He’s here, there, everywhere. Whether he’s offering insight from a stage or in a blog post, Jeff Jarvis is a polarizing fella. He’s easy to like, but I know plenty of folks who tend to bristle at his ideas or conclusions. But love him or hate him, he gets us thinking and talking — which is his goal.

So what’s he all about? For those who haven’t experienced him, here’s Jeff Jarvis in three minutes:

  • Our future is about value, not volume.
  • Our future is about communities: geographic, demographic, use cases of news. (Yes, you can build communities around how people use news.)
  • All readers do not have the same value to your organization.
  • We now sell audience, content and membership. We need to sell skills. We make cool stuff; can we make cool stuff for our readers and advertisers?

Strategies to keep readers informed

  • Provide news summaries (think CBS This Morning’s Your World in 90 Seconds).
  • Give them ability to follow stories (update me, as Circa did; or use Context.ly’s Follow Me button).
  • Provide a mechanism to share background context (similar to a wiki).

The workplace

  • Learn about product development.
  • Create small, cross-functional teams, not silos.
  • Teach teamwork.


  • Determine relevance (in creating content and relationships).
  • Create and nurture individual and community relationships.
  • Observe first, then listen (then talk or write or engage).
  • Become a reader and-or user advocate.
  • Do events, commerce and sponsorships.
  • Tap into existing affinities (senior citizen center, civic groups, travel, sports).
  • Develop loyalty programs and rewards (invite-only, discounts, members-only perks).
  • Embrace distributed publishing – more of your work seen elsewhere than your own properties.
  • Develop user profiles.
  • Replace mass audience with several audiences (paper, Web, mobile, Facebook, Twitter).
  • Give each platform its own producer.

Focus on four metrics:

  • Reach.
  • Engagement (now mostly about us; needs to be about them).
  • Relationship (who do we know, how do we know them).
  • Impact.

Want or need more information on any of these? Reach out to Jeff. He likes to share.

These comments were culled from Jarvis’ keynote talk to the Key Executives Mega-Conference in February 2016.

Brian Steffens  
Director of Communications


Related Stories

comments powered by Disqus
MU | Missouri School of Journalism | University of Missouri