I was going to be snarky and somewhat sarcastic in this post like I was in the first development blog post, but the subject matter didn’t necessarily lend itself to that tone… or at least, I would probably have ended up writing a somewhat offensive post had I tried to keep up the sarcasm. So on a more serious note…
Earlier this evening, the news and info part of this combined capstone project met with the strategic communications students to hear pitches for marketing plans. Many of the ideas impressed us, and a few of them even apply specifically to our projects.
In my personal opinion, based on the pitches and the news & info team’s brief discussion after pitches, here are some of the best/most realistic ideas for the project:
- Focus on mobile. Many of the groups cited statistics that suggest that our audience (on average, 17-25 year olds) are glued to their smartphones. Our website design is made to be able to squish down and change with the size of the viewing platform, and I think we can find a way to make/arrange our interactive elements, multimedia elements, etc. to work best with this platform.
- People have short attention spans. We’re writing for online, not for print, and for some of us (myself included), print is what we know. It’s almost treason to say it in Scripps Hall, but the inverted pyramid is dead. We have the opportunity to branch out and make our stories interesting, to hook audiences that will stick with us until the end because the relevant information is spread throughout our stories and isn’t all piled in the first three grafs.
- Social platforms are beyond important. Snapchat’s release of “discover” has lead to brands from Cosmopolitan to National Geographic to CNN competing for our attention on an app that is found on almost all of my friends’ smartphones. Facebook and Twitter are still definitely relevant, but quick news is where it is at, and there are ways we can tailor our content to fit with these platforms…which brings me to the next point:
- Search. Engine. Optimization. (SEO.) I had heard this term before, but I haven’t really paid attention to it until now. That’s a strat com major’s job, right? Well, it’s actually something that I can be part of, and it is as simple as word choice that gets picked up by the GoogleBot, or adding questions in my written content or headlines that will get my project to the right place at the right time.
- Everyone wants to interact. Okay, well maybe not everyone. But enough people for multiple groups to mention how important it is for us to be interacting with our audience. From interactive graphics, to comments, to #hashtags, to social media interactions, it seems to me that the more we interact with our audience, the more likely they are to come back and/or recommend our webpage to friends or family.
Other ideas, ranging from adding listicals to posts and specific placement of multimedia/graphical elements, were presented. One of the groups even went to Hans to get a list of the stories that we are working on, since that was decided a while ago, which I personally think contributed to the success of their pitch. The group was talking to us about what we’re already doing, instead of pitching a completely new idea. However, this group wasn’t the only one with something we can implement or keep in mind during the course of the semester. Props to you guys.
We have a lot to think over this week, with regards to our individual projects and (at least for the design team) for the site branding itself. I’m really excited to see how this project will turn out, so let’s get those thinkin’ caps on… (if anyone is actually reading this…).
All the best,