NEW EN­DEAV­ORS DEPEN AU­DI­ENCE CON­NEC­TION

Newspapers & Technology Magazine - - Contents - ▶ by Chris Lytikainin So­cial Me­dia Ed­i­tor

News­pa­pers are con­stantly try­ing to find ways to bet­ter con­nect with read­ers. Whether it is more so­cial me­dia out­reach, perks or sub­scrip­tions, there will al­ways be a way to fur­ther con­nect. The Wash­ing­ton Post re­cently an­nounced Lily, for in­stance. Lily is “an ex­per­i­men­tal, vis­ually driven product de­signed for mil­len­nial women that will boldly reimag­ine The Post’s award-win­ning jour­nal­ism for dis­trib­uted plat­forms,” WaPo said in an an­nounce­ment.

WaPo isn’t the only pa­per think­ing about ways to reach out to younger read­ers with new tech­nol­ogy. The New York Times has re­cently launched a sim­i­lar en­deavor. Start­ing this year, NYT will part­ner with the Snapchat Dis­cover plat­form to pro­vide daily edi­tions based on the pa­per’s Morn­ing Brief­ing, al­low­ing read­ers to pre­pare for their day from their mo­bile de­vices.

“We’re see­ing enor­mous in­ter­est on the part of younger au­di­ences for the sort of smart, vis­ual dig­i­tal jour­nal­ism for which The Times has be­come known,” Kin­sey Wil­son, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of product and tech­nol­ogy, said in a press re­lease. “Snapchat is an ideal place to reach that au­di­ence. At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure our jour­nal­ism reaches the widest pos­si­ble au­di­ence and that we con­tinue the rapid growth we’ve seen in our base of loyal sub­scribers — growth that comes in large part from reach­ing new au­di­ences on other plat­forms.”

USA TO­DAY ex­per­i­mented with this type of com­mu­nity out­reach with their Su­per Bowl Ad Meter, al­low­ing fans to cast their vote for their fa­vorite Su­per Bowl com­mer­cials with a panel that was hosted by Ron Burke and Laura Pe­trecca, with other guests com­ing through in a ro­ta­tion. Though it isn’t quite to the scale WaPo and NYT have done, it is still an in­ter­est­ing move to­wards out­reach.

Another way these com­pa­nies are reach­ing out to au­di­ences is through Travel ex­pos. Trav­el­ing is high on most peo­ple’s lists of places where they are will­ing to spend ex­tra money. A re­port from the Har­ris Group found that 72 per­cent of mil­len­ni­als pre­fer to spend money on ex­pe­ri­ences over ma­te­rial things, and they are 23 per­cent more likely to travel abroad than older gen­er­a­tions and will bud­get more for trips. The Huff­in­g­ton Post re­ported that mil­len­ni­als are on track to spend $1.4 tril­lion on travel each year by 2020. Not only do mil­len­ni­als see travel as a way to widen per­spec­tives, but also a way of mak­ing busi­ness con­nec­tions.

Pub­li­ca­tions re­al­ize this and have made an at­tempt to flesh out the travel ma­te­rial for read­ers. The (Min­neapo­lis) Star Tri­bune re­cently an­nounced its first travel expo. They join the ranks of the LA Times, The New York Times and a few oth­ers striv­ing for an in­creased con­nec­tion with their au­di­ence and bank­ing on in-depth travel cov­er­age to do so. This year’s NYT Travel Show re­ported the high­est at­ten­dance in its 13-year his­tory. With around 30,000 par­tic­i­pants, in­clud­ing some 9,200 travel trade ex­perts and 21,000 con­sumer at­ten­dees at the Ja­cob K. Jav­its Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in New York City, the show boasted 560 com­pa­nies rep­re­sent­ing over 170 coun­tries.

The Star Tri­bune Va­ca­tion & Travel Ex­pe­ri­ence is planned as a three­day show for con­sumers and in­dus­try pros. The show will be held at the Min­neapo­lis Con­ven­tion Cen­ter Oc­to­ber 27–29, 2017. The three days will in­clude travel sem­i­nars fea­tur­ing Star Trib jour­nal­ists and other travel ex­perts, live en­ter­tain­ment, culi­nary demon­stra­tions, cul­tural pre­sen­ta­tions, chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties, trip give­aways and a craft-beer pavil­ion.

“More than 80 per­cent of Twin Cities res­i­dents have trav­eled within the past 12 months,” said Steve Yeager, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer for Star Trib. “We be­lieve our new event will cap­ture the at­ten­tion and in­ter­est of peo­ple who are plan­ning per­sonal and va­ca­tion travel for the com­ing year.”

Photo: NYT

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