JW Marriott Austin, Austin, Texas

ONA18: Let's Talk About What Works with Local

Session: ONA18: Let's Talk About What Works with Local In a set of lightning sessions with journalists, researchers, publishers and technologists from across North America, you'll hear first hand about what key leaders are thinking as they tackle the question of how to empower local newsrooms. The lightning talks will cover a broad range of innovative projects around local news including content curation in the digital age, new tools to drive deeper analytics insights and successful partnerships that are strengthening local newsrooms today. Following the lightning talks, there will be a conversation with the presenters on what's working in local news and thought starters on next steps that news organizations can take to meet the unique needs to their local communities.
Moderator Chrissy Towle, Head of News and Local Media, Global Partnerships, from Google welcomes us to the session. Chrissy Towle is a Google veteran having just entered her 13th year at Google. Chrissy currently manages the News & Local Media team working with the largest publishing partners in the US. Chrissy's team facilitates and strategizes with those partners to ensure optimal use of Google products to drive maximum revenue and profitability. She spent her first 8 years at Google working in Business Development on the National Agency team. Prior to Google, Chrissy worked for Young's Wine and Spirits as a national seller for premium wine and spirits. Chrissy graduated from Santa Clara University with a major in Communication and Journalism.
Steven Waldman, Report for America, highlights some of the work their program is doing. Steven Waldman is President and co-founder of Report for America, a national service program that places talented emerging journalists into local newsrooms. He was earlier the author of the landmark FCC report on local media, “Information Needs of Communities." Previously he was co-founder of Beliefnet.com and LifePosts.com, National Editor of US News & World Report, Washington correspondent for Newsweek, and editor of The Washington Monthly. He also authored the national bestseller Founding Faith.
Steven Waldman highlights the work of Report for America participants: Michelle Liu, Mississippi Today, ravenously investigated prisoner deaths.
Steven Waldman highlights the work of Report for America participants: Manny Ramos and Carlos Ballesteros, Chicago Sun-Times, pivots from negative story of violence to highlight the positive spaces in the community.
Steven Waldman highlights the work of Report for America participants: Samantha Max, Macon Telegraph, follows up on community stories.
Steven Waldman highlights the work of Report for America participants: Mallory Fall, KRWG, uses multi-media skills and multi-platform story telling tactics.
Steven Waldman highlights the work of Report for America participants: Obed Manuel, Dallas Morning News, does service projects around stories on under-served populations. He went back to his old high school to set up a paper.

Report for America will be doubling their program participants next year.

JJ Hensley, The Tennessean, gives an overview of who Tennessean is, trying stories they tell, and some of the experiments they are running. JJ Hensley is the Digital Director for USA TODAY Network - Tennessee, working with a team that creates, produces and optimizes content for six markets in the state, including Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville. JJ's career began at the Garden City Telegram, in southwestern Kansas, before he moved to the Arizona Republic/azcentral.com. In a 15-year career in Phoenix, JJ covered schools and businesses in the suburb of Mesa before moving into a criminal-justice role covering Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the many allegations and investigations into the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. As an editor, JJ has helped coordinate coverage of a variety of topics including floods and fatal wildfires, Final Fours and Super Bowls, music festivals and mass shootings.
Amy Adams Harding, Head of Analytics and Revenue Optimization at Google, gives an overview of NCI - News Consumer Insights -(a new, free way to see Google Analytics). Amy Adams Harding is the Head of Analytics and Revenue Optimization for News and Publishing at Google. Her teams oversee both ads and non-ads revenue opportunities for our News partners, covering solutions that leverage DoubleClick technology as well as the News Consumer Insights analytical framework. Amy's roots in both media and analytics run deep. In 1997, Amy joined a small startup called DoubleClick to establish their Sales Analytics team. In 2008, she joined Google as part of the DoubleClick acquisition where she was a VP and founding member of the AdX team and oversaw AdX buy-side sales development and commercialization plans. Amy's other roles at Google include Head of Industry for eBay's global partnership as well as being a founding member and Head of Publisher Development for Google Surveys.
NCI (News Consumer Insights): a free, new way to see Google Analytics, transforming GA data into an intuitive audience development daahboard
You can use the NCI Playbook to uncover optimization strategies and tactics.
This is actual data from a partner that speaks to value of different kinds of traffic. The top left chart shows high value from email "gateway drug to subscription loyalty." The bottom left chart shows high volume of social users but they are low value. Insight for resource allocation.
Funnel, funnel, funnel. Focus on the funnel. Loyalty drives sustainability. Newsletters are a great tactic here. Come to the NCI workshop tomorrow at 9am in Room 212 for more! g.co/newsconsumerinsights
Lance Knobel, Berkeleyside, talks about how they fund their local coverage. Lance Knobel, Publisher and Co-founder of Berkeleyside, has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine in Britain, and World Link, the magazine of the World Economic Forum. In 1999-2000 he was director of the Programme of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. He is also the founder and curator of Berkeleyside's Uncharted Festival of Ideas.

The panel opens up to audience Q&A.

Amy Adams Harding emphasizes the power of newsletters and the importance of understanding what analytics an structured data can do for you and moving consumers toward paid subscription.
Audience question to JJ Hensley about how publications (like The Tennessean) truly cover local - both the locals and the new newcomers. JJ says they have page view goals they have to hit. Their app audience averages 8-9 page views per visit and so they really pay attention to when people are reading and sharing content, what they are engaging with. The work to connect with and cultivate this "local" audience. They can put fewer staff on the items that will drive large view volume (like CMA Fest and celebrity info). The Tennessean encourages photo albums or breakouts on large stories to create as many entry points to their content as possible and keep them moving to other content within the site.
Lance Knobel says it's a mark of honor to ruffle feathers when you are covering local figures. "Your leaders will appreciate it so long as you're fair."

Chrissy Towle recaps the session: Know your audience and cover what they care about.