Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Jeff Sonderman (Page 7)

Deputy Director

Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.

He is a leader in helping modern journalism thrive through the right blend of technology, audience engagement, data-driven content strategy, integrated business models, and transformative leadership. He has worked as a writer, editor, manager, coach, trainer, speaker, and consultant with diverse types of news publishers across the country.

He is the architect and developer of API's Metrics for News analytics software that reinvents how publishers use data to inform content strategy. He also edits API's Need to Know newsletter, a uniquely designed resource for spreading fresh, useful insights across the industry, and designed API's Strategy Studies research format for in-depth strategic guidance. And he consults with publishers on a range of issues related to content strategy, organizational transformation, audience development, newsroom structure and workflows, product management, and much more.

He has taught digital journalism at Georgetown University. Before joining the American Press Institute in 2013, he was the digital media fellow of The Poynter Institute. His earlier journalism background includes digital news — helping to launch TBD.com, a local digital news startup in Washington, D.C. — and various roles in newspapers, as an award-winning reporter, online editor and metro editor of The Times-Tribune in Scranton, Pa.

He graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism and resides in Falls Church, Va., with his wife and daughter.

Email Jeff at jeff.sonderman@pressinstitute.org or follow him @jeffsonderman.

How to measure success of sponsored content

Most publishers at our summit said they track all the typical content metrics when measuring the reach of sponsored content — views, unique visitors, time spent, etc. Most also share these metrics with sponsors but guarantee little or no specific results. Publishers that maintain more control over the content seemed to feel more comfortable guaranteeing […]

Unsolved challenges of sponsored content

Even the best experts we gathered for our summit acknowledged some areas where knowledge is missing. Reader impact: For one, it’s difficult to know what readers’ tolerance for and reaction to sponsored content is. For all the talk on many sides about whether credibility is affected, no one knows for sure. More research is needed. […]

Appendix: Participant list and related readings from the sponsored content summit

Related reading We recommend the following resources and articles that were based on or closely related to our sponsored content summit discussion. Defining and mapping the native advertising landscape This report by Altimeter analyst Rebecca Lieb, one of our summit participants, is an efficient and insightful summary of what native advertising is, who the stakeholders […]

Understanding the rise of sponsored content

In recent years news publishers have grappled with an uncomfortable realization: The traditional revenue streams of display advertising and reader subscriptions may not be sufficient to support them in a digital age. Digital display ads command unimpressive rates and engagement, with clickthroughs measured in the tenths of percentage points. Digital subscriptions have recently helped some […]

Why sponsored content is promising for news organizations

The potential for native advertising is enormous. For some publishers it’s already more than just potential — BuzzFeed draws all of its revenue from the model; and more than 50 percent of the Atlantic’s digital revenue is tied to native campaigns. From the conversations at our summit we identified a few underlying reasons. 1. It […]

The definition of ‘sponsored content’

Sponsored content / native advertising appears in many ways. There is no single form, but rather a continuum from banner ads to social media content to large microsites with articles and videos. The fragmented, inconsistent approaches are actually a feature, not a bug — “native” advertising is native to the specific publication or platform it […]

The four business models of sponsored content

There are four distinct models that we’ve seen so far, each with varying levels of involvement from the publisher and brand: Underwriting model: The brand sponsors content attached to normal reporting, or something that the publisher was creating anyway. This model preserves the most editorial independence. The brand is simply paying to have its name […]

Managing risks, maintaining standards and ethics in sponsored content

The resounding consensus we heard from summit participants was that upholding the publisher’s own brand and integrity, and thereby its readers trust, is an important principle. These brands seeking sponsored content partners are coming to publishers not only for their audience size but for their trust and integrity, says Rebecca Davis of Ogilvy. The brands […]

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