7 Steps to Success

Entrepreneurial Journalism
by Jeremy Caplan

First: 3 Reasons for Optimism

The Good News

Revenue Pioneers
Startup Explosion Intrapreneurship

The Good News

Revenue Pioneers

Startup Explosion
Intrapreneurship

The Good News

Revenue Pioneers Startup Explosion

Intrapreneurship

Introducing the 7 Steps
A Framework for Entrepreneurial Journalism Success

1.
Defining a Problem & Solution
Opportunity Identification & Idea Development

2.
Assessing What’s Out There
Market Research & Competitive Analysis

3.
Developing Your Substance
Content & Structure Development

4.
Building Your Community
Outreach and Marketing

5.
Cultivating Sustainability
Laying the Groundwork for Revenue

6.
Leading on the Path
Managing and Partnering

7.
Adjusting on the Way
Measuring, Pivoting and Refining

1.
Defining a Problem & Solution
Opportunity Identification & Idea Development

1.

Quantitative Qualitative

1.

Quantitative
Size of the audience Customer spending patterns Time spent on news sites Penetration of smartphones

1.

Qualitative
Attitudes toward media outlets? What (news) qualities are valued?

What searches are popular?
What frustrates locals most?

1.

Approaches to Research
Free tools (Ad Planner, Adwords) Quantitative databases Free survey resources (GForms) Small focus groups/observations

1.

Research Objectives
Understand your community Identify opportunities Overcome assumptions Test ideas

1.

Implementing Findings
Clarify challenges and opportunities

Adjust project objectives Update features and content Follow-up with survey subjects

2.
Assessing What’s Out There
Competitive Analysis

2.

What’s Working Already? Where Are the Gaps?

2.

What’s the current alternative to your project?

2.

What do people like most about it?

2.

What do people like least about it?

2.

Why haven’t others tried to do what you are trying?

2.

Or if they have... why have they failed?

2.

What characteristic would most distinguish your project from others?

2.

If you were to fail, what would be the most likely explanation?

3.
Developing Your Substance
Content & Structure Development

3.

Creating Quality Content Wireframing

3.

Planning Sketching on paper Testing out design ideas Low-cost brainstorming

3.

Benefits of Wireframing Get a useful reality check Discover missing info Avoid late surprises

3.

Tools Omnigraffle Keynotopia

3.

Wireframing Resources bit.ly/wireframing_intro bit.ly/wireframetips

3.

Content Planning Argo Project 30-day pre-launch plan Laying the groundwork Blog your progress

3.

2 Argo Project Resources:
1) docs.argoproject.org/starter-guide

2) Video: http://bit.ly/q80Nyn

3.

What’s Quality? What’s Not Quality...

3.

Starting the Journey
Design Takes Time

4.
Building Your Community
Outreach and Marketing

4. Audience Outreach Listening and Connecting

4. Community Events Open Houses Wine & Cheese Lectures and Discussions Charitable Projects

4. Key Tools Facebook Twitter (Hootsuite) LinkedIn YouTube

4.
Examples of Effective Outreach:

Social Media Case Studies bit.ly/smcasestudies

How to Arm Your Dashboard
• • • •
Your Main Twitter Stream, Direct Messages & Mentions 3 Search Terms (You,Your Organization,Your Topic) Events, Issues and Groups 3 Lists (Key Experts, Key Competitors, Quality Curators)

2 Ways to Use Social Media to Listen & Assess

• Take the pulse of your community on issues that
you’re researching or reporting on. about your ideas and your brand.

• Monitor how you’re doing, what are people saying

2 More Ways to Use Social Media to Listen & Assess

• Keep an eye out for trends, community concerns
and questions.

• Share news, tips, information, resources, images,

links and other material that helps strengthen the connection between you and your community

5.
Cultivating Sustainability
Laying the Groundwork for Revenue

5.

Researching the Revenue Planning the Budget

5.

Crunching Numbers Spreadsheets:
newsinnovation.com/models

5.

Crunching Numbers Spreadsheets:
newsinnovation.com/models Live Version: bit.ly/ejsheet

5.

Crunching Numbers Spreadsheets:

5.

