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The “why” of engagement
Asking the right questions
before settling on a strategy
Joy Mayer | @mayerjoy | mayerj@missouri.e...
The real question:
Who’s the audience?
The real goal: A continually expanding
strategic toolbox
⋙ALMETA:
The death of a beloved
community figure.
⋙PLASTIC:
A controversial proposed
ban on
plastic bags
Who’s already talking about what
you’re covering?
Who most wants or needs your
content?
Where and how are those
conversati...
⋙ALMETA:
We easily connected
with elite sources.
⋙Those sources alone
couldn’t get to the heart
of her powerful
connection...
⋙Hundreds of copies
put in the hands of
readers and non-readers
⋙Particularly resonated
with homeless people
we encountered
PLASTIC: No shortage of online conversation and outrage.
Whose voices, perspectives
or expertise are needed?
How can you invite the community
to share?
⋙SOLUTION: White
boards.
⋙Dozens of messages
from her neighbors
and fans
⋙Would Miss Matty’s
“quote” have been
reflected otherwise?
⋙Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram and Snapchat
⋙PLASTIC:
We asked online readers
and heard plenty back.
⋙We knew that wasn’t
representative and
needed to find offline
perspectives.
What do you hope your “coverage”
or efforts will accomplish?
⋙PLASTIC: Find out
what people don’t know
and fill the inform...
How do you measure that?
⋙Web metrics (views,
time, depth of visit,
loyalty)
⋙Conversation
(number of comments,
or number ...
But remember, it comes down to:
Who’s the audience?
⋙Joy Mayer | @mayerjoy | mayerj@missouri.edu
Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian: The "why" of engagement: Asking the right questions before settling on a strategy
Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian: The "why" of engagement: Asking the right questions before settling on a strategy
Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian: The "why" of engagement: Asking the right questions before settling on a strategy
Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian: The "why" of engagement: Asking the right questions before settling on a strategy
Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian: The "why" of engagement: Asking the right questions before settling on a strategy
Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian: The "why" of engagement: Asking the right questions before settling on a strategy
Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian: The "why" of engagement: Asking the right questions before settling on a strategy
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Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian: The "why" of engagement: Asking the right questions before settling on a strategy

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Joy Mayer is the director of community outreach at the Columbia Missourian and an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism. Her work focuses on the continually evolving notion of community engagement in journalism and on what it means to make the news more social. She was a 2010-2011 RJI Fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, where she did a survey of 500 newspaper editors' views on engagement, held a seminar on measuring the success of engagement efforts, and published a newsroom discussion guide for community engagement. Mayer teaches classes in participatory journalism and has previously taught multimedia design and print design.

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Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian: The "why" of engagement: Asking the right questions before settling on a strategy

  1. 1. The “why” of engagement Asking the right questions before settling on a strategy Joy Mayer | @mayerjoy | mayerj@missouri.edu
  2. 2. The real question: Who’s the audience? The real goal: A continually expanding strategic toolbox
  3. 3. ⋙ALMETA: The death of a beloved community figure.
  4. 4. ⋙PLASTIC: A controversial proposed ban on plastic bags
  5. 5. Who’s already talking about what you’re covering? Who most wants or needs your content? Where and how are those conversations taking place?
  6. 6. ⋙ALMETA: We easily connected with elite sources. ⋙Those sources alone couldn’t get to the heart of her powerful connections.
  7. 7. ⋙Hundreds of copies put in the hands of readers and non-readers ⋙Particularly resonated with homeless people we encountered
  8. 8. PLASTIC: No shortage of online conversation and outrage.
  9. 9. Whose voices, perspectives or expertise are needed? How can you invite the community to share?
  10. 10. ⋙SOLUTION: White boards.
  11. 11. ⋙Dozens of messages from her neighbors and fans
  12. 12. ⋙Would Miss Matty’s “quote” have been reflected otherwise?
  13. 13. ⋙Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat ⋙PLASTIC: We asked online readers and heard plenty back.
  14. 14. ⋙We knew that wasn’t representative and needed to find offline perspectives.
  15. 15. What do you hope your “coverage” or efforts will accomplish? ⋙PLASTIC: Find out what people don’t know and fill the information gap ⋙ALMETA: Produce a collective community tribute ⋙Inform coverage with actual community questions or priorities ⋙Make money from sponsorship of handouts distributed around town ⋙Drive readership or reach new audiences ⋙Capture voices that would otherwise be missing
  16. 16. How do you measure that? ⋙Web metrics (views, time, depth of visit, loyalty) ⋙Conversation (number of comments, or number of unique commenters) ⋙Quality of invitation (number of responses, or percentage of responses as compared to views/reach) ⋙Efficiency of efforts (better targeting of messages and platforms) ⋙Sources included (especially those not likely to have been otherwise) ⋙Newsroom recruits to engagement philosophies
  17. 17. But remember, it comes down to: Who’s the audience? ⋙Joy Mayer | @mayerjoy | mayerj@missouri.edu

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