As multichannel has given way to omnichannel distribution, publishers no longer seek print readers or digital readers. Instead, they recognize that they must reach the same reader across mediums to have a real impact. Print, digital, audio, video, social media, smart speakers, connected cars – the sheer number of news mediums can be daunting. It’s official: multichannel has given way to “omnichannel”.
True omnichannel publishers have recognized that repackaging the same journalism in multiple ways is the secret to keeping up and presents revenue opportunities previously unimagined. Every new platform or trendy format will ultimately rely on the same storytelling and the same six questions: who, what, when, where, why and how?
Poynter Institute fellow Mike Wendland talked about the concept of “convergence” all the way back in 2002, sharing the example of the Tampa Tribune – an early experiment in “repurposing” journalism:
“In Tampa, the TV station, the newspaper and the Website are all owned by the same corporation, Media General. On a daily basis, TV reporters do their stand-ups and then write bylined newspaper stories. Newspaper reporters write their stories and then appear before TV cameras to do “talk-back” debriefings or their own stand-ups. And everybody — reporters, editors, photographers — ‘repurpose’ their work for the website.”
Now, such a practice is commonplace for large media organizations and increasingly accessible for local media. While there are plenty of vehicles, old and new, for journalism, there are five that should be used in tandem to share the same work from your newsroom:
Interactive online articles
Enhancing print edition articles with interactive elements online is a great way to engage readers with the same journalism. The Washington Post published this Coronavirus simulator in multiple languages to help bring their other reporting to life. It’s the same data that support their other stories, but the visual, interactive elements draw the reader in, keep them engaged and encourage them to subscribe.
David Leonhardt from The New York Times commented on the unique power of interactive journalism to not only repurpose the same facts, but spur on additional content, saying: “One of the less obvious benefits of interactive journalism is the way in which it generates its own follow-up articles.”
Considering our busy lives and tendency towards multitasking, is it any wonder that more than half of US adults listen to podcasts daily? Podcasts represent a great opportunity to repurpose a story and dig a little deeper, perhaps taking readers behind the scenes or sharing more historical context.
James Rooney, VP of Revenue Technologies at The New York Times, shared with the audience at Lineup Systems’ 2019 User Conference how his team leverages The Daily in this manner:
“We publish several hundred articles a day, and one of those articles each weekday becomes the basis for The Daily podcast. During that podcast, one of our esteemed journalists, Michael Barbaro, gives the story behind the story. He interviews the journalist who wrote it and other people who were involved in that piece of content. So, from that one piece of content, that original journalism, we actually have two more degrees of revenue opportunities. And within those, we can diversify the revenue streams even more. “
Video journalism can range from highly produced packages to simply capturing a podcast recording session on camera. You already know the benefits of video journalism – after all, it’s not new. What is new is short-form, quick packages shared across a variety of platforms (more on this in a moment), and the barrier to entry is lower than ever before.
Jon Savitt from Huff Post explored the impact of video on journalism, and neatly explained that the reduction in time from an event occurring and a smartphone user reading the story means “we all need to get better at being multimedia producers.”
“Social media” is a huge category with many separate platforms and formats, making it a great tool for repurposing other content. Add images over podcast audio for a quick, easy to produce video. Share individual packages or user generated content. As many ways as your team can slice and dice other content, social media platforms are a great way to experiment.
Looking for inspiration? Here’s how other news media organizations dominate on:
By the end of 2020, voice searches are expected to make up half of all online searches. Currently, 65% of smart speaker owners between the ages of 25 and 49 speak to their devices at least once a day. Knowing that voice technology will become the primary way the next generation of consumers will search for and buy products means publishers must prepare their web content to rank for organic voice search.
Voice queries are longer than traditional text-based searches, and most are questions. According to Search Engine Watch, the top questions people ask their smart speakers are who, what, when, where, why and how – the foundations of journalism!
To take advantage of this channel, make sure your online articles clearly and concisely answer these questions in layman’s terms, and you’ll be killing two birds with one stone.
This post was originally shared on Digital Content Next.