The Washington Post announces new audience strategy, teams


Announcement from Erika Allen, head of audience strategy and growth:

We’re very pleased to announce a reorganization of our audience strategy and growth group. These changes will facilitate rapid audience growth by improving our focus in several key areas, including strengthening our newsletters, which are an important tool for attracting, cultivating and retaining new audiences; creating the newsroom’s first planning and development team to improve communication within the newsroom and company about projects and new initiatives; and strengthening our newsroom analytics and tooling capabilities so that we can effectively set and track our audience goals and develop strategies to aid desks across the newsroom in achieving them.

The audience growth and strategy portfolio now consist of six departments: News Analytics, Insights and Trainings; Newsroom Planning and Project Development; Newsletter Strategy; Newsroom Talent and Community Development; Emerging News Products; and Special Newsroom Initiatives and Partnerships.

News Analytics, Insights and Trainings is a team of journalists who will work with others in the newsroom and The Post’s core Analytics team, led by Vice President of Audience Development and Analytics Beth Diaz, to monitor audience trends and formulate actionable insights for desks and individual editors, while making recommendations for evolving our coverage and formats, further developing tools and resources for the newsroom, and sharing findings and opportunities with the newsroom at large. This team will analyze complex audience data; work with the core analytics team on setting and tracking audience growth goals; and train other journalists on how to reach new and existing audiences. Lizzy Raben, formerly senior subscriber engagement editor, is now senior analytics, insights and trainings editor. She and analytics, insights and trainings editor Shirley Qui will work with Dan Weingart, a principal data analyst on core Analytics who will embed on this team. We are hiring a director, to lead this team as well as one additional editor.

The Newsroom Planning and Project Development team will create and maintain a constantly updated editorial calendar that records in one place all our significant projects, series, products and initiatives creating a single source for leadership, design, graphics, data, photo, video and our curation teams. Improvement in alignment and visibility will ensure our planning is seamless and effective — resulting in stories that are published at the right time, in the right format and with the right level of support from all our teams and platforms. The team will work with our partners in subscriptions and brand marketing, PR and advertising to strategize plans for promotion and business support. We are hiring a director as well as an experienced editor for this team. Senior Projects Editor Courtney Kan and Projects Editors Wendy Galietta, KC Schaper and Jay Wang are a part of this new department and will report to the director.

Newsletters are one of the most personal and effective ways we reach, engage and develop our audience. Our Newsletter Strategy team will make sure The Post’s newsletter portfolio is focused, deliberate and strategic, by delivering products that introduce new audiences to our reporting and help convert new subscribers. Newsletter Assignment Editor Sarah Dunton and Senior Newsletter Editor Kelly Poe will continue to be key to this team. Newsletter Editor Jennifer Baik recently joined The Post, and we are hiring a director as well as two additional newsletter editors.

Michelle Jaconi’s responsibilities are expanding in her new role as director of Newsroom Talent and Community Development. The team has two goals: to continue the strong work Michelle has done with Post personalities on external platforms and to create the means for meaningful conversation with our audiences on our own platforms through Q&As, comments and other tools. We are hiring a Talent and Community Development Editor, Comments Editor and the new role of Social Media Coach.

Chris Meighan’s Emerging News Products team will continue to look for opportunities to create innovative editorial products with the input of editors and teams across the organization, plan and pilot them, and, once they are successful, integrate them into the newsroom. The team will align closely with the newsroom’s core pillars of coverage to be sure that we’re bringing bold, thoughtful and innovative audience-focused news products into the heart of our top coverage areas.

The Special Newsroom Initiatives and Partnerships team, for which we are hiring a director will create excellent and innovative journalism and serve as a critical conduit to our business side. Jeff Dooley will join this team from the Business desk, continuing to edit special sections and related projects as Special Newsroom Initiatives and Partnerships editor. This team will develop ideas that will help the sales team better monetize our journalism and establish strong partnerships with outside organizations that can help us push storytelling boundaries.

All of these teams will continue to work closely with our Next Generation team, led by Director of Next Generation Audiences Phoebe Connelly. They will collaborate with and support Next Gen in its mission to accelerate new initiatives across the organization as we work to expand our audiences.

If you or someone you know is interested in any of the above positions, please reach out to Head of Audience Strategy and Growth Erika Allen as well as Senior Editor for Newsroom Recruiting Sommer Mathis and Senior Newsroom Recruiting Consultant Terrell Mizell.

This is an exciting transition, and we are looking forward to the impact these teams will have on our growth and innovation.


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