NNA MediaXchange 2012: leftover nuggets

By Brian Steffens on May 9, 2012 0 Comments Ideas

My apologies. I returned from the joint ASNE/NAA annual convention to a full plate of preparations for RJI's own RJInnovation Week ... and some NAA takeaways got inadvertently buried on my desk.

The New York Times (I think it was David Perpich) offered insights as to how the company looked at multiple platforms:

  • Tablets mimic print.
  • Smartphones are quick hit snacking.
  • Computers are the proverbial kitchen sink.

Our evaluation consideration matrix when considering a new product or initiative:

  • Strategic importance
  • Monetization/margin
  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Innovation/Learning

We want to be best in class in the user experience just as we are best in class in content.

To facilitate discovery, we built our own recommendation engine.

In our style areas we’re now using pictures or photo grids as entry points instead of headlines or links.

Rob King, senior vice president, editorial, digital and print media for ESPN, from the same panel discussion:

Our mission is to be where the sports fans are. To that end we have maybe 20 brands. We may not know where we’re going, but the fans know where they are going and we pay attention to that. If you
know where your audience is, and what they want, then build that. After awhile we had to begin looking at how they all performed. We recalculated around five areas, and basically looked for any existing or new program to fit in one of five core areas:

  • Scores
  • News
  • Watching
  • Playing
  • Reading/magazine
  • Listening/radio

Then we have a scorecard for our apps:

  • Scale & Innovation
  • Fan Experience
  • Best Practices

It’d be difficult for us to launch an app that didn’t include all of these things.

Should be obvious, but multiplatform users consume much more ESPN than single platform users.

Focus on utility. How can people use your stuff? (Is it easy to use?)

If I came back to newspapers, I’d tackle obituaries. There’s utility there. Transitions.com.

Engage and surprise you fans/audience. Otherwise they get bored and leave you.

Brian Steffens is the director of communications at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. Read his other blog posts here, and talk back at steffensb@rjionline.org and @BrianSteffens on Twitter.


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