‘How journalists, media houses can maximize online platforms’

Yvette Uloma Dimiri

Former Head of Audience Engagement at BusinessDay Newspaper, Yvette Uloma Dimiri is now the Growth Editor of Stears Business.

In this interview with Media Career, Dimiri who says she loves day-dreaming and talking about the future of Media speaks about her stay in BusinessDay, the need for improving audience engagement and other issues.

You are moving on from BusinessDay as Head of Audience Engagement which is not a common position in the Nigeria media, what informed your being assigned this role?

Oh I made it up. Well, more accurately I knew the particular set of problems I wanted to help BusinessDay solve and then I did some research to find out a “title” that fit. It was never about the title, it was always about the work. In reality, the scope of my work ended up well beyond audience engagement.

Specifically, what will you say you were able to achieve in the last two years in this position? 

By experimenting with content formats, my team and I built an understanding of how we wanted to use each platform. We focused on our owned platforms like our website and app to make sure we understood how to grow an audience to serve the advertisers and we nurtured reader habits to drive our subscription business.

Dimiri at the send forth in BusinessDay

Are media organizations in the country doing enough about audience engagements and optimising their online platforms?

I think a lot about whether every media business needs an audience engagement function. The role tends to be more relevant with businesses that are pursuing consumer revenue businesses because a key determinant of a user’s propensity to subscribe is their engagement, whichever way you want to measure that. If you’re not in any consumer revenue business then you probably don’t need the function. In theory, you could be pumping out content without minding whether your readers care or not. But the question I would then put to that media house is ‘why are you not thinking about consumer revenue?’

What are your suggestions for media organizations to improve their online operations?

Keep the user in mind first, and then everything else will follow.

In your Twitter profile, you wrote that you like writing, daydreaming and talking about the future of the media, what will you say is the future of the media in Nigeria? 

I’m expecting traditional media houses to expand their properties. So move from newspaper, website, radio, TV, and video on demand. I also expect we’ll see a few more digital subscription plays and I’m hoping to see more experiments with new formats of content on new platforms in order to reach new audiences.

Making enough revenue from online platforms is a major challenge for especially traditional media, what are the options open to them to explore? 

The best revenue model is multiple revenue models. This report by innovation media carefully outlines 12 different revenue models for publishers. I think the most obvious plays are subscription, events, branded content, advertising (of course) and retail.

Not being originally a journalist, what was your experience working with journalists and working in a media house?

Being around so many journalists made me a better citizen, and I don’t take it for granted. My job in BusinessDay was to ask two questions, “How can I encourage our journalists to empathize with our readers and our readers to engage with our journalism. So I learned a lot from my colleagues and I hope I improved the impact of their work. Media is one of the most disruptive industries to work in now. I’m loving every moment of it.

How can Nigerian journalists maximize the opportunities offered by the new media? 

New formats, new formats, new formats! Now it’s not just about writing the story, you constantly have to be thinking “what is the best way to tell this story”?

What next after Business Day? I’m now the growth editor for Stears Business. We are ambitious, relevant, and trying to do something that really hasn’t been done before in Nigerian media. I’m very excited to play a part in what’s coming.

Culled from Media Career Development Network

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