USA Today’s Women of the Year project exemplifies 4 smart content strategies

By Summer Moore


Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA


Happy Women’s History Month!

March is a time to recognise women’s contributions to all aspects of life. In celebration of their achievements, USA Today is expanding on a popular programme to honour women in leadership across the United States.

In 2019, USA Today published a list of more than 100 influential women to honour the fact that the 19th Amendment had been enacted 100 years prior. The women’s stories were moving, heartbreaking, and inspirational.

That project sparked an idea that has become Women of the Year, which will be published every March. It will name honorees from each state and some that rise to the national level.

The project is helmed by USA Today opinion editor Kristen DelGuzzi, and the national honouree stories are written by USA Today national columnist Suzette Hackney. They have done a wonderful job of developing a successful content strategy from a project that could have been one-and-done.

Here are a few content strategy tips from Women of the Year:

1. When something works, keep doing it

When our Women of the Century project was a reader success, the team regrouped to think about how they could extend this project. No one has the time and resources to highlight 100 women each year, but that doesn’t mean a smaller list couldn’t be impactful. The pivot is in our DNA as journalists.

The lesson? Think about something you could expand upon or change slightly to reuse.

2. People like seeing themselves in the news for positive reasons

Awards work. Keep giving them out.

Life is hard right now. What can you do for your readers to recognise their hard work? People are changing lives in your community every day. Give them a shout out! It will attract people, because when someone wins something, they want to share it, and their friends and families will read it.

3. Lean into timeliness

Doing Women of the Year during Women’s History Month makes sense. The same is true with our Black History Month section.

What’s going on now that you can create buzz around?

4. Make it multi-platform

For Women of the Year, the team filmed interviews with the national honourees. There are many reasons to do this. From those single interviews, we can do a print story, a video, social video cuts, a longer-form over-the-top (OTT) show, and a podcast episode.

Work smarter not harder.

About Summer Moore

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