Saturday, February 19, 2011


The problem

A few different editors in the newsroom had accounts on Scribd, which would be used to upload documents we needed to share on I decided one newsroom Scribd account would be a better idea for several reasons:
  • All documents uploaded for our publications would be accessible in one place
  • N-H staffers would have an easier time sharing any of our documents, and aggregating similar documents published at different times
  • N-H readers would be able to discover other documents uploaded to our account
  • N-H staffers could monitor statistics for document reads and shares

The solution

I created a Scribd account for NewsHeraldinOH, matching the username and avatar utilized in the paper's Twitter account to help solidify our brand. Then I put together a brief instructional form to assist staff members who had not used Scribd and did not know how to upload, edit and share documents:


Because my jobs responsibilities are split between laying out the print edition and posting content to the website, I understand that information cannot always be presented easily in the same way in both formats. I discovered Scribd is the perfect solution for this: I can create PDFs of tables and charts that run in the print edition, and post those to Scribd to embed online.
Real estate sales, average prices
Ohio in Congress, 20101210

Making it work better

For each document uploaded, I used the description to explain the document and link back to the story on, when applicable. I tagged each document with terms related to the document (i.e., Government, Congress, Sherrod Brown) and to our account (i.e., newsherald, ohio, lake county), so our materials would show up in search results on Scribd.

Additionally, I created three different collections of documents to keep related items in one folder:
  1. Voting records: Reports of weekly activity in Congress, including how area representatives and senators voted
  2. Bob Feller: Timeline and statistics from Bob Feller's life
  3. Announcement forms: Forms for readers to fill out when submitting items for the paper's Announcements section

The results

Stats for NewsHeraldinOH on Scribd from Nov. 30, 2010 (date of account creation) through Jan. 31, 2011
Total reads4,638
Reads on Scribd1,709
Embed reads2,929 (total)
   on News-Herald.com2,475
   on Northen Ohio Local Politics448
Reads per day74
Engagement4 minutes, 15 seconds (average)

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