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Satisfying Audiences

4 best practices for choosing metrics tools, dashboards

07 February 2016 · By Nicki Purcell

Members of my team get pitches almost every day from vendors who are convinced we cannot last another minute without their dashboard. They send glossy e-mails and screenshots with dazzling, colourful charts and graphs that promise real-time data that no one else offers, and insights that will drive decision-making.

Sound familiar?

Dashboards are all the rage. Some are stand-alone tools. Some are the keystone of a new analytics or social-listening tool, such as Sysomos Heartbeat,, or Chartbeat. Some are baked into other tools you use, like a social CMS, such as Hootsuite or Social News Desk.

News media have plentiful choices when it comes to choosing a dashboard.

Inevitably, when you put your shiny new tool in the hands of members of your team, they will find all the flaws and reinforce a simple truth: No single dashboard can help your team do ...


If your media company isn’t tracking data, it isn’t optimising data

04 February 2016 · By Jim Fleigner

Media companies who fail to close the data optimisation loop are leaving the job undone.Much has been written about the importance of Big Data and how it can be used to impact and optimise strategy.

Vast troves of data can be parsed and analysed to uncover new opportunities previously buried within the data.

Once completed, these opportunities can be coalesced and integrated into a strategy plan that quantifies the optimal level and allocation of acquisition and retention investment dollars, and translates them into an annual budget and predicted return in circulation, top-line revenue, and ...


New audience measurement helps publishers capture multi-platform data

28 January 2016 · By Sara Hill

Vividata provides single-source print and digital audience metrics for Canadian magazines and newspapers. In the fall of 2014, Canada’s newspaper and magazine measurement bodies merged to form the amalgamated organisation of NADbank and PMB.

Close to a year later, the first results of the new readership research were released under the organisation’s new branding, Vividata.

The need: Amalgamation and a new study

For the last century, magazines and newspapers have been defined as printed periodicals. Over the past two decades, print media has adapted to changes in consumer behaviour by moving beyond print-only formats.

However, audience measurement in Canada continued to be based primarily on ...


“Me” generation requires news media companies to rethink content delivery

17 January 2016 · By Maria Terrell

It’s the “me” generation. We’ve read multiple blog postings to that effect (for example, here, here, and here). It seems like every generation that comes after yours is more selfish. How many times have our parents said, “Back in my day … ?” 

Well, the truth is, the cycle repeats itself. In reality, we’re all adapting to the options, economy, and technology that are available for our reality. To that end, every generation was the “me” generation and every generation will be the “me” generation.

The difference is how technology solves their problems and the options they have for their lives.

It appears that the pay-per-article platform Blendle is going to launch in the United States. People are confused by Blendle a bit and asking, “Who would pay a nominal amount on a ...


How Toronto Star is bringing in new revenue through NIE (yes, NIE)

14 January 2016 · By Nadine Chevolleau

A year ago, I wrote a blog post for INMA about whether a regional news media company could have a national reach.

To refresh your memory, the answer was yes. I shared the results of a national school campaign we ran through our Newspapers in Education programme, which included promoting a Toronto Star-branded education resource to teachers. I told you about the positive response we had from schools across Canada that opted in to receive copies of this programme for their students.

The reason we wanted to know whether teachers outside our market would participate in our programme was to determine if we could actually deliver national exposure for corporate sponsors through NIE custom content campaigns. This test proved that we could, in fact, deliver.

Great! So what?

Having an engaged audience is great. But we knew from past experience that to make these initiatives profitable, we had to go the corporate sponsorship route and not rely on educators to fund these programmes.

We put together a sponsorship package that offered a lot of brand exposure to advertisers, while respecting that the content we produced was being distributed to schools and would be used by ...


4 things cable television can learn from print news media

30 December 2015 · By Kevin Curnock

There is something happening in the cable television business that is distressingly familiar to those of us at news media companies.

Viewing audiences are going to streaming services such as Netflix, and, with them, ad dollars are leaving TV for digital.

Sound familiar?

“It’s deja vous all over again.”

If you’ve been in the newspaper business for the past decade you know the story all too well. Readers go online, paid subscribership declines, and advertising dollars follow. There has been a seismic shift in the print media landscape.

