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Washington Post personalises journalism, drives engagement with Newsprint

By Anjali Iyer

The Washington Post

Washington DC, USA

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Multiple teams at The Washington Post united around a shared vision: to create a dynamic and personalised customer experience around our award-winning journalism.

With the power of data and analytics, our product, design, engineering, and editorial teams collaborated to introduce a groundbreaking product for our customers.

This collaborative effort yielded The Washington Post’s Newsprint, an annual end-of-year interactive product that provides individualised insights into each subscriber’s Post reading habits alongside personalised content and product recommendations. This initiative underscores the synergy among every department within our organisation to bring innovative customer experiences to life.

In its second iteration in 2023, Newsprint introduced dynamic new features to increase engagement.

Subscribers gained insights into their reading preferences and received personalised videos from their most-read journalists, building deeper connections with The Post. Additionally, a quiz tailored to varying levels of news consumption offered personalised recommendations and showed individual “reader types.”

The newest iteration of Newsprint uses a quiz to provide personalised recommendations and identify individual “reader types.”
The newest iteration of Newsprint uses a quiz to provide personalised recommendations and identify individual “reader types.”

A habit of engagement

At the core of Newsprint is a strategic focus on cultivating habitual engagement among customers. Recommendations such as newsletter sign-ups, author and topic push notifications, and article saves aim to establish a regular rhythm in customers’ interactions with our products, encouraging them to consistently return to The Washington Post.

Beyond delivering personalised content, Newsprint seeks to strengthen the bond between our journalists and audience. Over 100 custom videos from our journalists express gratitude to top fans, fostering a sense of community and loyalty among subscribers.

Newsprint set new data aggregation and visualisation standards within the news media industry. Our collaboration with the Customer Data Platform (CDP) redefined the landscape of personalised news consumption.

Beyond delivering personalised content, Newsprint has helped strengthen the bond between journalists and audience.
Beyond delivering personalised content, Newsprint has helped strengthen the bond between journalists and audience.

Expanding engagement

The impact of Newsprint is tangible. With nearly 15 out of every 100 subscribers engaged and a two-thirds completion rate, the initiative has significantly influenced adoption and long-term engagement.

However, Newsprint’s impact is beyond metrics. It builds connections between journalists and customers, humanising our brand and building affinity among our audience. Positive feedback on social media further highlights our success, while numerous subscribers reaching out to express how The Post has impacted their lives underscores the personal resonance of Newsprint.

About Anjali Iyer

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