The American Press Institute has released a guide that helps plan events based on the efforts of 20 different publishers, complete with advice on developing branding, driving audience engagement, and generating story ideas. And making money, of course: The Texas Tribune generated $1.3 million in revenue via events in 2013.
The Nieman Journalism Lab provided some highlights of the API’s guide. Here are some excerpts from their coverage:
Use the tools you have around you: “Whenever you throw a party, you start by taking stock of the supplies you already have. That’s true for news organizations as well, who should try to create events that can capitalize on their existing assets.”
Know your audience: “Events can serve the purpose of bringing together your most loyal and dedicated readers, but they can also act as a bridge to reaching new people, the report says. The key is to know the audience you’re trying to reach and tailoring events to fit their interests.”
Use events as a way to play offense: “The competition can be just as fierce for getting a piece of sponsorship dollars, which can go to events held by civic groups, private organizations, or other businesses. A number of newspapers like the Chattanooga Times Free Press have used events as a way of going on offense and prevent other groups or events from grabbing sponsorship money in their market.”
Keep the business and editorial sides separate: “At The Texas Tribune, for example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas was a sponsor of a discussion on health care. April Hinkle, director of business development for the Tribune, told API the key is being transparent about sponsorships and keeping the business and editorial side separate.
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