The Readership Institute and the American Society of Newspaper Editors
have been partners for five years leading workshops around the country on growing audience and reach in the newspaper and online.
The regional workshops, all generously financed by a grant from the McCormick Tribune Foundation
, began in 2002 with the goal of teaching newspaper employees how to apply the findings of the Readership Institute's original Impact study
. The workshops focused on practical day-to-day actions newspapers should take to drive what the Readership Institute calls the four cornerstones: Content, Service, Culture and Brand. (Here
is an annotated PowerPoint presentation covering the core message of the original workshops.
After two years and 24 seminars around
the country in 2002-2003, we began a
new series of seminars to spread the findings
of the Readership Institute's 2004-2005
. This study of readers
of color and those under the age of 35
revealed the importance of readers' newspaper "experience"
newspaper consumption, particularly for
those under 35. The study answered three
- What are readers' experiences
- How do these experiences
- How can we use experiences
to increase usage?
The research found that readers' "experience"
with the newspaper is a better predictor
of readership than content satisfaction. Simply
put, newspapers must be more innovative
in creating reader experiences that contribute
to higher reading.
The 24 seminars in 2005 and 2006, just like
the original 24 Impact workshops, focused on
practical, actionable ways to apply the research
to improve readership.
Beginning in 2007, we launched the new series on growing readership on newspapers' Web sites. The core of the workshop grew out of new research by the Readership Institute in partnership with the Online Publishers Association into what drives users to Web sites – and what drives them away. The research explored Web users' experiences to learn how content and functionality mix to create user engagement.
Steve and Ed,
I'm unable to attend in Salt Lake City, but we're sending 10 people...in a year
when we have no training budget.
The Circ. Director and I were determined,
so she kicked in the entire $1,000 she
gets each year from our Parade partnership
and I am making up the rest with money
we won for a Scripps Howard national
journalism award (Distinguished service
to the First Amendment).
It's that important.
Because several years ago we took four
people to your Portland road show on Impact
and it emboldened us to make smart changes
to the paper.
The Copy Desk Chief (this is not a typo)
pushed for a classified ad promo in our Page
He put together a startlingly easy-to-read
The city editor took all the funky local
news we were burying and promoted the heck
out of it.
We added a TON of navigational aids, forward
promotion of content, promotion of interior
And we got even more intent on tight writing
that starts from a person, not a policy or
And we held hands with circulation, forging
the newsroom's most natural alliance on recognition
that we hunt the same customers.
We grew, and grew and last year we were the
15th-fastest growing paper in America.
Most importantly, we have tools to fight
the pitiful dispiritedness that has taken
over newsrooms nationally.
So...Happy Monday. What you do makes a difference.
Dean Miller, Executive Editor
The Post Register
Idaho Falls, ID