Community Content for Newsrooms


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A workshop on how newsrooms can create community networks with local bloggers and other groups to boost their content offerings and audience. Delivered at APME's Newstrain March 23-24, 2012.

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  • For the sake of this class: Writing, photography, graphics, video created by people who are not on your staff. UGC is general interest user content.
  • What makes a community partnership more valuable than everyday UGC is that you are selecting and recruiting people who are already known in this space. They create good content - and they can bring their own audience to the site.
  • Existing news presence looking to expand and grow audience
  • Brand new local news presence looking to find an audience
  • Brand new local news presence looking to find an audience
  • Very close knit blogging community
  • Cincy wanted to reach womenTBD wanted to reach local readers for a new siteThink niche: lifestyle, non-dominant sports, hyperlocal/neighborhood coverage
  • We did this at both Cincinnati and TBD - collecting all of the blogs we could find in a spreadsheet with their social networks, contact info and a quick assessment of their viability as partners. It is time consuming, but this sort of list is useful for building your network and for future research and source-building.
  • Local bloggers tend to interlink and be connected with one another - this is an excellent starting point.  
  • No local gardening blog, recruiting gardening center to write oneLocal cooking icon didn’t have an online presence, we made her one
  • Outside vendor also happened to be local
  • Blog roundups, with direct links out to the blog sources
  • At TBD, community engagement eds with focuses in certain subject areas reached out and maintained relationshipsAt Cincy, it was a mix, depending on the subject area.
  • Both sites kept copyright with blogger, could also publish blogs elsewhere, on other networks
  • Cincinnati worked that out on a post by post basis
  • Onsite blogs were given a once-over for content, not line edited
  • Cincinnati didn’t write it into agreement, but said it outright needed 3 substantive posts a week
  • Consult Cincy agreement and pay scale
  • Denote members of the network, usually link back to a main page, driving traffic back. Might also include Omniture tracking code and/or ad tags
  • Cincinnati sold ads on the blogs, usually as a vertical or group (food blogs, Reds blogs, living blogs, etc.)
  • Cooking with Caitlin and Cincy Chic….We Love DC…..LOL Expo
  • Community Content for Newsrooms

    1. 1. Who’s afraid ofcommunity content?How Newsrooms Can Tap IntoThe Best Of What’s AroundMandy Jenkins, @mjenkinsPhoenix Newstrain, March 23-24, 2012
    2. 2. What iscommunity content? How is it different from UGC?
    3. 3. Not everyone gets a trophy
    4. 4. Community partners can :• Provide high quality content in niche or underserved areas of your coverage• Bring in a new audience to your site• Lend their brands to yours
    5. 5. Examples to Draw From
    6. 6. The Cincinnati.Com Model• Sought bloggers to supplement underserved lifestyle content and popular sports content• Recruited existing local bloggers with known brands• Converted offline brands into onsite bloggers• Advertising on the blogs• Bloggers were paid
    7. 7. The TBD Model• Recruited existing local and hyperlocal blogs to supplement a small staff output• All topic areas considered, so long as it was local• Shared advertising with bloggers*• Bloggers were unpaid
    8. 8. The TBD Model
    9. 9. • Increased content in Lifestyle area• Increased incoming traffic to• Added traffic from network affiliates increased overall pageviews• Built goodwill within the blogging communityCincinnati’s Success
    10. 10. • Increased local content• Sent traffic to a new website• Built awareness & trust for new brand• Built goodwill within the blogging communityTBD’s Success
    11. 11. • What audiences do I want to reach that I’m not currently reaching?• What kind of content do we need to better attract and retain readers?Evaluate your needs
    12. 12. Finding CommunityContent Partners
    13. 13. • Document every local content source you can find• Name, link, social networks, content type, etc.• Helpful for source building, tooStep 1: Do a local blog audit
    14. 14. • The #1 space to find local blogs is the blog rolls of other local blogs• Follow the links down the rabbit holeStart with those you know
    15. 15. Ask your staff – and readers
    16. 16. •••••• Google for other, more local networksCheck blog networks
    17. 17. Create new blogs
    18. 18. • Community group, church and school publications• Neighborhood listservs and newsletters• Competing publications• Content outside your areaMore than blogs
    19. 19. Where will the contentlive?
    20. 20. Option 1: Host on your site
    21. 21. Option 2: Host offsite
    22. 22. Blog Preview Via RSS
    23. 23. Option 3: Direct linkouts
    24. 24. Option 4: Aggregation
    25. 25. • Online staff?• Engagement/social media editor?• Section editor?• A mix?Who reaches out &manages this content?
    26. 26. Blogger Agreements
    27. 27. • Who owns copyright?Questions to Consider
    28. 28. • Who owns copyright?• Will content be featured in print?Questions to Consider
    29. 29. • Who owns copyright?• Will content be featured in print?• Will bloggers be edited by staff?Questions to Consider
    30. 30. • Who owns copyright?• Will content be featured in print?• Will bloggers be edited by staff?• Required number or length of posts?Questions to Consider
    31. 31. • Monthly or by post?• Tied to pageviews?• Access to traffic reports?• Ad revenue share or no?Paying Bloggers
    32. 32. Blog Badges
    33. 33. Advertising
    34. 34. • Marketing, co-linking agreements• Co-hosted events and meetups• TV/media appearancesAdded Relationships
    35. 35. Questions?
    36. 36. Mandy JenkinsTwitter: @mjenkinsSlides available at resources at