I’m pretty sure I failed to convince Mitchell of the value of engagement. He has plenty of company in being dismissive of engagement as a buzzword without real value for news organizations. Many also confuse engagement with promotion (some of Mitchell’s points addressed web traffic).
But, as I’ve said for years, engagement is about doing better journalism:
Engagement/social media editor’s job: Lead newsroom to join, lead, enable, curate & listen to community conversation for better journalism.
Krystal Knapp, publisher and founding editor of Planet Princeton, provided an excellent example. NBC News had proclaimed that Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman was in a “voluntary quarantine” following her return from covering the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.
@NBCNews My team and I will head back to the States tomorrow and self quarantine out of an abundance of caution re:Ebola. @CDCgov
Update: The Front Range newsrooms are the runaway winner, with 121 votes for their holiday lights project. Lights projects ruled this contest, with the Daily Freeman taking second with 44 votes and the Denver Post third with 23, both for holiday lights projects.
I’ll be shipping candy out today to the Front Range newsrooms (yikes! I’ll have to mail to four locations). Congratulations! (And everyone else should read how they did the project and emulate them next holiday season.)
It’s time to vote for the best winter engagement project from Digital First Media newsrooms.
I have lightly edited some of the nominations, changing tenses, combining multiple messages, etc. Several of our entries are maps featuring local holiday light displays. I’ll group those together at the end of the post, following the non-light entries.
The nominations are presented with those made by comments on the blog first, then nominations in the engagement Google group, then emails to me, in the order I received them. We had one nomination for a project pegged to New Year’s Day, but it encountered problems and was withdrawn. If I’ve overlooked a project that was submitted, please alert me and I’ll add it. (more…)
Winter holidays present ample engagement opportunities for newsrooms.
Let’s explore some of those opportunities in a contest.
For the next week or so, I’m going to collect nominations from Digital First newsrooms, explaining your engagement projects. Sometime after I gather all the nominations, I’ll post them here and voting will begin. The winning newsroom (or two) will receive a Priority Mail box stuffed with candy.
Your engagement project needs to be something that’s conducted at least in part between Veterans Day and New Year’s Day. It doesn’t have to be tied to a holiday, but obviously holidays present lots of opportunities: (more…)
Update: The Reporter-Herald in Loveland, Colo., wins the fall engagement contest with its Vietnam veterans project (which I’ve moved to the top of the listing below).
The Reporter-Herald took second in our Valentine’s Day engagement project, but will win a bigger box of candy this year. Second-place in fall engagement goes to the Berkshire Eagle for its scary photo both (moved to second in the listing below).
The Reporter-Herald won 105 votes (41 percent), well ahead of the Eagle at 88 votes and 34 percent. The Daily Freeman and Marin Independent Journal tied for third place with 21 votes each.
Congratulations to Jessica Benes and her colleagues. The candy will go out today.
Halloween is a good day to launch voting for the best fall engagement project at Digital First Media.
Early in October, I sought nominations. Now it’s your turn to vote for the best. Please read all the nominations, then come back up to vote.
Some of them have been edited slightly, mostly because they referred to events that were upcoming but have now passed. I have asked the nominators for updates where appropriate. I have included the updates I received, and will add others if I receive them. (And, if I’ve missed an entry, please let me know right away!)
I should make one point clear before you vote: The entries didn’t have to be specifically fall-themed (Halloween, leaves, elections, football, etc.). If you engaged your community this fall, your project is eligible. So go ahead and vote (and encourage your colleagues and community to vote). I will close the voting Monday night and announce the winner on Tuesday. I’ll send a Priority Mail box stuffed with Halloween candy to the winning newsroom.
The nominees are posted below, first those submitted in the comments on my first blog post, in the order I received them, then those submitted through a DFM Google group, then one submitted by email:
Jessica Benes’ nomination:
The Associated Veteran’s Club in Loveland is honoring Vietnam Vets this Veteran’s Day, welcoming them home since the Vietnam War was not a pleasant war to be part of. I am writing a weeklyseries on Vietnam vets, highlighting a few local ones, and inviting the community to call a Google Voice number and leave messages of thanks to Vietnam vets. Those calls will be posted online with photos and transcribed in the paper for a Veteran’s Day story.
This will be our Sunday package on Nov. 10. So the big story will be Nov. 10 rather than Nov. 11. Here are some links following. In addition, I’ve been adding a Storify slideshow of Tout videos and quotes to each story, adding to the Storify as I complete another vet story.
I am the Lamar Family Visiting Scholar at LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication. I have been an editor, reporter and writing coach for Digital First Media, TBD.com, seven community and metro newspapers. I spent three years doing research, teaching and writing for the American Press Institute. I have pursued my journalism career in 44 states, nine Canadian provinces, Ireland, Venezuela, Mexico, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Siberia, France and Italy.