You are browsing the archive for Audience Engagement.


August 17, 2012 in Community, Resources, Revenue, Technology

A new software tool developed by JJCS gives news organizations a direct means to facilitate community engagement and contribution in a time when many are struggling to find a way to efficiently and inexpensively cover hyperlocal.

JReporter, an application that works with the Android and iOS interfaces, allows a licensing media company to solicit content, whether it is text, video, audio or stills, from local citizens via geo-targeted messages. The user can then submit content to the news organization through the app, which integrates with the media company’s CMS.

The app offers local news organizations inexpensive content that they can subsequently turn around and monetize through digital ads. The app will ideally allow media outlets to cover more hyperlocal events, ranging from school board meetings to high school football games, that may otherwise not be cost-efficient…

From a journalism standpoint, the application makes sense as a way to foster community engagement and promote the local media’s role as the “place where the community comes to learn about itself” — a phrase JJCS has trademarked. At the very least, this content can be used to develop a searchable archive. But whether the app can develop a strong enough user base to drive ad revenue, both via resulting Web content and directly on the mobile app, through proximity-based messages from local merchants, will ultimately determine its success.” Source: Street Fight Daily

News organizations face four problems:

Dwindling Reporting Staff •  Lack of Content Ownership
Ineffective Revenue Streams • Lackluster Customer Engagement

JReporter makes it easy for customers and reporters to send breaking news video,
stills and audio directly into your editorial content management system with the
correct ancillary information (metadata) and a release.

In the today’s world, one of your customers is at every news event with a smart
phone and who will, if it’s easy, give you coverage. JReporter is easy to use and
ensures that you know who is sending you content, so that you can follow up, get
additional information, and interview the eyewitness…

Cloud based and advertising supported, JReporter ensures high availability and
low cost of entry. JReporter does not require any changes to your current working
environment and can be ready to go in no time.

JReporter includes embedded revenue opportunities and is white labeled for
sponsorship, branding or embedding.” Source: JReporter

JA Interview: Are you H&M or couture? Business insight offered from beyond the publishing world

July 18, 2012 in Blog, Revenue

Newspaper Dress

What business tips from the fashion world might be useful to news publishers?
Image: Payam Emrani

Journalism Accelerator

As journalism and publishing continue to ride the wave of upheaval and innovation, what can we learn from people outside our own specialties, whether within the news industry or outside? We asked Robert Burns Nixon, Chief Financial Officer and a member of the board of the San Francisco Fashion and Merchants Alliance, Inc., to read the JA forum on local news publishing and reflect on similar challenges in the fashion world. Nixon dives straight into buzz, build and brand. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

The San Francisco Fashion and Merchants Alliance (SFFAMA) is a nonprofit providing business and technology education through forums, mentorships and networking for designers, including many small startups. SFFAMA’s trademark event is San Francisco Fashion Week, held each fall, but CFO and board member Robert Burns Nixon is busy year-round. He develops partnerships and promotions for SFFAMA, plus handles the budget, planning and business strategy, which is evolving right along with the organization.

Robert Burns Nixon: We’re free right now, but we have a bunch of different groups (involved) and thousands of members. We’re planning to do a freemium model where you offer incentives; for a yearly membership, an automatic discount for all of our events, or other discounts that apply to partners, or special access to certain things. We’re still waiting for that critical number, whatever it is…say you have 5,000 people total and then you figure that maybe 5% of those may be willing to pay something.

Journalism Accelerator: What’s the value proposition you offer people? When you’re saying “become a member,” what’s in it for them?

RBN: We cap our membership first of all. We offer ongoing technology and fashion workshops. We have panel discussions and we do events where startups pitch, and then we have a whole range of different work functions.

JA: One thing that came up in the JA forum on local news was that community media startups trying to partner with bigger organizations, such as traditional newspapers, can find it difficult to come up with a way that would be mutually beneficial. What do you see in the fashion industry? Read the rest of this entry →

Engaging Audiences: Measuring Interactions, Engagement and Conversions

June 15, 2012 in Community, Resources

The rise of social media tools has empowered online news startups to distribute content, market their sites and track users. However, most small news sites say they cannot lasso data to track whether they are turning users into supporters who will help their sites survive.

According to a national survey on audience engagement, nearly eight in 10 online survey respondents said they could not measure whether their engagement strategies were also converting readers into advertisers, donors, content contributors or volunteers…

“Such an effort is beyond our capacity,” said one respondent. “We need help,” said another.

These are among key findings of a new survey, funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, focusing on how “digitalfirst” news sites are engaging their audiences and measuring that engagement.

“These small sites can measure interaction with their content, but they don’t have good tools to measure meaningful engagement,” said Jan Schaffer, director of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, which spearheaded the research. “This affects both the future of their operations and the impact they can have in their communities.”

…At least four types of engagement surfaced in the survey responses, but how well the respondents optimized these engagement strategies varied by organization. They include:

  • Engagement as outreach, driving users to consume content.
  • Engagement as reaction, inviting users to comment, share, like and chat.
  • Engagement as stakeholder participation, getting users to contribute stories, time, funding.
  • Engagement as civic participation, activating audience members to address community issues.”

