DigitalEd: How to Measure Impact for Your Crucial Content

    by Joy Mayer
    April 1, 2015
    Joy Mayer during her TedX talk.

    PBS MediaShift is launching a new series of online training courses called DigitalEd, in partnership with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute and BigMarker. These one-hour live courses will help teach practical digital skills with experienced instructors.

    Title: How to Measure Impact for Your Crucial Content
    Instructor: Joy Mayer, Associate Professor at the Missouri School of Journalism

    "Be sure to pick metrics that will help you make decisions about how you do your job, and ignore the metrics that sound impressive but aren’t actually useful."


    Identify the purpose of your work and connect to concrete outcomes

    Let’s say you got into journalism and media to “make a difference” in the world or in your community. How do you know if you’re succeeding? In the ever-evolving landscape of audience metrics, there’s not a line in your spreadsheet for “making a difference.” But don’t let that stop you from assessing the impact of your work.

    It all starts with articulating exactly what you hope will happen. Who most needs to see the information? How will they use it or act on it (and how will you know if they’ve done that)? Once you’ve answered those questions, connect your goals to specific metrics and invest time in tracking them. Be sure to pick metrics that will help you make decisions about how you do your job, and ignore the metrics that sound impressive but aren’t actually useful.


    What you’ll learn from this training:

    1. Identify what you hope people will learn from your content — on a brand level or on a specific story/project level
    2. Identify what you hope people will do in response to your work
    3. Attach meaningful metrics to those goals
    4. Know ahead of time how you will track the metrics
    5. Learn to adjust as you go, and continue to learn about your audience


    • A large brainstormed list of impact metrics.

    Who should take this training:

    • Media makers wondering if their work is making a difference
    • Storytellers interested in audience engagement or community building
    • Publishers who need to deliver impact statements to funders or boards

    Date and Time: April 22, 2015 at 4 pm ET / 1 pm PT

    Price: $39

    Note: If you can’t attend the live session, you can still register and see the archived video and ask questions of the instructor. Registration for BigMarker is required.

    About the Instructor:

    Joy Mayer is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and the director of community outreach at the Columbia Missourian. Her research and work focus on the changing relationship between journalists and their communities. She works in her own newsroom and with outside clients on identifying audiences and being responsive to audience needs.

    Tagged: audience digitaled impact assessment impact journalism joy mayer measuring impact missouri school of journalism rji

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