Issue #77 — What does audience engagement really mean?

Hey everyone – welcome back to your weekly dose of stories and ideas in publishing. This weeks edition includes tips on how to improve your email newsletters, learnings from publishers with digital subscriptions and ideas for running communities.

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💯 Top picks

[Podcast] What does audience engagement really mean?

“‘Audience engagement’ is a term that crops up a lot in journalism and many organisations exercise the idea in different ways.”This podcast discusses what engaged journalism really means with guest Leon Fryszer from Krautreporter.

💸 Business models

Google News Initiative Subscriptions Lab: Signup walls, content recirculation & more

Ten media organisations have been taking part in an initiative to test and learn more about growing digital subscriptions. In this article, Kelli Dakake, director of audience/passive channels at Hearst Newspapers, shares what she and her team have learnt so far.

How news outlets can make email newsletters more effective

“Everyone seems to produce email newsletters these days. But not everyone is doing it well.”Check out this article for lots of takeaways and key points to improve your email newsletters. Write like a person, keep it short and work on those headlines!

What food media is doing right in finding sustainable models

Multiple food media outlets are having success with fast subscriber growth, and many of them are generating revenue through methods other than advertising.

“Where there’s no competition, there’s no pressure to do better”: Local news is suffering even in areas where newspapers remain

“The local news report that PEN America released this week is packed with the grim statistics you’ve seen elsewhere, including all over Nieman Lab — The U.S. has lost more than 1,800 local news outlets since 2004; many of the papers that remain face consolidation and cost cutting by profit-minded…”

Paywalls can be a big lift for smaller publishers. Here’s how the Shawnee Mission Post is thriving two years in

NiemanLab explore how paywalls are working at the local and hyperlocal level with a case study into a Kansas-based publication.

✍️ Modern journalism

Five essential ingredients to make your community-driven journalism more resilient

The European Journalism Centre describe the commonalities among community-driven organisations that are growing and developing new revenue streams: Build a good team, a good culture and a product mindset, and then build paths for participation and explore reader revenue.

Publishers are having trouble hiring for product roles

As publishing teams move towards memberships and subscriptions as their revenue streams, we see a lot of parallels in the developments that take place with SaaS (Software as a Service) – because publishers are now adopting similar business models. According to this Digiday report, 71% of executives said hiring new talent in this area of expertise is a challenge.

The neuroscience of how fake news grabs our attention, produces false memories, and appeals to our emotions

“Highly emotionally provocative information stands a stronger chance of lingering in our minds and being incorporated into long-term memory banks.”

SmartNews raises $92M at a $1.2B valuation

“Looks like there’s still money to be made in news aggregation — at least according to the investors backing the news app SmartNews.”

👩‍💻 Technology

Americans favour getting news on mobile devices over desktops and laptops

It’s important to make sure your content is mobile friendly – words we’ve all had drilled into us for years, because it’s true. A recent study discovered that as much as 57% of adults in the U.S. consume news on a mobile device.

Twitter rolls out its ‘Hide Replies’ feature to all users

Twitter have introduced a “Hide Replies” feature to all users worldwide in a bid to balance the conversation. It puts the original poster in charge of which replies remain visible. A pretty controversial feature, that has the potential to reduce trolling or, conversely, silence people.

How Reuters is building a marketplace for video-hungry publishers

“On Tuesday, the news agency is announcing the addition of seven new national news agencies to Reuters Connect, a B2B content marketplace for news publishers that features content from partners including the BBC, CNN and The Guardian.”

🤷 WTF?

WTF is second-party data?

“Publishers are selling it, and advertisers want it. In an ad industry that’s scrambling for new, privacy-compliant ways to target people online, second-party data is all the rage.”

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