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

My keynote address at the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association community engagement workshop

 

I had the opportunity Nov. 13 to geek out with other community managers and socially savvy reporters when the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association invited me to keynote their Sharon Johnson Memorial Workshop on community engagement.

My speech focused on what I refer to as “maximizing the message and minimizing the messenger” — basically, putting news and information ahead of an organization’s brand.

The work I do at Billy Penn revolves around engaging different communities according to their preferences, and making sure the first thing we do is inform them. So often — because it’s so easy for content to get lost online — news organizations make it a point to remind their audiences who’s informing them. Only News 1 spoke with this councilman about this issue! Our reporter Jane Schmo attended a major education meeting and has all the details for you! Where’s the information in those sentences? Why have we forgotten that our job as news professionals is to inform people?

I kept my speech to about 15 minutes so everyone at the workshop could have a full half-hour to ask questions of me and others, and to share their experiences with community engagement. There were about 25 people in attendance, and I think this is one of the most productive conversations about industry issues that I’ve been a part of in these workshop settings. It doesn’t matter if you work at a small startup like I do, at a legacy newspaper covering state politics, or for a smaller publication covering local issues — everyone has community engagement tales to tell and scars to show. Continue reading My keynote address at the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association community engagement workshop