Day: 2018-01-06

Yes, engaging with your readers will help you make money. Another study proves it.

Bitch Media just released a one-year study they did to see if using Hearken to engage with their readers would result in more people becoming paying supporters of the media organization. Much to our delight (but not surprise), the answer was a resounding “yes” — readers who engage are more likely to become financial backers, and that engagement effort will more than pay for itself. The study is a good read for anyone working in news, particularly at a place with a business model that includes direct audience support by way of subscriptions or membership. (And as advertising rates for news organizations continue to decline, paying subscribers and membership models are increasingly looking like a worthwhile approach.) When you’re asking the audience directly for support, there’s no more compelling argument to give then “we truly listen to you, and actually make the work you’re asking for.” While it might be news to some news organizations that meaningful, direct engagement with the public translates into bottom-line wins, it’s something that many other industries have known and tested for a long time. …

2018: The Year of Listening

For his Nieman Lab prediction last year, Andrew Haeg, founder and CEO of GroundSource, predicted that 2017 would be “The Year of Listening.” He wrote: “Not only have the digital dimes not added up, but our addiction to scale and its primary fuel, social media, have created the illusion of expanding reach while actually eroding what made us indispensable in the first place: our role as trusted guides to a rapidly changing world.” In order to earn the trust of the public, he urged newsrooms to start by listening — by “tuning into the concerns and voices of the whole community.” Turns out that Andrew was off by a year. 2018 is actually “The Year of Listening.” With the smoke bomb of 2017 now clearing, newsrooms can see that better listening and engagement are no longer “nice to have,” but are absolutely critical priorities for making good on their democratic obligations, as well as for their financial well-being. Throughout 2018, then, the News Integrity Initiative is hosting a celebration of innovative community journalism. We will highlight creative, …