[MIDWAY] Deep Dive into Audience Engagement: New Tools, Personalization, Audio, and More

There are so many types of tech tools and strategies out there that can help publishers and content creators build a greater and more loyal audience. You can choose to develop your own or use something that already exists, but the important thing is for newsrooms to experiment and find ways of improving how they are engaging their existing and potential audience. The right time to build, find, and start using those tools and strategies was yesterday. Don’t fall further behind! Join us for a deep dive into audience engagement that includes small group discussions about new ways to empower your audience, personalize content to your readers and use audio to develop meaningful, loyal relationships.

This session is designed for:

  • Newsrooms feeling like their audience engagement tactics stop at a general newsletter or pushing content via social media
  • Folks looking for inspiration through new strategies and tools to create a loyal audience
  • Smaller budget outlets who are worried audience engagement means you need to spend a lot of money


  • Penny Riordan | Director of Digital Audience Engagement | Gatehouse Media | @PennyRiordan1
  • Penny Riordan is the director of digital audience engagement for GateHouse Media, one of the largest newspaper companies in the country. She works out of the Center for News and Design in Austin. Penny manages the analytics team for the company, and works with newsrooms to grow traffic. Prior to joining the company, she worked at Patch.com for four years, where she led social media, blogging and UGC efforts for the company. She also launched a Patch site in Maryland. Penny has also worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Maryland and Connecticut. She is a alumnus of the University of Maryland at College Park.


  • Hersh Patel | Founder and CEO | Hindsight | @hershpatel91
  • Hersh is a research analyst turned technology entrepreneur focused on the intersection between information, technology, and media. Hersh founded Hindsight with the mission to bring better context to news and is building the first solution with Hindsight’s Smart-Tagging technology. In addition, Hersh is currently helping build a news-first CMS as a part-time Research Associate for The News Project. Earlier in 2018, he graduated from the Tow-Knight fellowship at the CUNY School of Journalism. He is an avid coder, attending Flatiron School in 2017, and previously was an Investment Analyst at Goldman Sachs investing in companies across various sectors including software, media, and healthcare.

  • Adam J. Shapiro | Co-Founder | AlertMe | @adamjshapiro
  • Adam Shapiro is the co-founder of AlertMe, a tool used by publishers to drive content discovery and strengthen the 1-1 relationships with their readers. This relevancy is how 40+ publishers are reducing the “landlord/tenant” relationship with Facebook, drive 1st party data, audience growth & new revenue. Adam is a recovering journalist, who spent most of his career in newsrooms, trying to bring eyeballs to all platforms. He most recently was Executive Editor at WNBC.com, but also worked at WCBS and in tv, radio and newspaper newsrooms around the country. Adam lives in Montclair, NJ with his wife Kelly, two really cute kids, and a puppy that still poops behind the couch.

  • Amelia Chen | Director of Media Partnerships | Public Good | @ameliachen88
  • Amelia is the Director of Media Partnerships at Public Good where she works with publishers across the country to drive meaningful audience engagement by empowering readers to take action on the issues they care about through Public Good's Take Action technology. In a previous life, she worked in asset management and proprietary options trading but found her passion in helping people through entrepreneurial pursuits - having founded a concierge company, launched a pitch coaching camp and built various websites for her friends and family. Amelia lives in Chicago (and loves it!) and is an alumnus of Northwestern University.

  • Jeff Kofman | CEO and Founder | Trint | @JeffreyKofman
  • An Emmy-winning network television news and war correspondent with more than three decades of experience reporting from around the world, Jeff has reported on many of the biggest stories of our time including the Iraq War, the Arab Spring, Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Oil Spill and the Chile Mine Rescue. Jeff began his career in Canada, at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation he was a national news correspondent and anchor, radio host and documentary reporter. In 1997 he joined CBS News as a correspondent in the New York Bureau. In 2001 he joined ABC News as the Miami-based correspondent for Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America. In 2010 he was promoted to ABC News London Correspondent. He won an Emmy for his coverage of the fall of Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi during the "Arab Spring." Jeff left ABC News to build Trint in Dec. 2014. Trint leverages A.I. to transcribe reporters’ interviews, speeches and news conferences.

  • Julia Haslanger | Engagement Consultant Team Lead | Hearken | @JuliaJRH
  • Julia is an engagement consultant team lead with Hearken, a company that helps newsrooms listen to their audiences. Before Hearken, Julia worked as an audience engagement editor at The Wall Street Journal, a page designer at Politico and a web producer for Politico Pro. She earned her master's degree in Social Journalism from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, and her undergraduate degree from the Missouri School of Journalism. On weekends, you'll find her watching Packers football and baking something delicious.

  • Adwoa Boakye | Founder | RecRoom | @addboa
  • Adwoa is the Founder and CEO of RecRoom, the platform for running Audio Surveys. Adwoa founded RecRoom to support the burgeoning realm of Audio Engagement which has led to RecRoom supporting journalists in building loyal audiences and teachers in getting their students to speak. Adwoa graduated from MIT in 2013 with a degree in Computer Science and then moved to Silicon Valley where she worked as a Software Engineer at early and late-stage startups including Medium before moving to RecRoom full-time. Throughout her career Adwoa has focused on demonstrating the power of Media and Education and loves the spaces where they intersect.

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