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Storytelling tips and best practices

Strategy

How to make local listeners care about your story

If you’ve ever wondered if your listeners were hanging on every word of your story or podcast, we now have some hints. Data from NPR One provides a rare glimpse into how people listen. This is the sort of data podcasters have been begging for from Apple (and they’re finally getting it). But at NPR,

A blueprint for planning storytelling projects

It’s important to begin any storytelling project with intention. Before you start making things, you should have a clear sense of who you’re trying to reach, what you’re trying to say and the scope of your project (on all platforms). This blueprint is designed to help. Read through the entire blueprint first. When you’re ready

5 things to do when programming Facebook

Media organizations, repeat after me: Facebook is not made for you. It may adapt somewhat to your presence, but ultimately it’s made for the 1 billion-plus people who are having a conversation on it. If you’re lucky, your story might sometimes be the topic of that conversation; if you’re smart, you’ll be engaged in the

Unleash the trainer within! (We couldn’t resist … )

Journalism coaches, professors and trainers — this one’s for you! As the new year begins, we thought we would share a few of our favorite guides aimed at helping you teach and inspire others: Plan your editorial project (with many sticky notes): Have you resolved to be more deliberate in your project or coverage planning

Your next great idea might be hiding in this list

Ideas come from unexpected places. That’s why when I was recently asked to put together a “reading list” to share with station representatives for a conference, I was excited to curate a broad collection. I’ve found it can be useful to look just beyond the boundaries of your everyday tasks for resources that both inspire

What improv lessons taught us about live video

We’ve been doing a lot of live video on Facebook lately (upwards of 80 a month). Folks in the newsroom have embraced it and we’ve had fun playing with different formats and approaches. Still, with this new form comes a completely new set of challenges for even our most seasoned radio reporters. They’re suddenly facing strange

Plan your editorial project in 13 steps (and with lots of sticky notes)

So you’ve decided to launch a new project — a vertical, a series, or something else. What happens next is usually a flurry of questions. Where do we start? What should we cover? What shouldn’t we cover? Who’s our audience? How is our thing different from all of the others out there covering _______ (tech, health or something else)? In

9 types of local stories that people like to share

When you come across a story about your town, city or state, what makes you want to share it? We conducted an experiment using local stories from NPR member stations on Facebook to find the answer and came up with nine different categories: Place Explainers, Crowd Pleasers, Curiosity Stimulators, News Explainers, Major Breaking News, Feel-Good Smilers,

Acting on analytics: Using data to make editorial decisions

If you publish to a website, you probably have access to some sort of analytics dashboard where you can see which posts are performing well — and which ones aren’t. But what actions can you take with that information? This document will help you use metrics data to make informed editorial decisions. (Print it out!)