Think like a reader: Tips from my ONACamp presentation in Indianapolis

First let me say the day-long mini conference the Online News Association invited me to present at in Indianapolis was impressive in many ways.

  • There were some great presenters from all over the country, including Storyful’s Mandy Jenkins, who shared useful some social search tips without overstating the obvious.
  • The Indianapolis Star was a great host (they have Mt. Dew cans!), and people drove from as far as Ohio and St. Louis to attend.
  • Attendees were a refreshing mix of reporters, editors, producers and social media managers from all kinds of publications (shout-out to Angie’s List, who showed up 15 strong).

ONA does these “camps” regularly, and I was invited to present alongside Josh Stearns, director of journalism & sustainability at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and a must-follow source for local news engagement strategies.

We re-worked Josh’s slide deck on community engagement, which focuses on outreach, conversation and collaboration. Josh talked about how newsrooms across the country have done things big and small to engage readers, and I followed up with some specific things I’ve been working on with my team at Billy Penn.

My slides, embedded below, are mostly visual cues. But I talked about — and received lots of helpful feedback on — our newsroom’s experiment with Slack, how we handled the Amtrak 188 crash, efforts to get people to show up at events and how we respond to questions and criticisms.

Here’s a Storify recap of the entire camp.


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Shannon Wink

Shannon Wink is a Philadelphian and experienced reporter, editor, community manager and content marketer.

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