Here’s your first GroundSource-powered project


Here’s your first GroundSource-powered project

The following is a republished edition of GroundSourced, a weekly newsletter from GroundSource on listening and community engagement. It features successful community engagement efforts, highlights missed opportunities for listening, and offers strategies that help you engage and listen to your community. You can subscribe to GroundSourced here.

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 I want to ask you to do today: be courageous; try something new.

This newsletter has occasionally nudged you in our direction, sharing case studies and GroundSource highlights to encourage you to reach out to work with us. Today, I’m going to be very explicit: If you work in community engagement, you should be using GroundSource. Think of this edition of our newsletter as an annual pledge drive.

But don’t take my word for why you should schedule your discovery call through this link. Our features this week will make the case, too. First up is some thorough documentation from the Lenfest Local Lab and Philadelphia Inquirer on their GroundSource-powered experimentation. And we’re sharing the first draft of a few case study cards you can use as project frameworks to get started.

As always, let us know what you’d like to see in GroundSourced. And when you’re ready to learn more about how GroundSource can level-up your engagement, use this link to schedule a discovery call.

Steps 1 through 3 of the welcome process for new subscribers to texts from Philadelphia Inquirer.

Steps 1 through 3 of the welcome process for new subscribers to texts from Philadelphia Inquirer.

Texting continues to be a big opportunity for newsrooms to customize news and start a conversation with their audience

In the run up to the election in November 2018, The Lenfest Local Lab worked with the Philadelphia Inquirer to — as Inquirer managing editor of audience and innovation Kim Fox said — find out if there is a “there, there” when it comes to texting. The results speak for themselves.

The Local Lab team collaborated with reporters in the newsroom to launch a pop-up texting experience to inform Philadelphia Inquirer readers and respond to their questions about three electoral issues.

They ran their experiment for three weeks, sending texts daily and collecting questions they responded to weekly in these posts on health caregun control, and the economy.

Here are some of the metrics the Local Lab team reported:

  • 464 people signed up for texts, only 6% opted during the experiment

  • People who clicked through from the texts stayed twice as long on site as other mobile visitors, visited more pages, and bounced less

  • 83% said they would like to continue receiving texts from the Inquirer

Read more from Local Lab director Sarah Schmalbach here.


Here are some frameworks you can use to get started with GroundSource

What makes GroundSource so powerful is how adaptable and dynamic it is. Need a better way to run reader focus groups? ✅ Add deep listener engagement to your podcast? ✅ Super-engage an especially valuable audience segment? ✅ Reach out to underserved communities? ✅ It’s what we’re purpose built for.

And we’ve seen enough successful applications of GroundSource that we’ve created a catalog of project templates with the help of our customers. Some are easier than others but all are based on actual case studies — and our team is standing by to help you put them to work.

Project “Orca” (above) was inspired by the Seattle Times and the 1000+ subscribers to their ongoing conversation about orcas in Puget Sound. Below, project “Cephalopod” was inspired by Science Friday, who launched a week-long texting experience with 800 subscribers for their annual #CephWeek programming.'


And these are just some of projects the staff at GroundSource is ready to help you launch. (More here!) In our onboarding, we’ll center your goals and do a project sprint to get you from status quo to courageous innovator in three weeks time.

When you’re ready, schedule a discovery call through this link.

What we’re reading 

GroundSource is here to help you innovate.