The Local News Accelerator is a broad program comprised of three different common problem areas in the news industry and solutions of how to overcome them. It encompasses the Subscription Acquisition, Subscription Retention, and Membership Retention Accelerators. Funded and organized by The Facebook Journalism Project, the programs include hands-on workshops led by news industry veteran Tim Griggs, a grantmaking program organized by The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, and regular reports on best practices authored by both The Lenfest Institute and the Facebook Journalism Project.
Subscription Acquisition Accelerator
Over the course of three months, the initial Subscription Acquisition Accelerator helped 14 metro newspapers take their digital subscription business to a new level. It has since expanded to include additional news organizations
Working with program coaches, publishers designed individual projects to tackle their unique business needs. Grant funding empowered each publisher to implement solutions that help elevate their digital subscription business.
Subscription Retention Accelerator
Digital subscriber retention – a complex mix of art and science – was the focus of this Local News Accelerator, with participating teams from 16 U.S. metro news organizations.
Teams from each group represented a number of key disciplines – marketing, newsgathering and presentation, product, UX, analytics, etc., each with key roles in supporting subscriber engagement and stewardship. The benefit of these activities is clear — even a small increase to retention can have a huge impact on subscription revenue over time.
The three-month Membership Accelerator focused on helping local news organizations serve their communities and build compelling membership programs. Participating organizations were: MinnPost, PublicSource, RichlandSource, Whereby.us, Spirited Media, Bridge Magazine, Wisconsin Watch, VT Digger, KOSU, Berkeleyside, DPTV, WABE, City Limits, Patch, CALmatters, KUER, and Rivard Report.