How Reach uses NewsWhip to stay on top of the news cycle

November 3, 2022

Written by Diane Peters

If there’s one thing Reach Plc has, it’s, well, reach. The UK-based company operates 130 national and regional print and online media brands in the U.K., including magazines like OK!, local-focused websites like the Manchester Evening News,  Leicestershire Live and national outlets like the Daily Star, Daily Express and Daily Mirror – with the latter regularly being one of the top three publishers on Facebook in the world. In that same vein, Reach has the highest overall engagement of any publisher on Facebook when you add all of their titles together.

Yara Silva, group head of social media for Reach, supports these publications with social media posts, but also tracks the success of Reach’s stories. Her team of 25 editors is so dialed into social media that a key part of their job is to suggest story ideas based on topics they see trending online. “Our reporters prioritize requests from the social team because social media is our biggest referrer,” she says. “If we want something, they will often drop what they’re doing and jump on it.”

Silva’s team can’t orchestrate social media at this level without some help. Their go-to digital tool? NewsWhip, which provides critical online insights – including how stories are trending and whether posts could go viral – that Silva and her colleagues can’t find anywhere else. “Our team is entirely focused on making things as engaging on social as possible and getting traffic to sites but also getting our brands out there,” she says. “NewsWhip is really helpful for that.”

Unique analytics

While Silva’s team also uses other insights tools, she says NewsWhip is the superior platform. “It has probably the best Twitter insights that I’ve come across,” she says. The platform also offers real-time insights into Reddit. NewsWhip helps curate the massive amount of chatter on the always-expanding platform. “The Reddit function is incredibly useful for finding stories because you can find stuff on there that hasn’t been written about yet,” she says.

It can take a quick round of training to get social media editors comfortable using NewsWhip, but once they figure it out, data around everything from likes, to shares, to virality is laid out in a way that trained journalists – not all of whom are comfortable with number-driven metrics – can comfortably understand. “I like looking at analytics and how things compare when it’s presented in a format like a table or a graph,” she says. “I can understand and share that without explaining too much.” She often sends a screenshot to quickly get her point across.

Charting success

Silva uses NewsWhip in several ways, but for starters, she looks at the analytics to see how her title’s own stories are doing. “Maybe it was a headline that mentioned a specific celebrity that did brilliantly while another that mentioned another person flopped,” she says. “We’ll feed that back to our people so they can make sure their headlines are as engaging as possible.”

This type of tracking is especially useful for assessing coverage related to holidays, other recurring events and seasonal topics. “If there’s an event coming, we’ll look back at what worked for us last year and see what we can learn from that,” she explains.

Silva generates regular reports on how stories from Reach publications are performing on a wide range of social media platforms. While the company can access analytics from its own websites, of course, NewsWhip gives her team access to more wide-reaching information about where people found stories via social, and how they engaged with them.

This information helps writers and editors who have traffic targets they’re trying to hit with their stories. “With Facebook and social being such a big referrer for us, they’re much more likely to hit their targets if their stories take off on Facebook,” says Silva, adding that the data helps to motivate the editorial teams.

Story generation

What Silva loves about NewsWhip is its ability to drill down into various social sites and suss out the next big thing. “It’s incredibly useful for finding stories that haven’t been written about yet,” she notes. “Content that’s sort of going viral, but it’s bubbling underneath still; it hasn’t quite taken off yet, but you can find it the moment before it takes off.”

Given that Reach is in the business of generating a steady stream of timely content for quick-hit reads, those news-tracking tools are invaluable to Silva and her colleagues. “My team uses NewsWhip to find story ideas,” she explains. “Tracking our competitors and following trending topics and seeing what is working. We might find a story that’s going viral for another publisher and we’ll flag that to the relevant team, they’ll write it, and we try to get it up on our social accounts as fast as possible. Speed is very important.”

With so many publications to support and so many tasks at hand – not just running Reach’s social channels, but charting success and influencing editorial choices – Silva and her team need the best technology at hand to get it all done, and done fast. She says of NewsWhip: “We use it extensively, every day.”

Read more about how our partners use NewsWhip on our Customer Stories page.

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Diane Peters

Diane Peters is a Toronto-based writer, editor, and teacher. She write books, magazine stories, newspaper articles, reports, web sites, and blogs, covering topics such as health, business, parenting, technology, education and arts and entertainment.

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