St. Louis merger: Designing a news organization to grow community connections

St. Louis merger: Designing a news organization to grow community connections

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We know news consumers find value in information that’s engaging and specific to their interests. At St. Louis Public Radio, we strive to provide this type of information for the St. Louis region, but we know we can be more intentional and precise. With that goal in mind, we will focus on reaching out directly to those most likely to be interested in (or affected by) the content we produce during our fellowship at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute this year. To expand on the networks of our staff here at St. Louis Public Radio, our project during our Reynolds Fellowship will focus on outreach to people and organizations who have demonstrated interest in one of four topic areas: the scientific aspects of health, education, arts or economic innovation. We plan to use social media channels and technology-based platforms, along with more traditional journalistic techniques, to identify influencers in each topic area and map their networks.We’ll be focused on connecting with not just those frequently quoted in stories or “experts,” but also those who contribute to conversations in smaller ways. We don’t just want to reach the education commissioner or hospital president, for example, but teachers and doctors with stories that interest them. Finally, there’s a funding layer to the fellowship project. While maintaining the independence and integrity of news coverage decisions, we want to take the information we get mapping networks for news, and overlay it with the work of our membership department. Hopefully, this will create more specialized channels of communication with individuals and organizations to support our work. 

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