Stacy Lynch, Research Manager Readership Institute Presented to: The American Society of Newspaper Editors April 11, 2002 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Inside Satisfaction. What it means, how to improve it. Stacy Lynch, Research Manager Readership Institute Presented to: The American Society of Newspaper Editors April 11, 2002. What We Already Know. Readership decline can be reversed Content directly drives readership

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Inside Satisfaction

What it means, how to improve it.

Stacy Lynch, Research Manager

Readership Institute

Presented to:

The American Society of Newspaper Editors

April 11, 2002


What we already know

What We Already Know

  • Readership decline can be reversed

  • Content directly drives readership

  • Some content topics have more potential than others

  • There are specific things that editors can do to improve satisfaction


Impact study s 3 cornerstones

Impact Study’s 3 Cornerstones

Readers/Consumers

  • Sampled 37,000 readers

  • Largest sample ever

  • Asked each 450 questions

  • Across every type of newspaper

The Product

The Organization

  • Surveyed 5,500 employees

  • Organizational culture

  • Measured mgt. practices

  • Measured the workforce

  • Content analyses:

  • 100 newspapers

  • Counted 75,000 stories

  • Analyzed 47,500 stories


Three content imperatives

Three Content Imperatives

  • Emphasize content that drives RBS

  • Stress a particular type of local news

  • “Easy to read” content


Content that grows rbs

Content That Grows RBS

Top 9 topics with greatest RBS potential

  • News about community & ordinary people

  • 2. Health, home, food, fashion & travel

  • Politics, government, international

  • 4. Natural disasters & accidents

    • 5. Movies, TV & weather

    • 6. Business and personal finance

    • 7. Science, technology, environment

    • 8. Police & crime

    • 9. Sports


  • Typical story mix

    Typical Story Mix


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    Content & Increased Satisfaction


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    Content & Increased Satisfaction


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    Content & Increased Satisfaction


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    Imperative #3

    Stress a particular type oflocal news that increases RBS

    • Required Action:

    • Teach the staff about the type of local news that drives RBS


    Edit to drive rbs

    Edit To Drive RBS

    RBS is enhanced by:

    • News about the lives ofordinary people

    • News about community:“chicken dinner” news

    • Feature-style stories


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    Imperative #4

    Create a much easier-to-read & more navigable newspaper

    • Required Actions:

      • Start with reporting & editing

      • Focus on these factors assoon as the story is assigned


    Easy to read content

    ‘Easy to Read’ Content

    • “Go-and-do” information

    • More stories about health,home, fashion, food

    • More feature-style stories

    • In-paper content promotion


    Satisfaction builds readership

    Satisfaction Builds Readership


    Understanding satisfaction

    Understanding “Satisfaction”

    • What does it mean when readers say that they’re “satisfied” with a story?

    • How do topic, news judgment and length affect the components of satisfaction?

    • Does the dynamic differ by gender, age, RBS, and education?


    How do consumers judge a newspaper story

    How do consumers judge a newspaper story?


    Rating the stories

    Rating the stories

    • Ordinary readers & non-readers asked to read 5 stories and rate them

    • Test stories created for topics with broad-based interest: Crime, Education, Politics, Health

    • Three different news events per topic

    • Three versions of each news event

    • Typical news events, typical quality

    • Consistent language, style

    • 801 participants read 4,505 stories


    Story ratings

    Story Ratings

    • 23 questions gauge “satisfaction”

      • Appeal, relevance, length, knowledge gain, objectivity, effort investment

    • Topic “importance to me”

    • Amount read

    • Personal opinion NOT comprehension


    What does satisfaction mean

    What Does “Satisfaction” Mean?


    Elements of satisfaction

    Elements of Satisfaction


    Total satisfaction

    Total Satisfaction

    Appeal .510

    Relevance .419

    Readability .292

    Information .272

    Total StoryScore


    Total satisfaction1

    Total Satisfaction

    Appeal

    Relevance

    Readability

    Information

    Total StoryScore

    Topic“Importance to Me”


    What have we learned

    What have we learned?

    • “Satisfaction” is complex

    • Some qualities matter more than others

    • These qualities make a difference:

      • Topic “Importance to Me”

      • Appeal

      • Relevance

      • Readability

      • Information


    So what can editors do to increase total satisfaction and its components

    So, what can editors do to increase total satisfaction and its components?


    Areas of focus

    Areas of Focus

    • Impact’s high satisfaction practices

    • Focused on a few elements:

      • Topic

      • News Judgment

      • Length

    • Did not focus on:

      • Design

      • Localness

      • Informational content


    Pick the right stories

    Pick the Right Stories

    • Impact demonstrated that there are “high potential topics”

      • Not all topic areas are created equal

    • Having a mix of different topics is important


    Total score by topic

    57

    53

    43

    44

    Total Score by Topic


    News judgment matters

    News Judgment Matters

    Topic Average


    Consider length

    Consider Length

    • Is shorter always better?


    Overall length doesn t matter

    Overall, Length Doesn’t Matter


    But length matters for readability

    BUT…Length Matters for Readability


    How does reader reaction differ by gender age rbs and education

    How does reader reaction differ by gender, age, RBS, and education?


    Demographic differences

    Demographic Differences

    • Stories generally rated higher by: women, less educated, older people, higher RBS.

    • Demographic differences matter most for topic and news judgment. Examples:

      • Women rate health higher on all measures, but crime lower on appeal.

      • Lower education readers rate crime higher on all measures, but education lower on appeal.

    • Demographic differences in reaction to structure & length are minimal.


    Key questions for editors

    Key Questions for Editors

    • Do we know enough about our readers to pick the right kinds of stories?

    • Do front-line reporters and editors have that information?

    • How can we improve news judgment throughout the newsroom?

    • Are reporters and editors able to assess stories from a reader’s point of view?


    Future areas of research

    Future Areas of Research

    • Other components writing

      • Language and writing style, anecdotal reporting, emphasis on “ordinary people” angles

    • Additional satisfaction components

      • Localness, accuracy/bias, emotion & excitement

    • News judgment

      • Timeliness, localness, personal relevance to readers


    Thank you

    Thank You

    Visit www.readership.org for more information on readership & improving content


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