Serri Graslie

Men in America, pt. II: Bringing in the audience

All Things Considered‘s expansive Men in America series was a success on many accounts, particularly where social media is concerned. Some of the highlights:

#menpr – A short hashtag that served us well across all social media platforms; we used it for both call outs and general promotion

How To Be A 21st Century ‘Gentleman’ – A week before reporter Shereen Marisol Meraji’s story aired, we did a Reddit AMA with Washington Post advice columnist Steven Petrow. In addition to driving people to the previous stories and generating a great discussion that informed the last interview in the series, it also had one of the longest engagement time of any AMA Reddit’s communications director had ever seen – 6:10.

From Axes To Razors, The Stuff That Makes You Feel Manly – We again used one of Shereen’s stories as a springboard to ask men (and women) about the objects that make them feel manly. We solicited answers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and were able to compile them all nicely with Storify. I think this worked, in large part, because of the amazing image the multimedia team got for the first story.

Break Out The Hanky: Tom’s Got It Out For Your Tearducts – We did an online and on-air call out about the “movies that make men cry” and received more than 3,600 responses. In reading through them, fellow producer Colin Dwyer and I noticed a theme: Tom Hanks everywhere. The radio producer used that tidbit in the on-air letters segment and we wrote the web-only companion about the Hanks scenes people cited over and over again.

Other social media endeavors that worked well: This call out helped us collect a ton of movie/TV clips for intro montages on the radio, this call out helped reporter Richard Gonzales find the person he profiled for a story on older dads, this call out in the /r/Army subreddit helped us find the military father and son for this conversation, and this commentary owes its success to the NPR Facebook, which gave it a huge traffic boost at one point and helped make it the #4 piece in the series.

(Note: I also shared this review with NPR’s “Social Sandbox”)

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