In which we talked about SN Works, branding

by Hannah Silvers and Courtney Campbell

NEW YORK CITY — We just got back from our website critique, and though we’re really tired, we’re going to post some highlights for you. Dedication.

(Luckily, our adviser also uses SN Works for his newspaper’s website, so he knew our struggles and didn’t focus too much on the technical issues we have.)

Website-centered comments:

  • He said he loves it when he sees awesome design for headlines in print — e.g., in the Feb. 24 edition with the “Going local” story and the “Elon plague” story — make it online. That’s a super easy thing to do because we can just save the graphic as a photo and upload it to Gryphon as the featured image. We think we should do it!
  • Apparently, SN Works can move the “Related Content” bar from the bottom to the middle of a story. That helps with bounce rate because people see other stories as they read that they might want to click on.
  • We talked for a while about the multimedia tab and how best to categorize and emphasize multimedia content when we merge with ELN. More conversations about that to come, for sure.

Other online comments:

  • He showed us some social media-exclusive content from his newspaper, and a lot of it was really cool. They use Facebook for more than just posting links to articles, which we could totally do. There are some specifics that we don’t have room for here that we’ll be sharing in person.
  • We talked a lot about branding and how we can brand ourselves as an organization with a personality, not just a newspaper. Behind the scenes videos, fun bits with sections, etc. One idea we really liked: a really short “this is what you can look forward to in this week’s paper” video, posted just on social media on Tuesdays but filmed during production. Each section editor teases one story from their section in less than 10 seconds, and it all goes into one short video that can be shared on Facebook. Clever and awesome. We wanna do this.
  • To accompany a special issue about Star Wars, his newspaper sent a guy dressed as a 7-foot-tall Chewbacca around campus. They asked readers to Tweet selfies at them with the hashtag #WherestheWookie, then picked a random winner and gave them a prize. Apparently, they got mad engagement. We can totally do social media contests tied to our content.

That’s all from us here. There was so much more we talked about, especially about branding and social media, so ask either of us if you want more details on any of this.

Now off to dinner and a #GTinNYC!

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