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Satisfying Audiences

7 data rules of the road from experts at INMA Data Insights Conference

05 October 2015 · By Lynne Brennen

Here I am in seat 17D with an oblivious seat recliner in front of me and a computer so jack-knifed I can barely read the screen much less type with hands inches from my chest like tiny arms of a T-Rex.

But that won’t temper my enthusiasm because I’m flying home after two days at INMA’s Data Insights Conference in Chicago, where we heard from experts about how to successfully implement analytics strategies, no matter the budget, and quickly drive value for an organisation.

For your consideration, below are just a few highlights distilled into seven data rules of the road.

  1. Develop a culture within an organisation that trusts and respects data.

    Tom Argiriou from Gannett warned that companies must trust the data insights from the systems and people in which they invest. Don’t build a quality data science team of people, implement supporting technology, and then distrust the answers they ...

INMA explores how data increases revenue, audience at Chicago conference

29 September 2015 · By Lynne Brennen

The INMA Data Insights Conference will be held in Chicago Oct. 1-2. We will learn from experts inside and outside the publishing industry about how to leverage data insights into more impactful content, more engaged audiences, and more revenue.

Three mores are worth a quick flight to Chicago, don’t you think?

Heading into the INMA conference, we will all likely have our perspectives on how to build a data-driven enterprise. The data insights process can be very simple, and, clearly, success is in the details.

Details are important if we want to create that renewing engine of ...


The secret sauce of a customised relationship with your media audience

17 September 2015 · By Maria Terrell

“So, tell me about your relationship,” says the therapist, and the weepy-eyed leading lady in the romantic comedy starts blubbering about what she thought her relationship was versus what she wanted it to be. We’ve seen it a million times.

This got me thinking about relationships. There’s always what one thinks it is, what the other thinks it is, and the reality.

Right, Maria – what in the name of burnt toast does this have to do with the news media industry?

Stay with me and buckle up …

Tell me about your relationship – and by that, I mean tell me about your relationship with your audience.

We’re so concerned about audience: gaining audience, audience development, satisfying audiences

But what is your relationship with your audience? What is your audience to you? Is it one audience? Multiple audiences? Most importantly, what do you want to ...


If a design brand can entice readers to click now to buy, media companies can, too

10 September 2015 · By Kathleen Coleman

So there I was, minding my own dang business, slogging through e-mails with super fun subject lines:

  • “2015 reforecast.”

  • “1-on-1 this week.”

  • “E-edition database project.”

  • “Derp.”

Ping! A new e-mail arrived: “Go now! The most magical town in California. We’re heading to dreamy coastal Cali and giving you ALL the best sp….” It trailed off tantalizingly.

I noted the sender: One Kings Lane, a company I trust. So I clicked.

The come-on continued with a stunning full-colour, full-screen photo of Big Sur, and a short, well-written paragraph:

“Nestled along Highway 1 in a narrow sliver between the Pacific’s rocky cliffs and the soaring redwoods of the Santa Lucia Mountains, Big Sur has long attracted creative types looking to lose themselves in one way or another. Jack Kerouac came to dry out. Hunter S. Thompson came to be a caretaker. You’ll want to come see why hippies and hipsters alike flock to the California town for its magical, mythical vibe. We love it for its breathtaking views, quirky lodging, and chill scene – and it’s just a short drive from San Francisco.”

Magical, mythical vibe? I’m down with that.

Cleanly designed, colour photos, loads of white space, and packed with helpful shopping advice. This e-mail from the home goods online retailer One Kings Lane is an e-commerce practitioner’s dream.

And of course news media companies would be super smart to steal ...


Why your customer goal should be a relationship

03 September 2015 · By Dan Schaub

It’s been exciting to see the change that takes place as we move from counting subscriptions or building memberships to having a meaningful relationship with those who use our products.

A few years ago, the goal was to move from a subscription model to a membership model. Being one of the first to craft this vision, our team was asked to present this concept at dozens of conferences.

We spoke to many of our peers and shared the concept, and we heard great stories about how others were planning to create clubs and exclusive membership offerings. At the centre of all this was an attempt to change the publisher’s relationship with his customers.

As we look back, this was just the beginning of a deepening of what has proven to be at the centre of what most consumers really care about. People want to be recognised and known and feel like they are valued by the company. They want to know that you understand them as individuals with individual needs.

The individuals using your products want you to know ...


A tale of three Millennials

31 August 2015 · By Dan Johnson

I’d like to tell you about three Millennials I know.

I have two adult daughters who are a little over eight years apart in age. Both fall into the category of “Millennials,” although prior to that term being used, they were called “Gen Y” as they were the generation to follow “Gen X.”

Since the introduction of the term Millennial, the two terms have been used somewhat interchangeably to represent the group that was born between the early 1980s and roughly the year 2000. Because of the rapid pace of emerging culture and technology, however, I believe that older and younger Millennials represent two distinct generations, as I will attempt to illustrate here. 

The tale of the Millennial generation is a great example of why media companies need to tailor their products to an ever-changing audience that focuses on individual preferences. And, for the Millennial generation specifically, why they need to employ different strategies to attract both groups not only as readers, but as future leaders of the industry.

