Fit to Print: Creating Purposeful News Content

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Delivered at Confab Higher Ed 2013

At our institutions, we commit a significant amount of resources to creating news content—press releases, internal and external newsletters, homepage feature stories, and more. We rely on this content to tell our story, communicate important information, and forge connections with readers in a timely, high-impact fashion. But how do we ensure that news content is on-brand, reaching the right audiences, and providing real value?

News content can have high strategic value for supporting institutional goals, but only if we plan and publish it with that intent. How much do we publish news content out of habit or reflex, rather than with clear purpose? Are we making good use of our time and resources—and our readers’ attention?

Learn how to best manage news content publishing, including best practices for editorial planning/workflow, strategic alignment, and measurement.
Discover how telling stories and utilizing diverse content types can make for more effective, compelling news content.
Gain perspective on how to build and sustain editorial partnerships that reinforce strategic news publishing.

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  • Thanks for including the University of Florida in your presentation!
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  • Georgy ... you might want to update your slide deck to reflect the reorganization of Georgia Tech Communications that took place in Fall 2012. The slide you have in this deck is the pre-reorg. Otherwise a good deck and good message. Could not agree with you more on 'silos.' Michael Warden
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Fit to Print: Creating Purposeful News Content

  1. 1. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/ FIT TO PRINT Georgy Cohen @radiofreegeorgy #confabedu CREATING PURPOSEFUL NEWS CONTENT
  2. 2. “To set his paper apart from its more sensational competitors, [New York Times publisher Adolph Simon] Ochs adopted the slogan “All the News That’s Fit to Print” (first used October 25, 1896) and insisted on reportage that lived up to that promise.” Encyclopedia Britannica
  3. 3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/7087349351/ WHAT IS ‘FIT’?
  4. 4. WHAT PROMISE DOES OUR NEWS LIVE UP TO? http://www.flickr.com/photos/74497032@N08/6900311851/
  5. 5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/74497032@N08/6900311851/ NEWS IS NOT INHERENTLY VALUABLE
  6. 6. WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR NEWS?
  7. 7. “ Less than 1% of visitors view a news release. We can see by looking at landing pages for visits that include a news release that, when a visitor lands on a news release page, it is typically a dead-end with most of those visitors leaving the site from that page. - Chris Scott, Headscape http://boagworld.com/content-strategy/website-news/
  8. 8. “ NEWS INHIBITS Less than 1% of visitors view a news release. TASK COMPLETION We can see by looking at landing pages for visits that include a news release that, when a visitor lands on a news release page, it is typically a dead-end with most of those visitors leaving the site from that page. http://www.flickr.com/photos/robandstephanielevy/4616960925/ - Chris Scott, Headscape http://boagworld.com/content-strategy/website-news/
  9. 9. “ It is not enough, for example, to write a press release saying how your organisation has won an award. Instead you need to clearly explain how that benefits the user. - Paul Boag, Headscape http://boagworld.com/content-strategy/website-news/
  10. 10. Why does this matter to the institution? Why does this matter to me?
  11. 11. VALUE OVER VOLUME HOW DO WE MAKE NEWS SOCIAL? http://www.flickr.com/photos/33917831@N00/2911248047/
  12. 12. “ We focus on publishing content our readers love so much they think it is worth sharing. It sounds simple but it’s hard to do and it is the metric that aligns our company with our readers. In the long term it’s good for readers and good for business. - Jonah Peretti, Buzzfeed (July 2012) http://cdixon.org/2012/07/24/buzzfeeds-strategy/
  13. 13. “ NEWS IS THE ‘SHOW DON’T TELL’ OF OUR BRAND http://boagworld.com/content-strategy/website-news/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/eleaf/2536358399/
  14. 14. “ Universities have an opportunity to leapfrog the mainstream media and explain our research, teaching and wider contributions to society in forms beyond the text-based press release. ... We have websites, and access to the tools needed to reach the public. - Kyle Christie, formerly King’s College, London http://kylelchristie.com/2011/08/07/is-it-possible-to-go-beyond-press-releases/
  15. 15. NEWS NEEDS CONTENT STRATEGY
  16. 16. 1. PROCESS 2. PRODUCT 3. PEOPLE http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/
  17. 17. 1. PROCESS http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/
  18. 18. CRITERIA http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/
  19. 19. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/
  20. 20. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/
  21. 21. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/
  22. 22. SOCIAL PROMOTION http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/
  23. 23. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/
  24. 24. CONTENT DISCOVERY
  25. 25. EDITORIAL CALENDAR
  26. 26. MEASUREMENT http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/chefranden/390872656/
  27. 27. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/
  28. 28. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/
  29. 29. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/
  30. 30. #cssummit @radiofreegeorgy Planning and publishing Style guide http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_protector http://www.flickr.com/photos/londonmatt/3559945802/ TAXONOMY 36
  31. 31. LANDING PAGES 37 http://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/4367407655/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/argenberg/184104386/
  32. 32. “ The old mantra that every page needs to be a homepage has never been more true...The goal is to give [the reader] a clean and interesting reading experience for the article... and beyond that to make sure that we are giving the reader a sense of what else is on our site. - Bob Cohn, editor, Atlantic Digital http://www.niemanlab.org/2012/08/coming-in-the-side-door-the-value-of-homepages-is-shifting-from-traffic-driver-to-brand/
  33. 33. #ncsrmr @radiofreegeorgy Story metadata: - 39
  34. 34. EDITORIAL PLANNING
  35. 35. REAL-TIME 41
  36. 36. CONTENT HUB 42
  37. 37. 43
  38. 38. 2. PRODUCT http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/
  39. 39. “ The ultimate goal is to retire the press release. It’s a great holder for facts, but you’d never want to read one. We want to tell stories. - “We Want to Retire the Press Release”: An Interview with GE’s Tomas Kellner, Contently, July 29, 2013 http://contently.com/strategist/2013/07/29/we-want-to-retire-the-press-release-an-interview-with-ges-tomas-kellner/
  40. 40. 1. CONVEY RELEVANCE 2. EVOKE 2 . STORYTELLING AND EMPATHY CONTENT TYPES 3. SPUR ACTION http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/eguidetravel/5662538696/
  41. 41. #cssummit @radiofreegeorgy Planning and publishing Style guide http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_protector http://www.flickr.com/photos/londonmatt/3559945802/ 47
  42. 42. #ncsrmr #psuweb12 @radiofreegeorgy
  43. 43. #ncsrmr #psuweb12 @radiofreegeorgy
  44. 44. #ncsrmr #psuweb12 @radiofreegeorgy
  45. 45. #cssummit @radiofreegeorgy Planning and publishing Style guide http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_protector http://www.flickr.com/photos/londonmatt/3559945802/ 57
  46. 46. #cssummit @radiofreegeorgy Planning and publishing Style guide http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_protector http://www.flickr.com/photos/londonmatt/3559945802/ 58
  47. 47. 3. PEOPLE http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/
  48. 48. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/
  49. 49. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/acanella/7260425106/
  50. 50. http://www.flickr.com/photos/vitike/5217716870/in/photostream/
  51. 51. http://www.flickr.com/photos/35927320@N03/4549876293/
  52. 52. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonker/1436280027/ 65
  53. 53. Owned and facilitated Include social, photo and video Share measurement Take, share and archive minutes Source ideas from across campus Revisit editorial priorities 66 http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonker/1436280027/
  54. 54. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49392356@N03/8446610848/ THANK YOU! @radiofreegeorgy @meetcontent QUESTIONS?

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