MyRVA+

Repurposing The Richmond Times Dispatch for Digital 

A personalized guide to Richmond

The Ask: 

The Richmond Times Dispatch came to asking for help to increase readership and subscriptions, especially among the 18 - 34 target market

The Opportunity:

The Richmond Times Dispatch has the chance to be the one news source for the young people and can live in a world between print and digital

  • 45% of 18 - 34 year olds get news from mobile pages and apps

  • Nearly 2/3 of adults get news from at least three different sources

  • People spend almost 6.5 hours spent online everyday

The Problem:

Print isn't dying its changing. And we're seeing this not just with the Richmond Times but the newspaper industry in general. 

 

Readers 18 - 34 make up 27.7% of the industry’s market. This is 1/4 of the news readers. 

 

Readers are changing their news consumption habits and going online more to get their new. The Richmond Times Dispatch has to live between two worlds in order to survive: print and digital. 

The Takeaway

Helping to look at how not just RTD can change their model but how print in general can move and evolve towards the digital platform. 

Why do people

share content?

1. To entertain or enrich the lives of others

2. To define themselves

3. To network/grow relationships

4. To feel a sense of purpose

RTD can create social currency through creating community

1. People prefer to curate their own experiences

2. Richmond has grown a lot in the last 10 years

3. People Like to build their own network in the community

4. What people do in RVA depends on what they access to

A New Type of Reader

RTD can target the growing younger population in Richmond through understanding who they are and how they consume news

Consumer Journey

LOOK FOR RELIABLE SOURCES ONLINE

Social media keeps them informed, but it doesn’t always tell them relevant news

SCROLL THROUGH FEEDS AND APPS

Want to find out what events and activities are going on and also looks for what is the news of the day so they can talk to their friends about it

SAVES THE EVENT OR ARTICLE

They save the events or articles that their interested in for future references and share with their friends

SHARES WHAT THEY FIND WITH FRIENDS/FAMILY

They want to be in the know and be able to talk about what’s current or what there is to do with their family and friends and continues to look and share these events with others

User Testing

We interviewed both local and non-local RVA young residents to see where RTD can connect with both locals and transplants

MOST PEOPLE HEAR ABOUT EVENTS THROUGH WORD OF MOUTH

Believe in the people around them and trust their opinions and go off what the interest is like with other people around me

PEOPLE WANT TO INTERACT MORE WITH THE RVA COMMUNITY

Looking for authentic experiences: Richmond has a lot of experiences for people not from here by them and it feels fake

COMMUNITY REQUIRES YOU TO PARTICIPATE AND BE A PART OF IT

The importance of tradition and being a part of that and want experience different events and different people

Immediate Solution: Adapt Print

Offer new subscription services catered to a younger audience

Family Plan: 

Re-imagining the family plan...18 - 34 year olds can share the costs among others and share a subscription with roommates, friends or their significant other. 

Work with Leasing and Property Management Companies:

Have subscriptions included in rent to gain exposure. 18 - 34 year olds are more likely to live in rented properties than buying a home 

Newsletter Option:

Have an option for people to sign up to get a newsletter option for more curated and focused content

Create a Student Subscription:

There are 65,000+ students living in Richmond and the surrounding area and are interested in what Richmond has to offer

Long-Term Solution: Repurpose Digital 

RTD's social has all the content there and needs to be fully been utilized for digital 

Introducing myRVA+

1. Local events/Attractions: 

Includes events happening around the city: music, bars/nightlife, happy hours, festivals

2. Activities: 

Includes activities and things to do around the city: James River, brewery tour, meet-ups/clubs, social events

3. Daily/weekly updates: 

Provide daily and weekly news updates on things going on in Richmond like construction, local achievements, government/politics, etc.

4. Food + Drink: 

Richmond is a foodie and brewery city and people love to eat so featuring new restaurants alongside popular ones that help support the local and growing food scene

Instagram Feed

A curated Instagram feed showing events and places around Richmond that young people are interested in seeing and interacting with

Mobile App:

With people on their phone 24/7 and is the main source of news for younger readers

Team

Brian Spieka: Strategist

Sophie Whitfield: Experience Designer

Lex Coehlo: Experience Designer