My older daughter will be 30 years old next month. When she was ...


Why it’s difficult for media companies to measure audience satisfaction

23 August 2015 · By Nicki Purcell

Marketers seek to build audience engagement and brand loyalty through reader sentiment.

We rate everything these days. From the inflatable water slide we bought on Amazon to the guy who gave us a ride to the airport. Hey, that Uber driver even rates us as passengers. I always ask the driver for mine.

So, as I think about how to satisfy audiences in a world in which our product is content, I struggle to understand why it’s so difficult to measure.

It may be we are using very imprecise measurements as proxies.

Here’s what I mean: With frequency of visit, a low measurement may have more to do with the person’s lifestyle and personal rhythm for seeking news and information than how much they like what we provide.

With time spent, I’ve heard content providers argue that a low amount of time means you are providing the user with what they want right away so they can ...


The ultimate news marketing plan: Jay-Z, Taylor Swift as beat reporters

30 July 2015 · By Kevin Curnock

The transformation of rock stars to journalists to increase readership and creative newspaper.“Journalist as rock star.

I heard this phrase earlier this year at the INMA World Congress in New York City. The gist is that news media companies might reverse their current fortune if they could hire more rock star journalists … and fewer of the ho-hum type. 

On the surface, this seems like a legitimate strategy. Imagine: Ms. News Reporter, formerly unknown and practically invisible in daily life, becomes Ms. J-Star. She gains the fame, and more importantly – the audience – that rock stars command. 

Journalist as rock star. Hard-drinking, chain-smoking, and hotel-bashing can be legitimised as authentic audience engagement tools. Journalists rejoice! 

Or maybe not. 

Journalist as rock star makes a nice expression. But in reality, it is doubtful that the public will treat print news creators as stars. I’m not saying news creation is not important. Of course it is. Our business depends on it. What I mean is that there will never be throngs of newsies chasing down journalists’ tour buses in hopes of taking selfies with scribes.

On the other hand, perhaps ...


Great data — like great content — should not be free

21 July 2015 · By Jim Fleigner
News media companies refusing to pay for circulation data.
The news media industry has beaten the drum on the importance of charging for great content. The argument goes as follows: 
First, great content has a tangible cost — after all, the story does not write itself! Further, if readers believe that content has zero value, they will treat it as having zero value. This only perpetuates the very phenomenon (readers turning to awful Web sites purporting to be “news” outlets for free news, which may or may not be accurate) that news media organisations are striving to avoid.
So if the customer will not value the content unless the news organisation charges for it, the only way to be properly compensated (and keep on the office lights) is for there to be a real charge for great content.
Make sense to me.
However, if this is true, why do news media organisations refuse to pay for great circulation data? After all, the very same arguments ...

New York Times finds breaking news readers want better digital experiences

19 July 2015 · By Emily Goligoski

New York Times discovers readers are looking for better cross-platform audience engagement.

Between major U.S. Supreme Court rulings, shooting incidents, and presidential candidacy announcements, the first half of 2015 has been busy with breaking news. 

Together with staff from The New York Times newsroom, our research team set out earlier this year to ​l​earn about audience needs during and after breaking news stories. 

What do readers seek most in breaking news moments? 

What role do devices play in shaping their news gathering decisions? 

How important is social media as a news discovery mechanism? 

To address these and other questions, we recruited 15 news consumers from across the United States who demonstrate a range of news interaction behaviours. We invited them to record their news consumption over the course of a week and share photos ...


About this blog

The Satisfying Audiences Blog aims to reflect print and digital content not just across platforms but extending into consumer events, non-news-related subscriptions and other audience vehicles for newsmedia companies. This blog written by INMA members is dedicated to identifying the emerging linkages between content, audiences, and platforms. The blog is an initiative by the INMA North America Division Board of Directors.

Meet the bloggers

Lynne Brennen
New Leaf Media Consulting
Montclair, New Jersey, USA
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Nadine Chevolleau
Consumer Marketing
The Toronto Star
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Kathleen Coleman
Sales & Marketing
S-R Media
Spokane, Washington, USA
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Kevin Curnock
Executive Director
Business Improvement
Brunswick News
St. John, New Brunswick, Canada
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Jim Fleigner
Managing Partner
Impact Consultancy
Santa Monica, California, United States
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Claire Hawley
Vice President of Audience Development
Tribune Publishing
Los Angeles, California, USA
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Dan Johnson
Vice President,
Business Development
Gilbert, Arizona, USA
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Sandy MacLeod
Chief Operating Officer, Print
The Toronto Star/Metro English
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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John Newby
The Times
Ottawa, Illinois, USA
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Nicki Purcell
Chief Digital Officer and Senior Vice President of Consumer Sales
The Dallas Morning News
Dallas, Texas, USA
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Dan Schaub
Corporate Director of Audience Development
The McClatchy Company
Sacramento, California, United States
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Maria Terrell
Director of Content
Dallas, Texas, USA
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New York City, New York, USA


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