Estimating Budgets Spreadsheets:
Content Budget Calculator (link is an Excel spreadsheet)

http://bit.ly/contentcalculator

6.
Leading on the Path
Managing and Partnering

6.

Assessing Your Skills Building Your Team Developing Partnerships

6.

Assessing Your Skills What are you best at? Where are you weakest? What can/can’t you learn?

6.

Building Your Team Who do you need most? What will draw them in? How will you pitch them?

6.

Developing Partnerships Who can fill your gaps? Who has power/wealth? What do they want/need?

7.
Adjusting on the Way
Measuring, Pivoting and Refining

7.

Learning and Pivoting Measuring and Adapting

7.

Some Metrics to Measure: bit.ly/sm-analytics

Measure & Adjust
What’s working/what’s not? Why?
Select metrics that matter. Capitalize on successes, learn from failures. Rinse & repeat.

3.

Key Tools Google Analytics Chartbeat/Newsbeat Facebook Insights MailChimp Analytics

“Don't get caught up in the numbers game. 100 relevant followers on Twitter is worth more than 1000 followers any day of the week.” - @bradjward

The Funnel
Funnel = A tool that lets you track a particular path, to see if you are successfully leading people to a particular action

Starting Point: Interested Community

Concluding Point: Action

Funnel UNICEF Example

Source: Analysis of UNICEF USA by Shabbir J. Imber Safdar

Example of Insight UNICEF Gained:
UNICEF Wednesday posts yield the highest clickthrough rates

Source: Analysis of UNICEF USA by Shabbir J. Imber Safdar

UNICEF Insight #2:
UNICEF doesn’t benefit as much from click throughs after its 3rd daily post

Funnel Benefits

See where you are losing visitors
See which methods of driving an action are most effective Make adjustments in your site to move toward your goals

Twitter Metrics

TweetStats.com

7 Steps Toward Entrepreneurial Journalism Success 1. Understanding the Market 2. Assessing What’s Out There 3. Developing Your Substance 4. Building Your Community 5. Cultivating Sustainability 6. Leading on the Path 7. Adjusting on the Way

I. Preparation II. Development III. Management

Success in Action

Ongoing Entrepreneurial Journalism Projects

Local Journalism Startups: http://www.blockbyblock.us The News Frontier Database:   http://www.cjr.org/the_news_frontier_database/ Nieman Lab’s “Encyclo” of Media Startups: http://www.niemanlab.org/encyclo/

Some Surprising Secrets to Success...

Success Requires... ...Real World Outreach

Success Requires... ...Real World Outreach ...Multiple Revenue Streams

Success Requires... ...Real World Outreach ...Multiple Revenue Streams ...Networks & Partnerships

Success Requires... ...Real World Outreach ...Multiple Revenue Streams ...Networks & Partnerships ...Gradual Ramp-Up

Success Requires... ...Real World Outreach ...Multiple Revenue Streams ...Networks & Partnerships ...Gradual Ramp-Up ...Periodic Pivots

Success Requires... ...Real World Outreach ...Multiple Revenue Streams ...Networks & Partnerships ...Gradual Ramp-Up ...Periodic Pivots ...Reliable, Consistent Quality

Success Requires... ...Real World Outreach ...Multiple Revenue Streams ...Networks & Partnerships ...Gradual Ramp-Up ...Periodic Pivots ...Reliable, Consistent Quality ...Clarity of Design

Success Requires... ...Real World Outreach ...Multiple Revenue Streams ...Networks & Partnerships ...Gradual Ramp-Up ...Periodic Pivots ...Reliable, Consistent Quality ...Clarity of Design ...Stellar Team

Success Requires... ...Real World Outreach ...Multiple Revenue Streams ...Networks & Partnerships ...Gradual Ramp-Up ...Periodic Pivots ...Reliable, Consistent Quality ...Clarity of Design ...Stellar Team ...Effective Multimedia

Success Requires... ...Real World Outreach ...Multiple Revenue Streams ...Networks & Partnerships ...Gradual Ramp-Up ...Periodic Pivots ...Reliable, Consistent Quality ...Clarity of Design ...Stellar Team ...Effective Multimedia ...Strong Sales

Apprenticeship Program
Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism

The Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism
@ The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

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