Alana Coates, working in the Engagement Team at Financial Times was the Guest Speaker on “Towards Audience-First Journalism” London School of Economics Summer School.
With technological advancements and larger digital platforms reaching people, Journalism has now started adapting itself to these changes that leads to competition and Rat Race among the news media. But Alana brings us to another dimension of how more important it is to stick to the quality of news and yet attract audience. At Financial Times, Audience first is considered the main marketing policy in spite of it being called a cliche in the News Market today. Alana says that Financial Times is trying to get the right audience not a large audience. And today journalism being mobile and happening on news websites through videos, question-answer live sessions, she says that for print media it is harder for them to reach people today. She says that Journalism has changed from being a monologue to now becoming a dialogue propelling a whole new interactive relationship between online platforms and people. This has changed the way traditional newspapers worked.
As a member of the Engagement team, she says that it is important for journalists to know who their audience is and what do they need. It is equally important to understand their expertise to plan out their marketing strategy and the time of publishing. Reactions play a very vital role in comprehending the changing needs of the audience. In this aspect she says that social media helps build loyal audiences as we talk to people directly and a “comment” section helps further with the kind of news audiences want to read. To make this process even more interactive and alive, news media/journalists can further reply to the comments posted by the audience.
Alana quotes that Financial Times has 200 thousand print audience but a lot more global audience but still for Financial Times essentials don’t change. Financial Times still follow the rules of “Traditional” Journalism. She proudly says that Financial Times is data informed and not data led and that priority for Financial Times would always be its audience and not the “clicks”.