Testing audience engagement tools

Bitch Media tested whether giving audience members tools to engage with news coverage would increase the conversion rate of occasional users to sustaining members and increase their financial support of news coverage. Read the final report below to see what they learned.

Scaling the Listening Post

This project applied rigorous monitoring and evaluation to the Listening Post model to engage new audiences, support new sponsorship and underwriting opportunities and activate new audiences. Read the final report below to learn how the model could scale to other cities and newsrooms.

Neighborhood-level engagement

The “View from/Vista de” project offers neighborhood-level engagement and sponsorship options through unique blogs, community calendars, newsletters and other neighborhood news created by citizens.

Sponsored video content

Oklahoma Watch will develop sponsored content through a video series interviewing newsmakers with personal stories related to important state issues. The project tackles a common issue for investigative publications in developing sponsor-friendly content that is compatible with an investigative focus.

Citizen journalism around data

NECIR hosted host a series of events to provide citizens with tools for examining campaign contributions to state ballot initiatives. Read the final report below to learn how they engaged citizen journalists and raised their newsroom profile in the community.

Direct community contact

New Mexico In Depth developed an ongoing program for direct contact with communities, making it easier for New Mexicans to engage with public policy and building a sponsorship program to support the outreach. Read the final report below to learn how they did it.

Story Map geolocated news

The Austin Monitor created a map-based tool enabling Monitor readers to see current and archival news content by neighborhood, testing new audience engagement approaches and ways to draw new value from news archives. Read the final report below to see what other local newsrooms can learn from this innovative effort.

Monetizing podcasts

Could a branded podcast covering state and political issues garner underwriting and sponsorships? That’s what VTDigger set out to discover. Their success story showcases what they learned.

Donor affinity toolkit

inewsource will create an individual donor communications kit. The project will include development of protocols and campaign materials to strengthen donor affinity and increase the conversion of occasional donors and event attendees into major, ongoing contributors.

Crowdfunding for student-based media

Cronkite News tested which types of audiences are likely to contribute to student media and state news services and whether crowdfunding is a viable ongoing revenue source for student-based media. Read the final report below to learn how ‘teaching hospital” journalism programs can benefit from crowdfunding.

Facebook Instant Articles for nonprofits

Mother Jones designed and tested editorial uses and membership/donor asks on Facebook Instant Articles. Read the final report below to see how other nonprofit news publishers can adapt this strategy for their own sites.

Leveraging community relationships

The Public Press applied community organizing and influencer marketing approaches and leveraged relationships with leaders in community and local interest groups to build broader audiences and engagement. Read the final report below to see what they learned.

Data app with freemium model

The Risk Miner is a database application bringing together information from several sources about agricultural companies and testing the “freemium” model for generating revenue by offering accessible data sets and related content. Read the report below to see what the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting has learned so far.

Engagement as marketing

The Voice of OC will explore engagement as marketing by working with activist communities to develop op-ed civic content from neighborhoods, ultimately building a larger donor base and broadening its audience.

Engaging youth through education

The Justice Education Network is a content and community hub that enables high school teachers to integrate criminal justice news into the classroom. The project tests whether building a niche community will help engage and retain a younger and atypical audience and can generate new revenue streams around the curriculum and services.