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Highlight your best local reporting with year-end “Fave-5” collections

  • 1 min to read
Fave 5

At the close of an eventful calendar year, bring a more personal dimension to related content with a “Fave 5.” Debuting last year on Lee Enterprises’ family of news sites, Fave 5 is an engaging and successful way to highlight your best local reporting. These collections also take advantage of reader interest in year-end roundups.

Here’s how it works:

Top 5 most-read News Nirvana stories 2020

See which stories were the top five most-read from News Nirvana in 2020.

1. Choose five stories

Each reporter chooses what they believe are their most memorable stories of the year. This doesn’t necessarily mean “most popular” by pageviews or metrics, although that would work as well. Reporters may also choose to highlight any work that had an impact locally.

Consider going beyond simple favorites by finding attention-getting themes such as:

  • Positive stories about the schools.
  • Crimes in 2020 that remain unsolved.
  • Stories that changed local politics.
  • Columns that stirred up readers.

2. Assemble a collection with links

Assemble a collection with links to the original articles. Try different presentation modes, such as series or vertical, to see what you like best. Alternately, an article describing the choices with the related stories embedded may be used. Collections work well both standing alone or included inline in articles.

3. Provide a description

Explain the collection’s choices in the overall collection description. Reporters can also provide descriptions about each link highlighted. Ideas include:

  • How these stories made a difference.
  • The impact the stories made in the community.
  • Stories that achieved widespread readership.

4. Add a tracking keyword

Tag the collection with a keyword such as “fave-5.” This helps gauge results of the effort later in Google Analytics. With your team using the specified keyword, Fave 5 does not need to be in the headline and there’s no need to add the keyword to all the original articles.

5. Include the collection on new articles

Begin placing the collections inline throughout articles produced by the author. Place the collection at the bottom of the article anytime another gallery or collection isn’t available. Fave 5 collections and year-end roundups provide additional opportunities for pageviews.

The “Fave 5” program serves a broader strategy: Connecting with readers in a more personal way. This original, engaging content promotion connects newsrooms to readers; even as it helps achieve goals for growth in audience and pageviews.

Get your newsroom engaged in pulling together the basic pieces described above. Early December allows more time to highlight these pieces within reporters’ daily work.

Tim Kelley is the director of digital engagement for Lee Enterprises.

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