editor on the verge

Online musings from the newsroom and beyond . . . by Yoni Greenbaum

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Do you know where your newspaper is online? – UPDATED

December 12th, 2007 · 2 Comments

Field of Dreams DVD coverIf you build it, they will come,” goes the line from the popular Kevin Costner film “Field of Dreams.” Too often though, when it comes to online news operations, that line should read “if you don’t tell anyone you built it, will they still come?

Increasingly newspaper websites are embracing social news/networking sites. You see the New York Times on YouTube, the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Twitter and the Mercury News on Facebook, just to name a few combinations. Some newsrooms would likely call these endeavors “experiments,” while others would say that they’re real “initiatives.”

All these efforts share one specific thing in common, none of them (as far as I can tell) are being publicized. Visit nytimes.com and you won’t find a link to their YouTube profile nor does the startribune.com tell you how to find them on Twitter. As opposed to what we do on blogs, with promotional links and buttons and badges, newspaper websites offer nothing. Why go through the effort of creating and populating these profiles and not tell anyone where you are?

Yes, people are finding newspaper’s profiles on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or MySpace, but in many cases they’re happening on them by accident — call it serendipity. But why make it this difficult? Why not tell people what sites you are on and how to find you?

So, what’s stopping your newspaper?

UPDATE: It is only fair for me to recognize one of my own newspapers at Ottaway which is addressing this issue. The Times Herald-Record promotes their YouTube profile from their multimedia page. They even use this great button:

Time Herald-Record YouTube button

Tags: Best Practices · Industry · Innovation · Online · YouTube

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jack lail // Dec 12, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    LOL, you ever told the marketing department about something? Mind numbing meetings later you may be musing on what were you thinking!

    Seriously, … well, more seriously, many of these are true experiments that may not be ready for mainstream marketing. There are guerrilla ways to get the early adopters.

    The biggest issue with marketing is not near enough is being budgeted to market the newspaper.com brand. That in my experience is not the marketing department’s fault, but rather newspapers’ ironic bias against spending money on marketing.

  • 2 Mark Dykeman // Dec 13, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Interesting idea have have media outlets publicize their social media/networking profiles. It would certainly help legitimize the latter and might do some good for the former.

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