Find your people with these 5 sessions on audience development

For newsrooms investing in their digital strategy, it’s all about audience. On its face, the idea of audience development is simple: find people interested in your work and keep them coming back with journalism that becomes a necessary part of their lives. Thing is, there are so many avenues to explore — what the heck is TikTok? — it might be overwhelming to map the ones that best fit with your newsroom’s strategy. For some ideas on where to begin, check out these five sessions at ONA19 that tackle audience development.

Using Facebook Groups to Engage With Your Readers and Get New Ones

As Facebook evolves to focus more on community-building, its Groups tool has gained prominence as a way for users to forge connections and foster relationships with each other. Some newsrooms have created their own Groups around specific topics; for instance, | The Times-Picayune’s “Where NOLA Eats” Group is a digital gathering space for people interested in New Orleans food, restaurants, recipes and culinary traditions. Join former Times-Picayune food writers Ann Maloney and Todd A. Price to learn how they successfully built a community engaged with their journalism.

Never Settle for Basic: SEO 101

Search engine optimization may not be the new and shiny tool for finding readers, but for many newsrooms, it’s still a key component of their overall audience strategy. Freshen up your knowledge with this masterclass on best practices for SEO across editorial, business and product teams, led by Lisa Sumner, Senior SEO Manager for ABC News.

Editorial Experiments to Develop and Refine Your Digital Audience Strategy

Don’t know where your next audience will come from? Sick of throwing memes at the wall to see what sticks? It’s time to work smarter, not harder — and one way to do that is by using hypothesis-driven experiments to inform your strategy. Everdeen Mason, Senior Audience Editor for The Washington Post, will lead a session on editorial content experiments, and how they can help you find and grow your audience. 

The Readers You Have Or the Readers You Want?

Newsrooms might spend a lot of time talking about their audience, but many are only just recently beginning discussions about their ideal audience. If you’re interested in finding potential readers you may have left on the shelf, diversifying your audience demographics and expanding your overall reach, head to this session with Andrew Losowsky, Head of The Coral Project at Vox Media, Lilah Raptopoulos, U.S. Head of Audience Engagement for the Financial Times and Ashley Alvarado, Director of Community Engagement for Southern California Public Radio.

Storytelling in Spanish: “DACAmentation” and Getting Young Latinx Voices Online and On Air

Are you reaching today’s growing Latinx audiences? Is your newsroom hiring and empowering a diverse staff of reporters and editors to find the stories that matter to them? Is your coverage being presented on the right platforms? At this session hear insights from Edie Rubinowitz, Associate Professor at Northeastern Illinois University, Fernando Moreno, Chief Operations Officer, Spanish Public Media, Catherine Perez, Information Technology Recruiter with Prestige Staffing and Monzerrath Gaytan, 2018 graduate of NEIU, about reaching Latinx audiences and how best to serve them with your journalism. The DACAmentation project received support from ONA through the Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education. Learn more about the 2018 winners.

Diya Chacko is an Audience Engagement Editor for the Los Angeles Times. A New Orleans native, Diya graduated with a dual master’s degree from Columbia University’s Earth and Environmental Science Journalism program in 2010. She tends to geek out over dogs, horror movies and journalists learning to code.