By Greta Serrin

This last week, I spent my time as a Potter Digital Ambassador at the Northeast News.

I not only taught staff a lot, but I learned a lot as well. I’m a University of Missouri student in Columbia and I’m focusing my studies on digital journalism.

I came into the newsroom with experience in how to engage social media audiences as a news organization. 

I spent the last month and a half analyzing the newspaper’s social media accounts, including watching what staff posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Before I started watching for posts, there wasn’t much there! Or, every post online lacked consistency.

Then mid-December, it seemed like the newspaper started being more active on posting to social media.

My preparations also included looking through data on the website and all social media platforms to interpret analytics of the engagement they were receiving online.

The numbers weren’t terrible – I mean, the Northeast News has definitely gone viral a handful of times on Facebook! That is a feat in and of itself. 
The staff asked me to look at what they were doing online and see how they could amplify.

Like I said earlier, the paper wasn’t doing terrible online but I knew they could use improvement.

I helped them set up a schedule for posting on each social media platform and worked on making the captions more conversational.

If you look back on posts prior to this week the captions seemed very police “speak,” meaning they read more like a formal term paper than the paper telling its friends the news.

The main goal is to provide you, the viewer, with accurate and consistent news of the Northeast and Kansas City Area and posts online didn’t reflect that to the best of their ability. 

I also helped managing editor, Elizabeth Orosco, with marketing and reach of the Northeast Newscast podcast.

The podcast has amazing, conversational guests every week that include leaders and community members of Kansas City, but there isn’t a lot of listeners.

I strategized some solutions to that with making posts more original and conversational to engage with social media audiences more. 

I enjoyed my time thoroughly at the paper! Everyone there was so easy and fun to work with and were really receptive to what I had to say about increasing their digital presence.

I only hope that they continue some tricks I taught.