. It’s a team anchored by versatility and diversification. We wanted to create a data-informed newsroom (not data-led, as solid news judgment is just as important as ever) to achieve responsible reach and loyalty at scale for its journalism.
Kristin Walters of Illinois Newsroom breaks down essential logistics to consider when planning in-person events.
Kristen Hare shares how four local newsrooms are working to reach new audiences.
EdNC chief growth officer Nation Hahn discusses Education NC’s Reach NC Voices, a program designed to foster conversations around education policy.
In the summer of 2017, the Listening Post Collective conducted an Information Ecosystem Assessment in Omaha to get an understanding of information flow and map opportunities that may improve access to information and news coverage.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: The Durango Herald partnered with several organizations to use a solutions journalism approach to covering youth suicide, a sensitive subject that the publication had received criticism for in past coverage. The approach won over the publication’s critics and improved the community conversation around the difficult topic. The paper funded its coverage through a grant from the Solutions Journalism Network.
This article explores steps the newsroom took to establish the mini-publisher teams and the experiments they’ve run.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: The Virginian-Pilot used data to find a new beat topic to reach new audiences. Now, the beat is consistently one of the highest-performing in the newsroom.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: The Seattle Times blended the best of its Pulitzer-winning breaking news practices into the reporting of a major enterprise project. The result was a mix of breaking news and in-depth explanatory stories that better served audiences.
Email is key to reaching individual readers and measuring the success of subscription marketing. This primer from API’s Reader Revenue Toolkit covers technical and programmatic approaches to email capture.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: As it expanded into the post-secondary beat, EdNC blitzed all 58 community colleges across North Carolina in one week to build relationships, surface issues, identify sources, and begin building a wholly new audience. You, too, can take the time to really get to know a targeted audience.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: Carolina Public Press, a nonprofit investigative news outlet in North Carolina, created a spreadsheet to “score” each of its news stories for reach and impact — giving it the data and insight needed to improve its reporting, identify skill and capability gaps, and help its reporting reach more people and make a bigger difference.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel developed a social strategy to reach new audiences with three parts: best practices to encourage sharing, programming Facebook and creating social-exclusive content.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: The Bay Area News Group had moved to a digital first publishing platform but quickly realized some writers and editors were finding an audience for their content better than others. They realized they needed to get everyone on the same page — with a suite of digital content guides.
The Institute for Nonprofit News provides case studies for 28 projects tasked with reaching a distinct audience.
Practical tips for understanding your current audience and attracting new ones.
This research analyzes 100 million article headlines to find what works for attracting audiences from Twitter and Facebook.
The Trusting News Project’s findings help guide journalists to earn their audience’s trust through social media strategies.
Billy Penn founder Jim Brady discusses audience-building approaches for reaching a millennial audience from scratch.
Some local news organizations are finding success reaching new audiences through Nextdoor, a private social network that allows news partners to tailor their approach to a neighborhood level.
Here’s how GroundSource enables journalists to connect with communities via text messaging and messaging apps —
and why it works for a specific audience.
The Tow Center for Digital Journalism’s research on chat apps highlights how major news organizations have used various messaging apps to reach mobile audiences.
Tips and ideas from publishers that have found success using Facebook’s interest targeting feature to reach niche audiences.
Audiences have choices – lots of choices. So, it is imperative that your newsroom understand the needs and interest of audiences from their perspective, not yours.