Hello there,

During the summer, there are always stories that wouldn't make it into the newsrooms at full capacity. The intensive search for a supposed lion in the German capital, Berlin, perfectly fits that cliché.

It's the kind of story that can be approached in various formats. It could be a reportage, a live blog, or a photo gallery with similar photos of actual lions—almost anything you can think of has been done. Naturally, one might doubt the legitimacy of such attention, but it once again shows that journalism takes on as many shapes as the annual dangerous summer beast.

These various shapes are what we call ‘formats’, and our smartocto Academy team has put together 30 educational cards encapsulating the most popular formats.

Download those cards below this blog.

More engagement with the right news format

Discovering the best angle for your story is just one part of the puzzle; you must also choose a suitable format for presenting the narrative. Editors face a couple of challenges when deciding on a format:

  1. Sections or columns might already dictate the format. Your organisation may have daily sections which need to be filled in accordingly. This could lead to a box-checking exercise.
  2. Writing formats, in particular, can get mixed up. A news article may contain elements of a report or reactions that lean towards analysis. While it might feel more complete, the reader may need clarification about the intended purpose of the piece.
  3. There's a tendency to rely on the same formats repeatedly. Can you list more than ten formats? There are certainly more, but you might be inclined to choose the same ones repeatedly.

These are factors worth considering carefully. To assist you, we've created a blog with some tips and suggestions to make your stories more engaging. 

format cards

Many of our clients are seeking higher engagement from their website visitors. The million-dollar question is how to achieve that. Engaged readers are valuable readers. They stay longer and read more, and they are the demographic from which subscribers are likely drawn. In one of our most-read blogs, we discuss seven effective methods.

Additionally, during a recent data dive, we discovered that one of our clients, Indian news site The Economic Times (ET Prime), was excelling in engagement. We asked their editor, Shishir Prasad, for insights into their success.

Although smartocto is primarily a data tool, we increasingly find ourselves in the role of a teacher as well. This is a logical development when you think about it. On LinkedIn, we extensively discuss this development.

Media organisations are turning to us not only for technical support and development, in which we continue to invest heavily, but also for assistance with addressing strategic issues. This led us to develop our own e-learning program, smartocto Academy, and create educational cards about formats and user needs.

We have already helped various media organisations implement the user needs approach. One example is a course for the joint regional public broadcasters in the Netherlands. 

If you found this newsletter interesting, feel free to share it with friends, colleagues, or acquaintances. Additionally, we'd like to remind you that there is a product newsletter that exclusively covers everything we have to offer and develop, as well as a webinar newsletter about… well, you know it. You can subscribe via this link.

If you're on vacation, enjoy your time off, and try to avoid the paths with scary animals.

See you next time!
Team smartocto