Within a relatively short period of time, bots have emerged as one of the more intriguing new technologies available on the market. However, the question of how to most effectively utilize it remains a bit murky for news organizations. 

Andrew Haeg, founder of GroundSource and Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow, is exploring how his community engagement platform can transform bot-driven messaging to improve news coverage and strengthen the relationship between newspapers and their local communities.

“The age of conversation offers up the potential for every reader to develop their own personal relationship with a newspaper,” Haeg said.

When a company or organization first signs up with GroundSource, they can set up a unique phone number that is used solely to interact with sources via text or voice. By sharing that specific number to the community, ordinary people can message in a particular issue on their mind or respond to a question posed to them by texting in a key word.

As more sources interact, GroundSource automatically develops detailed profiles of each source by occasionally asking them demographic questions.

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