Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The winning business strategy builds on relationships

This blog entry was written for IJNet.org, Tips for Journalists in 2020  from other Knight International Journalism fellows.

The losing strategy that seeks mass audiences and mass advertising as measured by unique users and page views has led many media to chase clicks with ever-more sensationalistic content about celebrities, sports figures, imprudent politicians and sex scandals.

Those sites will continue to lose revenue and audience to the search and social platforms, as well as credibility and trustworthiness.

If you build a relationship with your audience, they are more likely to become loyal, to trust your work, to recommend your work, and to be willing to pay to support your mission. The total audience will be smaller, and the percentage willing to pay for your content might be in the single digits, but this public-service, user-focused strategy builds trust and credibility for the long term. Examples are Mediapart in France, eldiario.es in Spain, Animal Politico in Mexico and The Texas Tribune in the U.S.

Versión en español

Here’s a tip: build your email subscriber list. This way you own a relationship with your users, and you can avoid using the search and social platforms as an intermediary. Tailor newsletters for these email subscribers according to their interests and tastes. Other examples of relationship tactics include crowdsourced stories, face-to-face and online events, reader polls, crowdfunding and WhatsApp and Telegram group chats. Read more, in Spanish, about how two websites are monetizing their email newsletters


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