Newsroom culture of excellence, foundational document No. 6: How we grow our audience at the YDR

Click image to see complete chart

Traditionally, newspapers measured their success in circulation – the number of papers sold each day. That’s how most of us referred to newspapers around the country.

“Hey, I heard Bob got a job at the Baltimore Sun. They’re over 200,000, aren’t they?”

Today, that measure does not begin to reflect the impact a news organization has in a community. While the circulation of the York Daily Record remains strong at about 55,000, and the Sunday News is about 85,000, those measures do not assess the impact of:

  • People who read our web-based services, including ydr.com, GameTimePa.com and FlipSidePa.com.
  • People who follow us on Facebook and Twitter for immediate notifications and engaging links to our coverage.
  • People who interact with us and with each other on our forum, The Exchange.
  • People who receive email alerts from us.
  • People who receive links to our coverage from their friends and associates.
  • People who use multiple platforms to interact with us throughout the day, every day.

That is why we now gauge our success on the measure of “audience.” In simple terms, that means: Who are we reaching? Each platform needs its own measurement. For instance, we study page views on the web sites, “Likes” on Facebook, and “Followers” on Twitter.

To thrive in this fragmented media market, we need to grow audience. That does not happen easily. We must provide worthwhile content in the way the audience wants it at a particular time and for a particular platform. What works in print might not work the same way on the web. And vice versa. Indeed, what works very well on one platform might have no value on another.

The chart above – its structure ‘borrowed’ from our sister news organization The New Haven Register – reflects a basic understanding of the many ways we work to grow audience. It’s worth a close look. Ask yourself, as a consumer of local news, if you are taking advantage of the many new ways that we might serve your needs for news and information.

Also, please let us know if you think of new ways that we could serve those needs.

We recognize that the York Daily Record is not a newspaper. A newspaper is merely one tool we use to serve this community. Rather, the York Daily Record is the No. 1 source for news and information by and about York County. In any form the people of York County want it.

See the Foundational Documents page for other posts in this series.

 

About Randy Parker

Managing Editor, York Daily Record/Sunday News and ydr.com
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