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For VentureBeat, a Profitable Pivot Means Meeting Audience Needs

"Bringing that human connection back to [events in] the digital world really comes down to personalization. How do you feel connected with other attendees, and speakers and the organization hosting this event? Creating opportunities for them to participate and not just be behind a screen. Being thoughtful about what their day looks like. Actively reach out to attendees asking for their participation and input is really important. 'What do I want to get out of it?' It's not just about the content."   That comes from Gina Joseph, VP of strategy & partnerships for VentureBeat—which covers transformative technology—speaking to Digiday in an excellent webinar on Friday about the April pivoting of their annual GameBeat Summit 2020. (Watch it here.)   VentureBeat was able to successfully pivot and keep their 120-plus speakers, the 50 sessions and even more incredibly all of the sponsors for the GameBeat virtual event. The sales team even brought in ...

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Can You Answer These Four Questions About Your Content?

I watched my first live news discussion this week on Instagram—it was excellent—and then found out that I was a bit behind the times. "Another big change in the last few years has been the growth of Instagram which popularized visual formats like 'stories' and short videos via IGTV," says the publisher-insightful Reuters Digital News Report, just out last week.   "Instagram now reaches more than a third of all people (36%) weekly and two-thirds of under-25s (64%). Instagram reaches 11% across age groups, almost as many as use Twitter for news."   Fortunately for my ego, the report does still verify one thing: "Overall, the most important factor for those who subscribe is the distinctiveness and quality of the content. Subscribers believe they are getting better information."   The Reuters report is 112 pages but we have distilled it here to four key questions:   1. Are you emailing eno ...

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Subscription Boxes Are Generating New Revenue

Who doesn't like swag? In the past, we've only gotten these exhibitor and vendor gifts mostly at conferences and trade shows we attend. But, of course, that's now gone away.   Or has it?   Subscription boxes are the latest publishing trend. FIPP, the international trade group, just did a whole special report on them, complete with case studies. Basically, publishers send subscribers and would-be subscribers physical boxes of cool items. Yes, it's mostly been consumer up to this point, but it doesn't really have to be.   The idea has proven an effective one for our homebound times. A month ago, I wrote about a new online show called The Present starring magician Heider Guimaraes, where ticket holders are mailed a box with surprise contents that they are directed not to open until their Zoom show starts.   "How do you reach out of the computer and into the audience?" asked Matt Shakman, artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse in ...

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'Urgency, Excitement and a Reason to Read': Crafting Engaging Headlines

In a famous New Yorker cartoon, a woman publisher sits behind a desk addressing Charles Dickens and his manuscript, and cheerfully advises: "But think of the SEO if the title actually named the two cities."   Titles and headlines. In a recent virtual editorial session we held, Mike Andronico, editor in chief of Tom's Guide, a technology publication/website for Future Plc, posited on the attention they feel must be paid to headlines. "For a news story the most important thing to me is that it has a great headline that people are going to want to click on and read. So we do a lot of headline workshopping. We use our Slack to brainstorm ideas.   "Honestly that's one thing I pay close attention to," Andronico continued. "I really enjoy that brainstorming process. It doesn't always take super-long. Sometimes we'll just share three ideas, the staff will pick their favorite and we'll go from there. But I think it's especially important for ...

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Weekly Features, Podcasts and Faster Load Times Can Increase Retention

Research last year from Northwestern's Medill Local News Initiative looked at audience data from three major metro publications. Their conclusion, according to NiemanLab, the frequency with which a reader comes back to a publication's website "is the single biggest predictor of retaining subscribers—more than the number of stories read or the time spent reading them."   So with that established, the goal becomes to entice your subscribers and would-be subscribers to check in a lot with your website and resources. Here are some ways to make that happen:   Send an email quiz or post a puzzle. I received this email this week from Lessiter Media. "To test your knowledge of soil health practices, No-Till Farmer, with the support of Indigo Ag, created a 6-question quiz, 'How Much Do You Know About Soil Enrichment Practices?' Take the quiz." For a previous quiz, they received 3,346 total submissions from Nov. 2019, through the end of March 2020. About 1,658 were new e ...

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'Be Visible as an Ally'; Blogs Can Achieve Many Goals, Especially Now

Pride 50th anniversary: Five ways you can be a better ally dentist Q&A: Discussing protests, supporting black community as dentists   Those are two June headlines from a new blog on the American Dental Association site called New Dentist Now. The days of blogs simply conveying an opinion or delivering information have passed. Blogs still do that but they can be so much more. Especially in these difficult times, blogs can give your organization a place to air more diverse voices, offer resources to your community and establish ties with new communities.   "Here are five ways you can become a better ally and ensure your office is welcoming for LGBTQ+ community," writes Dr. Alex Barrera, who practices general dentistry in Houston. "Be visible as an ally... Little things such as decorating your office for pride month (June), making a post on social media, or advertising in an LGBTQ+ magazine will show your s ...

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