Reaching Your Target Audience

A successful, coordinated launch should result in a first batch of tips. But you'll want to remind people about the project so that you can receive tips on a regular basis. So it's important to remind partners to continually share the tip form on social media and to link to it in relevant stories, even if they're not sourced from the project.

Every time the project is mentioned on air or as part of a story on the topic of your project, you’ll get more responses. So it’s important to remind partners to mention that they’re looking for participants and to link to the tip submission form.

For Documenting Hate and Electionland, we included sample language that newsrooms could use in initial conversations with partners and onboarding documents, and that they could send out in regular reminders by email.

You may also want to consider creative ways to reach communities in order to get more tips, such as handing out flyers at events or snail-mailing flyers, which we have tried at ProPublica. You could also experiment with sending postcards or putting up flyers. Some projects, like the Bureau Local's homeless project, use a hashtag to promote their form.

For radio and broadcast partners, it's really useful to mention the project on air and direct people to the form, so it's handy to have a short link to use on air.

With Documenting Hate, we've received our biggest batches of tip traffic from:

  • Partners with large followings sharing the form on social media

  • After major news events

  • Partners with large followings putting the form on a prominent place on the site with SEO-friendly headlines