Source: Engaging Audiences: Measuring Interactions, Engagement and Conversions (pdf)

Pew Research Center Report: 72% of Americans follow local news closely

May 3, 2012 in Community, Distribution, Innovation, Resources

Nearly three quarters (72%) of adults are quite attached to following local news and information, and local newspapers are by far the source they rely on for much of the local information they need. In fact, local news enthusiasts are substantially more wedded to their local newspapers than others. They are much more likely than others to say that if their local newspaper vanished, it would have a major impact on their ability to get the local information they want. This is especially true of local news followers age 40 and older, who differ from younger local news enthusiasts in some key ways.

One-third of local news enthusiasts (32%) say it would have a major impact on them if their local newspaper no longer existed, compared with just 19% of those less interested in local news. Most likely to report a major impact if their newspaper disappeared are local news followers age 40 and older (35%), though even among younger local news followers 26% say losing the local paper would have a major impact on them…

These local news and information consumers stand out from other adults in several respects related to community attachment, general interest in all types of news, use of sources for local news and information, and the particular topics of interest to them on the local scene.

As a whole, local news enthusiasts do not stand out from other adults in their use of technology or in the way they use technology to participate in local affairs, such as sending around links or posting comments on websites. However, among local news enthusiasts there are considerable differences in technology use across generations.

These are among the main findings in a nationally representative phone survey of 2,251 adults by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and Internet & American Life Project, produced in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.” Source: Report (pdf)

Investigative News Network Report: Critical Strategies for Growing a Nonprofit Newsroom

April 6, 2012 in Craft, Distribution, Resources, Revenue

This report is directed at the Investigative News Network membership and its supporters. It is intended to provide explicit strategic and tactical advice for growing earned revenue streams from audience development and paid distribution for the purpose of diversifying funding. It will also explain how those activities contribute to the overall operating health and sustainability of nonprofit investigative news organizations.

This work should be iterative; consider it a 1.0 release. As the movement continues to mature, these basic frameworks and assumptions will continue to evolve and best practices, solid performance measures, and realistic operating assumptions will codify.

We hope that this research will have broader interest outside INN and the foundations that support it, including members of the public and the growing diaspora of journalists leaving established news organizations that may be contemplating starting their own independent nonprofit news organizations.

What Will You Find?

  • The Landscape: An overview of market conditions that catapulted the nonprofit investigative news movement into existence. Many of these trends suggest a great deal of opportunity for nimble investigative journalism shops; however, the challenges of building economies of scale and managing multiple, fragile distribution channels and funding sources remain persistent.
  • Planning a Nonprofit News Organization: What are your mission, strategy and organizational archetypes? What kinds of journalism will you do and what impact do you want to have? How does your mission shape your product, distribution, and organizational and operating strategies (products, people and technology)? What will it take? Is it feasible?
  • Engaging Your Audience/Community: What is your target audience? Where will you reach it and how will you prove your impact? This paper will take a deep dive for INN membership on the fundamental questions regarding:
    • Audience Development: How should INN members go about conceiving and developing their own audience or strategy for having a site based on traffic vs. impact, etc.?
    • Distribution: How should INN members think about distribution? What does a partnership look like, and how should you negotiate one? How can you be compensated? Who are the best partners based on your goals?
  • Paths to Sustainability: What does success look like? How does your organization stay nimble and entrepreneurial, while at the same time maturing its operations? How will you grow earned revenues, chart a course to sustainability, and lessen your dependence on philanthropic support over time?
  • Conclusions: What does the future hold for nonprofit investigative journalism? We offer some suggestions and thoughts on the road ahead.
  • Appendix, Bibliography, Figures and Resources: Background material on this report, interviews, reference materials and the authors.”

Source: Investigative News Network

Data Management Platforms for Publishers

March 11, 2012 in Community, Technology

Publishers today live in a data-driven world. It is no longer enough to simply create content, build audiences, and sell ads. Ad exchanges, networks, demand-side platforms (DSPs) and supply-side platforms (SSPs) have turned ad-buying into a transparent marketplace where millions of dollars worth of inventory is bought in real-time every day. This fundamental shift in the way media is planned and purchased has led to audience aggregation across publisher inventory, primarily benefiting the buy-side.

Ad networks and DSPs have streamlined the media buying process and helped advertisers reach relevant audiences, but they also pose challenges to publishers accustomed to having more control over their own inventory and monetization. With all of the buy-side innovation and technology over the last few years, publishers of all stripes – from large media companies, to blogs, social networks, and e-commerce sites – are searching for ways to maximize revenue and take back some control, while continuing to offer cutting-edge technology and quality audiences at scale to their clients.

