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How audience engagement can build community, deepen loyalty, and boost the bottom line

How audience engagement can build community, deepen loyalty, and boost the bottom line

Transcript

  1. How Audience Engagement
    Can Build Community,
    Deepen Loyalty,
    and Boost the Bottom Line
    Research fellow (2013-14)
    Jake Batsell
    @jbatsell
    Associate professor
    Revenue Strategies Workshop
    Texas Center for Community Journalism
    Fredericksburg, Texas
    June 21, 2019

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  2. JEM 499 • @jbatsell • 10.7.14
    Professional journalism career
    Revenue Strategies Workshop • 6.21.19
    • Metro, business, and politics
    reporter for The Seattle Times
    and The Dallas Morning News
    • Later became DMN Metro Desk’s
    “hybrid” print/video reporter

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  3. JEM 499 • @jbatsell • 10.7.14
    Transition to academia
    Revenue Strategies Workshop • 6.21.19
    • Left DMN in 2008 to teach
    digital journalism and launch
    student newsroom at SMU
    • Effective Aug. 1, 2019, will be
    William O’Neil Chair of
    Business Journalism (interim)

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  4. JEM 499 • @jbatsell • 10.7.14
    Revenue Strategies Workshop • 6.21.19
    • Experience launching site
    sparked intellectual interest in
    shifting business models

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  5. Engagement, Loyalty and Revenue • @jbatsell • 6.11.14
    • Based on visits to more than 25
    news organizations in U.S./U.K.
    • 100+ interviews
    • Aimed at journalists, academics,
    students and anyone else interested
    in the future of news
    • Part of CJR Books series
    • More details: j.mp/engagedj
    ENGAGED JOURNALISM
    (Columbia University Press, Feb. ‘15)

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  6. JEM 499 • @jbatsell • 10.7.14
    What is
    engaged journalism?
    The degree to which a media
    organization actively considers
    and interacts with its audience
    in furtherance of its journalistic
    and financial mission.
    Revenue Strategies Workshop • 6.21.19
    Face-to-Face Engagement • News as
    Conversation • Mining Niche Communities
    • Search, Explore, Play • Measuring and
    Monetizing the Audience Relationship

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  7. Texas Tribune / Knight
    Foundation Research Fellow
    Revenue Strategies Workshop • 6.21.19
    Is the model replicable? Yes and no.
    YES
    • Revenue diversity
    • Entrepreneurial
    creativity
    • Tireless champion
    • Shared sense of
    business/editorial
    mission
    NO
    • Concentrated
    corporate
    wealth in TX
    • Unique
    combination
    of founders

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  8. JEM 499 • @jbatsell • 10.7.14
    Why does audience engagement
    matter to the bottom line?
    The ongoing crossover from ads to reader revenue.
    • New York Times: 2012
    • Dallas Morning News: 2018
    • Your publication: ??
    Revenue Strategies Workshop • 6.21.19

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  9. JEM 499 • @jbatsell • 10.7.14
    Fostering digital habits that grow and keep
    subscribers is a matter of survival.
    Revenue Strategies Workshop • 6.21.19
    “What you’re talking about
    here in this research is
    really a paradigm shift.

    ‘My customer is the
    consumer, and that’s where
    I get my revenue,’ as
    opposed to ‘my customer is
    the advertiser and I’m
    leveraging my readers to
    these advertisers.’ It’s a big
    shift, a huge kind of shift in
    mission.”
    — Tom Rosenstiel
    Executive Director,
    American Press Institute
    • Study of 13 terabytes of anonymous subscriber data from
    Chicago Tribune, Indianapolis Star and San Francisco Chronicle
    found that frequency of site visits is the single biggest predictor of
    retaining subscribers — more than stories read or time spent.

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  10. JEM 499 • @jbatsell • 10.7.14
    Engagement is key to moving readers along the
    “subscription funnel” and path to conversion
    Revenue Strategies Workshop • 6.21.19
    Poynter’s funnel
    breakdown:
    • Awareness
    • Engagement
    • Conversion
    • Retention

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  11. JEM 499 • @jbatsell • 10.7.14
    Revenue Strategies Workshop • 6.21.19
    Promising trends linking engagement with revenue:
    1. Community
    experiences

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  12. JEM 499 • @jbatsell • 10.7.14
    Revenue Strategies Workshop • 6.21.19
    Promising trends linking engagement with revenue:
    2. Membership programs (even
    by for-profit publications)

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  13. JEM 499 • @jbatsell • 10.7.14
    Revenue Strategies Workshop • 6.21.19
    Promising trends linking engagement with revenue:
    3. Email newsletters & subscriptions for niche audiences
    Email newsletters are a daily habit. And Google data shows that email newsletters are “the single most effective way to get
    people to decide to subscribe,” Rosenstiel told Medill. But an engaging tone is key: “You don’t just throw a bunch of links
    in some automated, set-it-and-forget-it thing. Then it’s a machine talking to people and not a newsletter”

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  14. JEM 499 • @jbatsell • 10.7.14
    Revenue Strategies Workshop • 6.21.19
    Promising trends linking engagement with revenue:
    4. More newsroom staffers are
    actively making the case to the
    public that good journalism costs
    money and is worth supporting.

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  15. JEM 499 • @jbatsell • 10.7.14
    Even more ideas:
    Here’s a free book!
    http://j.mp/mediainnov8
    Revenue Strategies Workshop • 6.21.19

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  16. Thanks!
    More info:
    j.mp/engagedj

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