what does an audience journalist do, a longer thread

when i tell people i am a journalist, they ask what i write about.

i tell them i run audience for the @TexasTribune. that means i oversee parts of our distribution, social and newsletter strategy. then their eyes glaze over.
so here is what i — the person who worked the sunday audience shift and took notes throughout the day — did today.

i log on at 8:31 this morning. i read the news. i was off yesterday, so i’m behind. i need to catch up. i look at our socials. i catch up.
it is immediately clear to me that “costly texas power bills” is one of the most talked about things amongst our readers.

i flag that for the other folks on weekend duty and write some socials about this topic, including this tweet.
i check google trends and i write a headline for an editor optimized for what terms readers are searching for to find info on power bills.

i take a pass through the questions readers have sent us over text message.

i then write a new text message about power bills. This text message says: Good morning, this is The Texas Trib
we have an faq table embedded throughout the site with some FAQs about the winter storm. last week the most frequently asked questions were about heat. today they are about water and bills. i update the embed. This is what our FAQ module looks like when it is embedded.
a colleague flags an excellent story by the @marshallproject and asks if we can social it around our own journalism.

of course! we love to share good journalism from elsewhere at the tribune. social isn't a zero sum game for us.

i want to make a twitter moment, but i need more tweets about the topic to package together a strong moment. i schedule more tweets. i also give the reporter a heads up so they are aware i am making a moment about their story, just in case their mentions explode later.
i then schedule more socials for the morning, afternoon and evening. i re-up our weekend audio podcast on instagram and twitter. it was really good and you should listen to it, by the way.
a colleague that runs our membership program flags some love we’re getting and suggests a membership appeal. done!

okay, i have caught up some. i take a high level scan of our socials from the past 48 hours + what is coming up, and i compare it with what we have on the site
we have done some really strong visual work — but not all of that visual work is represented on our socials. i get to work.

this includes checking in with the weekend photo editor, picking photos, writing captions.

we schedule socials like this
and like this, too.

we have some of the best data visuals journalists in the biz, and we want their work to shine on social.

(also, i remind myself to not forget the alt text! regina has a great thread here on what that is and why that matters)
some of the posts i have scheduled, by the way, are for instagram. you cannot schedule posts with alt text for instagram. this is an annoying thing. so, i set alarms on my phone for when those posts go live so i can add the alt text immediately.
one item on my list today: clean out our community email inbox, where readers write in questions / concerns / needs.

but a colleague very kindly did this for me. i move this item down to the end of my list later tonight to catch up anything missing.
those tweets i schedule earlier for the twitter moment have all been sent. time to make that twitter moment. twitter.com/i/events/13635…
it is now almost 3 at this point in the day and i haven’t had lunch yet. oops! time to eat. i forget about lunch a lot, for the record!

also the dog needs some attention and love, so going to take a break outside. that's good for me, too.
it’s 3:20; back to work.

we published some news about houston, so let me share that real quick. i want us to have a runway to get started monday morning. i schedule some of our evergreen / feature-y / explainer-y stories to be recirculated on FB and Twitter
we send our flagship newsletter every weekday at 6:30 a.m. and it is time for me to get started on that-

ah wait, there’s breaking news. i want to get this out across social asap. that includes Twitter, IG, Facebook, email and texting our readers

remember that FAQ module on the winter storm I updated earlier and referenced here?

this breaking news update impacts that. i need to update it ASAP.

I should get this in the topic bar at the top of our homepage.
okay back to the newsletter. that takes me about an hour to finish. I file to an editor at 6:20ish.

then i take a break to watch the sunset. it’s beautiful! recommend it.
back to work at 6:45 PM.

i go over the edits i have and i move the brief into mailchimp where I send it to a copy editor.

i didn’t quite finish programming socials for monday a.m. earlier, so i hop back to that.
i fill the monday morning schedule on Facebook and Twitter through 2 p.m. in the afternoon. we will adjust that as need be tomorrow a.m. because there will be news — there is almost always news — but that helps us.
i send* an email to some off-platform distribution points about what we've published and what is coming later.

an editor at one of those places writes me back to let me know some of our journalism is being featured. nice. i document that so we know when we do a post-mortem.
*prior tweet in this thread was in fact done earlier in the day, i just forgot to write it down, so it is out of order. sorry about that!
i was mostly waiting on copy edits, so i took a break to deploy the start of a thread on my personal account.

(yes, this is meta.)

it's 7:53 P.M. at this point. our copy editor is done with our newsletter. i do a test email to test the links. i add 2 missing links. it is ready.
wait, oops, i messed up. this is the email campaign for feb. 23 i was working out of.

tomorrow is feb. 22. the campaign for feb. 22 has different ads in it. i move everything to the right campaign and ask the copy editor for one last look. she catches a thing in that last look.
i'm feeling paranoid about this, so i do another test email with the copy editor.

we find one more very small thing. we feel good about it. we set it to send at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow.
it is 8:20. i take another look at our community@ email inbox. there's nothing pressing there that i need to answer right now.

i look at our incoming text messages. much later than now is too late to text people back. luckily, no new questions.
i am now spent and i am about to log off. but there are a few things i wish i could have gotten to today, but didn't because of Time.™️

those things are...
we have a callout asking folks about how the pandemic / power outages. we try to read every response.

there are about 600+ unread responses right now. i wanted to read some today. i ran out of time.

(more here on why callouts are cool)

we do a daily audience presentation every weekday for our newsroom. i wanted to get started on that tonight,

ran out of time there, too!
this isn’t a typical Sunday. this is what a team tackles on a busy weekday.

but when there is news & readers need things, journalists rise to the moment.

support local journalism, wherever that is for you.

and support The @TexasTribune here: support.texastribune.org


• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Bobby Blanchard

Bobby Blanchard Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @bobbycblanchard

31 Oct 20
1/ I wanted to send this earlier today, but who has the time?

So now presenting a thread: How The @TexasTribune has been helping its readers navigate the elections.
2/ We’ve published our annual voter guide with everything you need to know here, featuring work by @MandiCai, @catlikeDanimal, @itsyasmeenk and @carla_astudi.

3/ We’ve partnered with @ElectionLand to find problems Texans are facing while trying to vote, and we’re doing stories like this one by @kbrooksharper texastribune.org/2020/10/29/tex…
Read 16 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!