news:rewired - Marc Reeves keynote - #newsrw

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Liveblogging highlights of a speech. Prone to inaccuracy, omission and typo

By bundling together thousands of readers with one publication, publishers deluded themselves into thinking they had a single community. On local papers,sports readers followed those oases but rarely read the rest of the paper – where the ads were. Online, that became clear as they went straight to the latest news about their team without going through the home page.

Traditional modes of ad and ed splits are outdated. Advertisers are part of the audience. It’s always been about the relationship with the readers – and we deluded ourselves into thinking that it was about the content.

Other businesses are encroaching on our territory – why shouldn’t we encroach on theirs?

If you want to serve a niche, get out of your comfortable journalism role and become a business person. We know our audience isn’t cruising the net all day – so we concentrate on the times that they most often use the net. Mainly it’s the pre-9am e-mail which drives 80% of the traffic to the story.

Marc reviews signups every day that he can, so he can monitor the audience – are some companies under-represented. They’re ruthless about dumping activities that don’t attract views or revenue. If they spends ages wiring on a feature that no bugger reads – they won’t do that again.

Not surprisingly, the questions have started by questioning Marc’s attacks on journalistic received wisdom. Can you go to companies for advertising even which you’re covering them, asked one. Yes, says Marc. He doesn’t use freelancers, but would if they came with a compelling business idea. He thinks national newspapers’ structures cripple them and stop them making money online. He works in the heart of his readership so he’s always bumping into them.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.