One of the most effective ways for publishers to take charge of their audience data is to use a Data Management Platform (DMP). A DMP allows publishers to separate audience data from media execution platforms, providing an independent method to evaluate the quality and price of individual audiences across various media partners, helping extract the most yield from their inventory…

This whitepaper provides a practical roadmap for publishers looking to leverage DMPs to monetize and increase yield from their site traffic, grow their audiences, and boost ad revenue.” Source: Data Management Platforms for Publishers

Niche news publishing: “No one shoe fits all.”

February 29, 2012 in Blog, Craft, Experiments, Revenue

Journalism Accelerator

Little shoe big foot -- Journalism Accelerator Forum

Image credit: Lars Christensen - Fotolia

Go deep, not wide, in content and audience. That’s my quick overall takeaway from today, Day Two of our forum on sustainable journalism. Today’s conversation focused on particular opportunities for niche sites.

Let’s start with this question, and a thanks to the Oregonian News Network’s Cornelius Swart for posing it:

Who if any have done or understood the demographics of their audience before they launched their projects. Of those out there in the niche world, who has done a media audit since they launched? Are people just pricing products and seeing if they take off? Do people have a sense of audience/customer base in terms of income and consumer habits/values?”

That’s still open to answer on the forum threadBased on comments throughout the conversation, niche news sites have particular opportunities to build tight relationships with their audiences – and that is key to bringing in revenue. Rusty Coats put it this way: To monetize deep content, own the master narrative.

That is, become the voice of authority (through your coverage, of course) on a subject matter – and work diligently to hone that subject matter so that it isn’t too horizontal. Deep coverage is vertical. Readers and underwriters appreciate the focus – and that helps weed out who is NOT your audience or underwriter community.” Read the rest of this entry →

Quantcast Learning Center

February 8, 2012 in Distribution, Resources, Revenue

Quantcast is a team of web analytics experts building powerful statistical technology to understand digital media audiences. Quantcast helps publishers of all sizes understand the composition of their audiences and attract higher advertising rates, and helps marketers and agencies find elusive online audiences wherever they might be. This web site allows anyone to view audience reports on millions of digital media properties.” Source: Quantcast Learning Center


Publishers and Platforms:

Quantcast Measurement provides free, directly measured traffic and audience composition reports. These reports are Media Ratings Council-accredited, ensuring that your traffic data is both accurate and reliable.

Use Quantcast audience segments to group your audiences any way you like. Define the custom audiences advertisers want and deliver more of your hard-won audience base. Quantcast enables you to add Quantcast Lookalikes (targeting) to compliment your business by serving the exact audience a marketer wants to reach.

Quantcast demographics: Segment out specific audiences you want to sell across your content. Adjust the composition of your audiences to index higher, and target audiences that were previously challenging to deliver.” Source: Quantcast

YouTube Creator Playbook

January 12, 2012 in Craft, Distribution, Resources, Technology

Welcome to the first edition of the YouTube Creator Playbook! We’re excited to provide Partners and creators with a new resource that compiles important tips, best practices, and strategies to build greater audiences on YouTube. The YouTube Creator Playbook will also be updated as new features are released and new tips are uncovered, so be sure to check back frequently…

There Are No Rules to Making Great Content!

The Creator Playbook is not a collection of rules or guaranteed ʻtricksʼ to get more views. Instead, it presents best practices, optimization tips, and suggested strategies for building audience and engagement on YouTube. We’ve tried to frame our suggestions and tips to encourage a variety of uses and to encourage creators to innovate and develop their own approach.” Source: YouTube Creator Playbook


“Finding success on YouTube can often be a difficult thing to do. There are tons of different variables that can make or break your video — whether it’s a 15-second clip or something you consider a masterpiece.

Luckily, YouTube itself is here to help. They’ve produced a little-known bible for content creators, the YouTube Creator Playbook.

This is not a playbook for beginners. It includes tips for engagement, uses terms like “tent-pole programming” and gives a detailed look at YouTube’s analytics package.

Also included are tips about metadata, thumbnail optimization as well as the best ways to push YouTube videos on other social media platforms.” Source: 10,000 Words


December 29, 2011 in Craft, Resources, Technology

We believe CoveritLive allows for a new type of online reporting; it’s a great tool for providing your expert and in-depth commentary during an event, with the ability to interact in real-time with your readers through live polls, instant questions and multimedia. Here are a few of the many ways CoveritLive can be used to engage online audiences:

CoverItLive is a simple application that can be installed on a blog with an embed code. From the front end on the blog, readers can follow the reports on the time line. They can ask questions, give comments, or send files for example pictures. At the back end the blogger or reporter controls the process. He or she starts the reporting by typing messages on the time-line. This setup makes CoverItLive highly interactive and opens the road to real time messaging.

From the console there are lots of possibilities. For example adding photos or video; sending a news flash to the followers of the session; or doing a quick poll. A session on CoverItLive is also open to Twitter, meaning tweets can be published directly.

Adding a webcam is easy, and the followers can see what is happening on location…Generally CoverItLive works best when the news breaks so fast that it does not make sense to start traditional reporting on a website or blog. Good examples of interesting practices of live blogging were the shooting in Norway … or the tsunami in Japan.” Source: Memeburn