Audience Planbook: A Step-by-Step Plan to Transform Newspapers

The Big Scary Project that I’ve been yammering about for the last five months is finally live & open for business.

The way out of the maze just got a little easier (click for larger image).

The way out of the maze just got a little easier (click for larger image).

The Audience Planbook was designed to guide newspaper execs through the process of transforming their familiar (but no longer safe) businesses into popular & profitable New Media information centers.  Here’s what the front page looks like:

This Planbook is an answer to one of the most persistent and trenchant objections to all this “New Media Strategery” — that is, that previous case studies and industry analyses have been long on strategy, and short on tactics.  There are hard drives bursting with essays, webinars and podcasts calling for “disintermediated information flows” and “leveraging Web 2.0 to enhance user experience,” but the practical means by which to transmute these philosophies into concrete policies & procedures has been lacking.

No longer.

I’d like to publicly thank & brag about my writers:

Chapter 1: Stacy Lynch writes about how to assess your current situation to spot where opportunities exist – even in this down economy & print-hostile environment.

Chapter 2: Heather Schlegel (aka Heathervescent) shows how to construct User Personas to start focusing in on audience groups that you want to turn into readers/users/contributors/evangelists.

Chapter 3: Chris Willis takes on one of the toughest problems in media organizations: the change-resistant culture, and shows how to start the internal change that will then manifest itself as an external renaissance.

Chapter 4: Francis Pisani brings a breath of fresh air to the product launch process – his experience as an “Alpha Blogger” in France & Spain brought him into contact with tech teams that are doing spectacular things.

Chapter 5: Sean McDonnell uses his experience of working to build communities for the banking and financial sector to show off the newest viral marketing tools.

Chapter 6: Erik Johnson shows how to push, pull, coax and haul our audiences up the engagement ladder; because an engaged user is far more valuable than a drive-by browser.

Chapter 7: Janine Warner dissects the business and organizational structures that New Media companies are using to produce this kind of content.

Chapter 8: Kevin Featherly takes the results of all this labor, and shows how to make an informed decision to “hold ‘em or fold ‘em.”

I am tremendously proud of the work that they all have done.  We are all trying to peer into cloudy crystal balls here, and they have uncovered some real gems.

The Hedgehogs Know One Big Thing – And They’re Talking to Each Other

We set out from the very beginning to avoid the “view from 30,000 feet” essays in favor of identifying as best we could specific tools & techniques that managers could start to use to transform their operations.

I write a lot more about that in my introduction:

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