NEW ENDEAVORS DEPEN AUDIENCE CONNECTION
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.”