Get your audience involved in you

By · Saturday, June 21st, 2014

Today being the first day of summer, we advocate getting out to enjoy the longest day of the year and getting involved in some fun activities. First, though, here are some tips to get your audience involved in you.

Do you know the feeling you get when someone taps you on the shoulder? The point of that finger can be distracting or welcoming, depending on who is trying to get your attention and for what reason.

Points of entry in the print and digital world are like that, too. They can annoy or assist. Digital platforms introduce a new point of entry — one we call a point of involvement. With points of involvement, readers not only can choose their points of entry, but they also can personalize them, customize them and create their own experiences.

Be Purposeful with Points of Involvement

When you create points of involvement, you must protect people from being distracted or annoyed. Ensure that points of involvement do the following:

Interactive devices, such as calculators, maps and graphics, along with geolocation capabilities, create points of involvement with purpose. Not every newsroom will be mobilized for a disaster, but all will experience the “big story,” whether it is a hurricane, tornado or major storm, or a fun event like the state fair or a major weekend festival drawing thousands. These are moments when the media are called on to offer not just content, but also services — the kind readers can use and contribute to via points of involvement.

Find ways for your organization to serve as a social media hub that connects readers with one another and with vital services. During a natural disaster, for example, there is a lot of traffic going through websites and social media networks. Be ready to plug in and not only give people information but also get them involved in real time, helping themselves and one another.

You want people to do more than just passively consume your content. They already are involved all over social media. Be alert and ready for opportunity — no matter what “the moment.”

 

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