Jennifer Maerz

Jennifer Maerz is an API contributing writer. She is a digital media strategy consultant and was formerly the editor-in-chief of The Bold Italic and music editor at SF Weekly.

Embrace a culture of experimentation to find methods of reaching young audiences

In the end, successfully reaching Millennial readers requires a process of continually striving to understand this audience — by empowering younger staffers from diverse backgrounds in your newsroom, by writing in an authentic voice, by creating strong visual components to your content, by meeting their needs for news on busy schedules, by understanding as a […]

The best practices for reaching a Millennial audience

The long-term viability of media companies today depends on understanding Millennials — a massive, influential demographic that grew up connected to the Internet, social platforms, and smart devices. This generation, tethered to the world through technology, has developed digital routines that directly affect how they consume and share news. Younger readers have expectations about the […]

Step up your visual journalism skills to stand out in social media

In our study of Millennial news habits, we found that, while there are many pathways to news for young news consumers, social media plays a preeminent role. Looked at as a whole, 88 percent of Millennials get news from Facebook, 83 percent look to YouTube, and 50 percent stays current through Instagram. These are overwhelmingly […]

Engage your Millennial audience on the platforms they’re populating

“Any time there is a reporter on Periscope that goes live, I will tune in. It’s raw and unedited and unscripted and usually has a more personal perspective. You’re getting the closest you can and there’s no time limitation on interviews. It leaves time for emotion, and a real story. Not a story as a […]

Give readers content they can consume on the go

“People read the news beyond just wanting to know what’s going on in the world; [it also] has to do with keeping up with their peers. I want to know what’s going on because it almost feels like a disservice to the people I’m hanging out with to not be aware of what’s going on.” […]

Interact with a Millennial audience offline through events

“If I get [news] through [peers and social media], it’s more personal and I’m more inclined to follow up about it and prioritize that over some potentially equally valuable news item. If it’s more important within my social group, it’s more important to me.” — Oliver, age 29, San Francisco With so many media outlets […]

To reach Millennials, publishers have to employ some and listen to them

There aren’t special code words — like sprinkling a few emojis or ICYMIs — that unlock a Millennial readership. The investment in reaching this demographic starts inside the newsroom. If publications want younger readers, editors should be hiring and empowering Millennial staffers and allowing them to assert some influence in the workplace. This means making […]

Make your news relevant to Millennials by developing an approachable writing voice

“Sometimes with longer news events that have a larger scope, I’ll learn about them through The Daily Show or some other outlet that I use more as a curatorial news source, and then I’ll seek out harder facts about it from more legitimate news sources.” — Oliver, age 29, San Francisco As Millennials come to much […]

Make room for new products and startup units within your legacy organization to reach Millennials and other new audiences

From Gannett to The Charlotte-Observer, The Chicago Tribune, and The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, legacy media companies are seeing value in creating lightweight, startup-style spinoffs that approach voice, content, revenue, and distribution from fresh perspectives, earning strong Millennial followings along the way. By positioning The Bold Italic, CharlotteFive, RedEye, and Unravel as independent brands, these media companies […]