#APMillennials: The importance of segmentation

By Jake Kreinberg

An assistant professor of strategic communications at the Missouri School of Journalism explains the need for experimentation in the newsroom in order to increase engagement with audiences across platforms.

Engaging millennials, who use a variety of sources to read news, can be tricky. What works on one platform won’t necessarily work on another.

Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest? Your own website?

The options available are dizzying, but if you can wrap your head around the analytics, a path forward starts to emerge, says Brad Best, an assistant professor of strategic communications at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Data yields insights into the types of articles that grab and hold attention on various sites. If a particular story isn’t performing well, an editor can change the headline and quickly note the difference in various metrics such as click-through rate and time on site.

What organizations don’t want to do, Best says, is try to force a one-size-fits-all solution into their multifaceted digital strategy. Avoiding this trap likely requires at least one full-time position dedicated to the company’s online presence.

“They’ll put out a story in print and they’ll use the exact same headline on Twitter and on Facebook and on their webpage rather than testing those things to see how you can increase engagement,” Best said.

To see each panelist’s perspective, click here.

Jake Kreinberg

Jake is the text and multimedia product manager at The Associated Press and the former editor of Insights. He previously covered college sports as a reporter for AP and helped design its multi-year strategic plan. Have feedback about the blog? Contact us at insights@ap.org.

#APMillennials, insights