Laura Hazard Owen of the Nieman Lab interviewed Renee Kaplan, head of audience engagement at the Financial Times, about how it is trying to gain more female readers.
Here is an excerpt:
OWEN: Once you had all of this research, what did you do with it?
KAPLAN: We created a company-wide working group called the Women’s Working Group that included a very senior person from every part of the business — editorial, marketing, communications, product, HR. We got together and shared the insights from our internal analysis and internal and external research. Each part of the business committed to coming up with a work stream to try to achieve one goal: We want more female subscribers.
We didn’t identify a particular target — though now we do have a target; we’re not ready to share the number, but we’re trying to align our female readership targets with a more general gender-balance target. We set a shorter-term target, within the calendar year, of growing our number of female subscribers.
We created a dashboard that monitors, in real time, what our female subscribers are reading most and least, and what the proportion of female readers is for each section of the paper. We integrated this into our principal editorial dashboard, Lantern, so that anyone in the newsroom can access it from any device at any time. This creates a little bit of accountability and understanding that, as a journalist or an editor, there is something you can do. If something is doing particularly well with women, you can think about commissioning more of it, or you can request homepage or social promotion for it. You can see which sections of the paper have a bigger problem, and who’s ahead of the game.
Read more here.