Short Takes: Lessons from a failed newsletter in how to engage with your audience


Short Takes is an occasional series that captures interesting work by Missouri School of Journalism students.

As part of my RJI Student Innovation Fellowship with the Greeley Tribune in Greeley, Colo., a co-worker and I were given the task to start and grow a paid subscription newsletter, The Playbook, that covered rural prep sports in Northern Colorado.

After five short months, the Tribune's management ended the newsletter because we failed to get enough subscribers, causing the company to lose money.

I may have learned far more about audience engagement through the struggles than I would have if the newsletter succeeded.

I was forced to get creative, to do whatever I had to lure and keep the audience engaged and coming back for more. In some ways, we did just that, even though we ran out of time.

One of the things I learned is that audiences love lists, so here are three ways to engage with your audience.

Read more from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

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