#ISOJ presentation: The 'Original Platform': How Newsrooms Build Digital Loyalty and Generate Revenue Through Face-to-Face Engagement
The „Original Platform‟:How Newsrooms Build Digital Loyaltyand Generate Revenue ThroughFace-to-Face EngagementInternational Symposium on Online JournalismAustin, Texas – April 20, 2013Jake Batsell, assistant professorSouthern Methodist University, Dallas@jbatsell
GeekWire Summer Bash – Seattle, June 2012 • More than 500 Seattle techies attended • 14 corporate sponsors • Tickets began at $50
Events at GeekWire• 9 total in 2012• 40% of total revenue• 20% profit margin• Local tech executive: “People in Seattle, they have a personal connection to this thing … we kind of feed them, and they feed us back.”
June-November 2012: • Visited 20+ U.S. newsrooms • Conducted 100+ interviews • Part of larger book project
Face-to-Face Engagement:… is emerging as an increasingly vital complement to newsrooms‟ digital engagement strategies.
Face-to-Face Engagement:• Not an obligation, but an opportunity to build community and – yes – monetize your audience.
Face-to-Face Engagement: • If done well, can subsidize watchdog reporting. • One of three potential revenue streams upon which news organizations should pounce, according to Skok/Christensen. • Still, returns aren‟t always quantifiable. Image credits: niemanlab.org; Nordstrom.com
Conclusions / Best Practices: • Designate an event planner. • To make money, seek out sponsors. • Networking is a prime draw. • Newsroom buy-in is key. • Provide memorable experiences. • Don‟t expect a golden goose, but with an authentic approach, events can produce revenue and audience goodwill – preferably both.
Community blogger in Pontiac, Mich.: • “They acknowledge us, and we acknowledge them. That‟s engagement.”