To build a better world, individuals and organizations need to re-examine all of what they do to maximize trust and equity. At GroundSource, we to think critically about what equitable relationships look like in all of our work, including sales.
Coincidentally, that self inquiry is what a lot of journalists are going through as they face the prospect of directly asking their communities for financial support more and more. Here’s how we’re thinking about an equitable sales process.
What's your loyalty-building strategy? What platforms are you using? How are you measuring success?
These questions are a part of a process that's often spearheaded by technology. The platform creates the channel and you cultivate it. And what we’ve learned from our customers is that GroundSource isn’t a messaging provider. It’s a place to bring folks you want to build loyalty with. Both their loyalty to you but, more critically, your loyalty to them.
That's because loyalty is about supporting one another. And if your organization is really listening, you don't need to feel unsure about asking your community to support you through continued participation or financial contribution.
When the 10 phone lines fill up on a radio call-in show, there's nothing measuring how many people are impacted by the topic waiting in line behind those 10 callers. Local TV news relies on total viewership ratings, missing information about how many of their viewers are actually engaged. Podcasts track listeners and subscribers, but how might they begin to track potential paying members?
What role do those gaps play in these organizations' engagement cycles and how could filling those gaps lead to more sustainable and effective organizations?
Just because newsrooms go to GroundSource to help them engage their most valued communities doesn’t mean we know everything about engagement. In fact, it’s often our customers and peers leading us – not the other way around.
This list of 15 ways to use GroundSource (and counting) is made up of project templates we’ve seen pioneered by our customers and partners.
Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. That doesn’t mean you have to fail at what you’re doing, but that you don’t necessarily need to land a moonshot. Because what is between those two extremes is vital to your long-term success: learning.
You can’t learn something unless you try it. And it requires courage to try something new. And that’s what we want to ask you to do today: be courageous; try something new.
Partnering with Outlier Media and Bridge Magazine, Chalkbeat used GroundSource to reach beyond their networks and ask 32,000 Detroit residents to help them investigate school choice. 1,000 residents responded and 100 were surveyed. The collaboration’s reporting led to gubernatorial candidates pledging to take a closer look at the challenges facing school-age children in Detroit.
Ben DeJarnette partnered with the Jefferson Center’s Andrew Rockaway and the Illinois Humanities Council to develop an alternative to horse-race political coverage that gets reads involved. Working with The Toledo Blade and The Peoria Journal Star, they pioneered Bellwether, a focus-group approach to listening to a community and building new relationships. Dozens of readers texted weekly with the newsrooms to make their reporting more effective and engaging.
What’s there for journalists to learn from emergency medicine? Quite a lot actually. By setting standards of care, asking the right questions, and communicating about the process, journalists can ease suffering and create a sense of safety for the communities they serve.
As organizations, building belonging is more than just doing social good. It’s the way companies from Apple to REI to Whole Foods to SoulCycle have built businesses — by making their customers feel like they’re a part of something greater than themselves. And as mission-driven organizations, you don’t have to feel like you’re faking it when you build belonging into the value you provide.
If you’re in the US, the postal service’s direct mail marketing is a great way to target a geographic community for engagement. We learned about this approach was introduced from Michelle Ferrier at The School of Journalism & Graphic Communication at Florida A&M University. Their direct mail survey of the needs of residents in a community in southeastern Ohio had a 7% response rate and created an opportunity for other newsroom to replicate the approach.
That doesn’t mean that news organizations shouldn’t launch verticals that provide news and information to emerging businesses and markets. It just means that — as always — news organizations need to be conscious of who they have systemically ignored and move to center their reporting around those communities when the opportunity arises.
As more engagement initiatives crop up at newsrooms around the world, the challenge has turned to making engagement part of the day-to-day work of newsrooms—and making a clear linkage between more deeply engaged audiences and communities, and more financially successful newsrooms.
Public radio station KPCC decided to tackle the problem of voter disengagement head-on with a multi-platform approach that incorporated in-person events, radio segments, and direct interaction with its audience via GroundSource. For the 2018 midterm election, the station fielded 307 questions via their GroundSource-supported Human Voter Guide and responded to 275.
Until recently, news organizations have not been overwhelmingly forced to reckon with how they reproduce existing dominant power relations, the thing that makes spaces less safe.
That includes considering the language they use (undocumented immigrant instead of illegal immigrant) or their points of reference (the view from nowhere or white heteronormative male points of view). The standard operating procedure for news organizations was to use people’s lives to produce content without any concern for the people whose lives they were touching.
A new report found that distrust of the media stems from that. What news organizations report and how they do it gives them undue and unchecked influence over the communities consuming or being featured in the news.
Many newsrooms talk about engagement, about connecting with communities they aren’t reaching, or deepening existing connections. Too often though they get stuck, and time is typically the named culprit (although time is just another way of saying priorities). They know what they’re doing isn’t reaching everyone, or forging deeper connections, but we just don’t have time to do more.
Two very different news outlets tackled the time problem head-on, each creating an engagement experiment limited to a single week.
The long awaited release of Apple’s Podcast Analytics in 2017 was a gift to podcasters who want to read tea leaves to anticipate their audience’s needs. Like many developments on content distribution platforms, it promotes advertising to large audiences, not deeper connections.
You need to build community to make those connections. Reveal’s podcast from the Center for Investigative Reporting is using GroundSource to do just that.