Designing better ways to serve people

I took the StandOut strengths test a few weeks ago. I don’t always put much stock into these kinds of tests, but this one took one sentence to sum up a newfound passion that I’ve been struggling to verbalize for months:

strengths test

I like building things. I like serving others. And these interests have served me well this fall as a digital content strategist for Global Journalist.

I love the news. I believe in its vital role in democracy and in the importance of getting clear, accurate information to the public, among other functions. This has been its function for centuries.

But how we get this information and how we engage with it is constantly changing. Static, loyal audiences determined by location are no longer; people can get information from anywhere. With all of the information, it’s important that media outlets make it easy for readers to get rich and layered storytelling and to build a loyal audience base.

This fall, I’ve looked a lot at how people find Global Journalist’s multiplatform content, how they use it and how they engage with it. I’ve compiled weekly analytics reports looking at search queries, reader behavior flow, global traffic, social network referrals and general referrals. Through these, I’ve determined the few major audience segments who engage with our content, which has helped Global Journalist better understand how it can serve the needs of others through the content strategy, creation and dissemination processes. This has begun a conversation about the publication’s mission and target audience, and whether the content it’s producing aligns with both of those things.

I’ve also directly engaged with industry influencers online. I managed the media organization’s LinkedIn presence, repurposing a group to foster conversation and networking among professionals and creating a company page to increase awareness of the Global Journalist brand. In addition to inviting people to engage with us there and monitoring comments and such, I’ve directly reached out to influencers over email and have invited them to engage with Global Journalist online. I believe creating and fostering these kinds of relationships with an audience can increase loyalty, which is a need Global Journalist has.

This spring, I’ll be doing the same kinds of services for a media startup company. As an analytics and social media manager, I’ll be focusing on user experience and feedback as we market our product to a test audience. I’ll promote the media startup on social media and work to form relationships with influencers and thought leaders who might find our product useful. As we begin to have users, I’ll use analytics to help determine what facets of the website and our engagement efforts are working, as well as what can be improved upon.

I’ll also be doing similar work as a community outreach team member at the Columbia Missourian. I’ll encourage community members to contribute to our From Readers section, help manage the newspaper’s social media presence and use analytics to make takeaways to help the editors. I’ll also be involved in an individual project that’s yet to be determined, but I’ve been coming up with a few ideas.

In my journalism work, I’ve learned how important it is to work to better serve audience members’ needs and determine how to make their experiences better. I’m so excited to continue to design better ways to serve people.

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