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THE INTREPID

Reinventing journalism using social media.

How do you reinvent something from 1556? 
Traditional newspapers was Tupperware. It was a pyramid scheme... 
Editors at the top decide what the public wants to read. But was that the most efficient way? Or was it even effective? 
The Intrepid took a bold stance, reinventing the proverbial wheel that hasn't changed for 455 years. 
Instead of the editors choosing the story topics, which funnels down to associate editors, writers and then consumers, why not have the consumers dictate what gets reported? 
Before the birth of social listening, click bait headlines and user-generated stories, the first social media-based newspaper strategically laid the groundwork for what we take for granted in 2015. 
And USA TODAY took notice, featuring The Intrepid as a model college newspapers should emulate. 
But how did the strategy impact the publication?
An inverted pyramid philosophy took the Wiki model of participation and leveraged social media to analyze trends.
It allowed editors and writers to be more flexible with their time and gave a higher probability to have its story be read and spread. 
The social media newspaper gained traction, but it became a thought leader overnight by asking its consumers for help. 
No publications could get an interview with a platinum recording artist visiting the area. So, The Intrepid simply asked its users to tweet an automated tweet:
Dear @MIKEPOSNER, @Intrepid_SBU would like to interview you about coming to @StBonaventure. Please set this up! From, #Bonas. 
Within 15 minutes, 30 tweets. Within an hour, more than 100. 
Within 2 hours, Posner's publicist contacts The Intrepid for an exclusive interview. 
But wait. There's more ...
After securing the exclusive, The Intrepid gave its consumers the opportunity to interview Posner directly — and attributed them to the question.
At the concert, the publication took more pictures of students than the artist, as it will be shared more by students.

This exclusive content, with a consistent brand standard replicated throughout all consumers touch points, gave birth to innovative, new-age content and truly becoming a voice and news of the university.
The Intrepid went onto get exclusive stories from faculty and administration. The Intrepid became the No. 1 source for St. Bonaventure sports.
By implementing a strategy and philosophy, The Intrepid still exists today, giving birth to new-age journalists.
But did all of this move the needle? 
  • Interview increased website traffic by 1,250%; maintained growth, increasing average daily traffic by 150%.
  • Last three Mark Hellinger Award winners, the highest honor provided by the journalism school, all started from The Intrepid.
  • Overtook Facebook followers of official campus newspaper and radio station combined in three months since inception (two months after interview).
  • Fundraised industry standard equipment and software not available on campus to educate staff on modern journalism practices.
  • Created first journalism workshops in university to teach industry skill sets.
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