Cable TV is about to experience this same shift.

Here are four things cable television executives can learn from their newspaper brethren.

  1. Skip denial.

    Imagine you are yourself, today, speaking to a newspaper executive in 2005.

    The trajectory is clear.

    Cord cutting is accelerating,” declares the Wall Street Journal. Cable subscribership trends look very similar to the path that newspapers know too well.

    Save your breath telling viewers what they should do. Accept the inevitable. Plan for ...

Mining your archive for content, product ideas

02 December 2015 · By Kathleen Coleman

What’s in your archive?

Anyone who has seen or heard the television or radio come-on (“What’s in your wallet?”) from Capital One financial corporation infers there is value in holding a Capitol One credit card in one’s wallet.

But have you thought of the wealth stashed away not only in your archive, but also in brand assets such as your staff and your building(s)?

Take a stroll down your Facebook newsfeed the day after Thanksgiving (known as “Black Friday” in the United States) to mine ideas for new audiences and new revenue streams – smack dab in the middle of content you already own.

Three sparkling examples found their way to me via Facebook on Nov. 27:

  • From “Lady Gaga Daily,” I was pushed this ...

Does your news media company really know what “audience” means?

23 November 2015 · By Maria Terrell


  1. The group of spectators at a public event; listeners or viewers collectively, as in attendance at a theater or concert.

  2. The persons reached by a book, radio, or television broadcast, etc.; public.

  3. A regular public that manifests interest, support, enthusiasm, or the like; a following.

  4. Opportunity to be heard; chance to speak to or before a person or group; a hearing.

As we know in the publishing business, audience is key. We sell more advertising because of it, we beat our chests when we reach a certain number, and we believe what we are doing is ultimately for “our audience.”

Looking at the quick online definition of “audience” – I think it’s a good eye opener for us that we’re not quite getting it … yet.

First: The group of spectators or listeners at a public event; listeners or viewers and the persons reached by a book, radio, or television broadcast, etc. This is what we are calling our audience, and rightly so. However, as we dig further into the question of audience, many of us are still blindly counting a pair of eyeballs as audience, without identifying who that audience really is.

Due to cumbersome legacy systems that leave our companies in a silo, many of us only know one ...


Authentic connections are key to audience growth strategy

12 November 2015 · By Nicki Purcell

When I explained to others about why I got a journalism degree, I spoke of the fond memories of growing up with my grandfather who worked on television news for many years. The romantic story was that I was “wired” to be in communications. But secretly, I also liked the idea of telling a story then leaving it behind when the story was “put to bed.”

It was simple: You wake up and get a story assignment, and you complete it before you go home. Wake the next day, rinse, and repeat.

Journalists are taught to be fair, objective, and to present all sides of the story. We are taught to detach.

That detachment extends to the business side of journalism, too. Today when we talk about satisfying audiences, we naturally think of the reader or the consumer. In digital, we talk of “users” or “uniques.”

But what about the subjects? What about the very real people who are at the center of the stories we tell? They are an audience.

On the business side, we have been talking more and more about building relationships with ...


Is the future of coupons mobile?

10 November 2015 · By Dan Johnson

Judging by the increasing size of the Sunday advertising insert package, the fall season is in full swing and the holidays are quickly approaching.

Two years ago, I wrote about predictions of impending doom for the pre-print industry. Well, here we are two years later and pre-prints show no sign of slowing down. While other alternatives do exist, advertisers and print media outlets have still not found a completely workable digital replacement for free-standing inserts (FSI) or, more importantly, coupons.

Print coupons continue to reign supreme, but electronic options are growing, and news media companies need to be ready and able to adapt.

While “extreme” couponing is somewhat of a fad that has come and gone, coupons continue to be popular, according to the 2015 industry promotion analysis produced by Inmar, a technology company that tracks and reports on the promotions industry. The report, which can be downloaded here, indicates that 2014 coupon usage remained steady compared to the previous ...


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

Julie Anderson
Senior Vice President of Digital Publishing/Florida
Tribune Publishing
Orlando, Floria, 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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Sara Hill
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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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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Maria Terrell
Director of Content
Dallas, Texas, USA
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New York City, New York, USA


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