Wait, wait. Look past the headline. This is actually a really, really interesting piece about how the LA Times is building out audience engagement, and making it everyone’s job.
Samantha Melbourneweaver, assistant managing editor for audience for the publisher, drops some real pearls of wisdom in this interview, from her approach to engagement ‘coaching’ to optimising content for different platforms. My favourite quote – and the one that got me past the ‘meme team’ headline – is this one:
I think a big mistake that a lot of organizations make is thinking, “Oh, young people only want ~snackable~ content. They only want video.” As if there aren’t young people marching in the streets for social justice and climate change action… So how can we adjust our output but keep our expertise? And that’s what audience engagement people are here for.
One of the many Facebook bombshells which dropped this week has revealed that the platform changed their algorithm in 2017 to prioritise posts that elicited emoji reactions. The algorithm ranked reactions like ‘angry’, ‘love’ and ‘wow’ as five times more valuable than traditional ‘likes’ on the platform. Predictably, posts that sparked the ‘angry’ reaction were far more likely to include misinformation and toxicity, but also much more likely to be seen in people’s feeds.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a media company in possession of a good fortune (an audience, brand recognition and decent revenues), must (still) be in want of innovation. But that word itself is enough to send plenty of eyes rolling. So what actually is innovation, and how can publishers overcome roadblocks to implement it?
October’s question to Peter Houston comes from The Week Junior’s Editorial Director Anna Bassi. Covermounts are a design and delivery nightmare, and come with huge environmental consequences. But how can some magazines like those in the craft sector give them up without losing sales? Here are some points to think about from both sides.
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