Because The Florida Times-Union wanted to make a few changes, Matt Pittman landed a job with little experience. That led to a few changes for the better and helped improve audience development for the paper. Since then, Matt has created MATTaboutJAX, which helps newspapers and magazines gain a new tool to improve their audience development. Here are some of the things he has learned.
Creating Videos that Work with the Story
There is a big approach to include a video into content. People want to see a video. However, too many newspapers will simply find a clip online and include that in their online version. It may be relevant, but it doesn’t link exactly to the story.
Pittman goes one step further by creating specific videos that work with the story. He will go out there and record something just for that one piece. The audience are drawn further into the story, and see all the hard work that the reporter has put in to make it stand out and unique.
Sense of Humor and Personality
This is more than just getting out there and reporting about something. Pittman puts his own personality into the stories and shares his own sense of humor. It creates a relationship with those who are watching. They get to see the real person behind the mic, rather than the journalist. People can connect to him and see a bit of themselves in there; even imagine themselves being him.
Not everyone is good at humor, but they all have their personalities. These individual personalities work with the different ones around the world who read the online paper or magazine.
Engaging Conversation During Interviews
Interviews are a great way to creating compelling videos, but they start to feel forced for some. Pittman does it completely different in his videos. He engages in conversation with the interviewee, as if he has known the person for some time. He encourages the person he is interviewing to show his or her personality too, allowing the audience to connect with that person.
Engaging with the Audience
It isn’t just about the videos linked to the stories. There is also the matter of engaging with the audience and using them for story ideas. Pittman is active on various social media websites, including Facebook and Twitter. He will talk to those following him and take ideas from them about his next story.
He also shares his own ideas and clips to get audience approval first. He gets his stories and the audience gets something that they want: stories that are aimed to them. It is less about what the paper thinks the people want or need to hear, and more about what the audience really does want to hear.
This audience development tool is easy to use and worthwhile for any newspaper or magazine online. Videos are great for people to watch, but this takes it one step further. It’s about creating compelling, interesting and unique videos that match the story exactly.