McClatchy recently re-organised its product group, merging the traditional product group with its mobile product group, Damon Kiesow, the company’s head of product, explained at the INMA Mobile Strategies Conference in Seattle, Washington, USA.
“For us, mobile innovation really should become a fairly meaningless term. It should be audience development, technology development, publishing what readers want, sort of wherever it is they want it,” Kiesow said.
Reaching audiences like Millennials is about being relevant, not content and platform: “If you have a group of readers who aren’t engaged with your content, that may not be because you’re not on Snapchat. It may be because the content you’re providing them isn’t entirely relevant to their lives.”
The daily habits, media and otherwise, of digital natives are different than non-digital natives. And this is key to how news media companies engage with this audience, regardless their age.
“Older audiences are more tied to geography in their daily lives than younger audiences. Reaching audiences that are tied to a community that is not based on geography — sports, for example — is the key to engagement.
“We need to be looking to develop content that speaks to those readers in a way that they’re not getting in other places. If you see the digital native sites that just cover gaming or just cover sports, that’s a great approach.
“We don’t do that locally in a way that ties their ‘digital interest’ with their local interest. We’ve basically ceeded all that stuf that's not geographically centered around our newspaper buildings ... to all the digital native operations and that's something we need to change.”