Dr. Mario Garcia has been working with publishers for over 40 years. In today’s digital world, that’s a lot of news cycles. Over the course of his career, he has consulted with over 700 media companies in 120 countries, and is the author of 13 books. He is a renown storyteller, editorial designer, and digital strategy consultant. According to Dr. Garcia,
“These are the best of times to be a storyteller, since we can tell stories across platforms, emphasizing the uniqueness of each.”
As an industry thought-leader, the three topics that are top-of-mind for Dr. Garcia these days include the rise of mobile, email newsletters, and sponsored content.
Rise of Mobile
A recent study by Pew Research reported that 88% of the top 50 US publishers stated the majority of their readers arrive on their digital site from mobile versus desktop. In a separate report, Pew Research found that people who prefer to read their news on a digital site, “Mobile news consumption is rising rapidly. The portion of Americans who ever get news on a mobile device has gone up from 54% in 2013 to 72% today.” Because social media is responsible for driving traffic to publisher websites, readers go directly to the article page, not the homepage. “Article pages [need to be] easy to navigate and invite us to engage with other articles beyond the one we came to read,” said Dr. Garcia. So, what should you focus on when designing for the ideal mobile experience? Dr. Garcia recommends navigation and visual storytelling should be top-of-mind.
Readers want to consume news when it is convenient for them, preferably early morning and early evening. Briefings, or email newsletters, are a great way to engage your audience in a succinct and attractive format. An important attribute of e-newsletters lets readers consume news on the device and location most convenient to them (e.g., email inbox on a train with no WIFI). Dr. Garcia suggests newsletters should include a more casual, conversational style with a narrow focus – easy to read and relevant. Producing a well-written, attractive newsletter strengthens reader brand recognition and helps drive traffic back to your website to consume news in its long-form.
Delivering compelling sponsored content is an opportunity to increase advertising revenue while providing relevant content to your readers. Important considerations when looking to offer sponsored content include: who will be responsible for the creative, what is the best platform for sponsored content, who sells it, and how much to charge? Working with many global publications to launch sponsored content initiatives, Dr. Garcia advocates the content should be truthful, compelling, held to the same journalistic standards as the rest of the publication, and labeled properly.
For more information, you can visit Dr. Garcia’s website or join Dr. Garcia for an upcoming webinar: Top 3 Pillars of Publishing.
On Wednesday, March 29 at 9 AM EDT / 3 PM CET, Dr. Garcia will delve into each topic sharing practical steps news organizations should embrace in the digital news era. The 60-minute webinar is produced by WAN-IFRA and sponsored by Crowdynews.