'Super-Helpful' Tools for Podcasts, Social and Audience Engagement

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At one of our Lunch & Learns here in Washington, D.C., last month, editors from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Vox and News Revenue Hub waxed social-logical about making the most of your social media presence.

Then one piece of advice almost stopped the show. "We use CrowdTangle," said Lauren Katz, senior engagement editor at Vox. "Facebook bought it [in 2016]. It shows what's over- and under-performing for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... We can also see what's performing well for our competitors. It's super helpful." The others agreed.

CrowdTangle is a free Chrome extension—click on any article and it shows you who has shared it on social. And it shows you the text when you hover. "When sharing an evergreen piece in January and then April, what was the copy we used?" Katz continued. "How did we tweet it out? Who is sharing our content? It's helpful to learn who your audience is. We can tweet that our audience was super into this. It's just so helpful to know what content is doing well for us and our competitors."

Here are a few more tools that have been recommended recently by our members:

HARO – Help a Reporter Online. At SIPA 2019, Business Management Daily's Cal Butera suggested HARO, an online service for journalists to get feedback from people and beef up your articles. What are the ramifications of this new legislation on this industry? "We posted one question for free two years ago," said Robert Lentz, a BMD editor, "and have been deluged by PR people ever since." But this has been a good thing because "these PR people are the connections with the actual professionals. So all from one question, we've gotten a wellspring of content ever since. It's just a matter of parsing it."

Rev.com - transcripts. They charge around a dollar for every audio minute and offer a 12-hour turnaround time. You can then cut that up into articles or even turn into a white paper or book. Transcripts also give readers another way to interact with you. Sometimes a 55-or-so-minute video can look daunting. A transcript can allow readers to poke around for something that captivates them. And it helps other journalists, like me, who may want to write about somethingyou're doing.

Libsyn, Audacity and Audition – podcasts. "We do the production for the California Minute in-house, but here is some equipment/services info," host Kathryn Zdan, director of editorial, told me when I inquired about their process. "We use Libsyn as the platform for hosting the archived episodes ($9 per month). Our production team uses Audition to edit the WAV file, and I record through Audacity with an AudioTechnica mic." Sam Spencer, CEO, Modern Markets Intelligence, Inc. (MMI), has stuck with Libsyn as well. He was using SoundCloud and LibSyn to make the audio available to listeners but now just uses Libsyn. He said that it "feeds all the other apps and streaming services I want to be available through such as iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn and literally all the rest."

Net Promoter Score – audience feedback. NPS measures customer experience and helps predicts business growth. Joe May, marketing director for Pro Farmer, said that with NPS implemented prior to the renewal cycle, "it does two important things for us. Number one it gives us real-time feedback on how members are viewing us. And number two it gives our members a sense of importance. We're asking them for their opinion. People like that." Respondents are simply asked, "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend [Pro Farmer] to a colleague or peer if you had the opportunity to do so?" It was later pointed out that SurveyMonkey has an NPS tool built in and pre-formatted, and it does all the calculations. It can be incorporated into a larger survey or used by itself. 

Video equipment - The Moment Wide-angle lens, $100 (prices are from a few months ago). The lens attaches over a phone's camera lens to give you a wider shot without drastically degrading image quality. The Shure MV5, $99, is a great microphone for use with a smartphone. The Joby GorillaPod 1K Kit tripod, $35, keeps your phone steady when shooting in low light or time-lapse.

Ronn Are you subscribed to the SIPAlert Daily?
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…