2020-04-13 Naviga

Designing Newsletters to Help the Flow of Information During Covid-19 and Other Disruptions

Build an information strategy that helps readers streamline the process of finding and consuming relevant information

Covid-19 is dominating the news. It’s all most of us talk about, and its top of mind for everyone. But being able to cut through the massive outpouring of information around Covid-19 to provide regular, quality coverage is difficult. Even the most avid news reader among us miss stories throughout the day, especially if we are purveyors of multiple news providers and sources.  And each paper must contend with the volume and attention-grabbing headlines that Covid-19 is producing.  For publishers, this means building an information strategy that helps readers streamline the process of finding and consuming the relevant information from access to paywall to delivery. For most, this is achievable with a well-built and timely newsletter or Covid-19 special edition.

Topic specific deliveries, like special editions and newsletters, serve a dual purpose. The first is to provide tailored news that suits the needs of the reader. Right now, its most likely Covid-19 related. But this could also be expanded to 100s of other topical areas from sports and sports teams, international news, entertainment trends or even “most talked about” and “feel good stories of the day.” Where these strategies shine, is in delivering highly relevant content around a reader’s topic of choice. With Covid-19, that means that you can package up all your stories daily, weekly or otherwise and send them directly to users who sign up. Readers don’t have to worry they missed a story and, functionally content is packaged in one place, so they don’t have to waste time sorting through other less relevant content.

Sample newsletter (top portion) from the Colorado Gazette. April 10th, 2020.

The second value point for publishers it that newsletters or special editions can help drive more meaningful engagements. With the massive spike of traffic that most online news sites are experiencing, most publishers are encountering huge volumes of net-new visitors to their sites. This is a great opportunity to capitalize on first engagements and gather an email address that serves to further engagement later. Right now, the primary point of interest is Covid-19, but moving forward interests will expand or shift. Covid-19 is our temporary normal, but it is not indefinite. When we can move past this pandemic, publishers will have the opportunity to build on these new relationships and show readers that the value they provided during these trying times is also found across the rest of their news and organization.

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