Audience Growth and Digital Content Strategies (Gannett 2015)

Course Overview

Audience Growth and Digital Content Strategies (Gannett 2015)
Self-Directed Course
This course is free for American Press Institute E-learning users.
Time Estimate:
This is a self-directed course that you can finish at your own pace. The course should take about four to five hours to complete.

About Self-Directed Courses

In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.

You can't succeed in a changing news marketplace without digital content strategies. That starts with knowing what your audience wants, where they want it, when they want it and how they want it.

This course is your guide to key strategies for your digital content that can help your organization improve its digital presence and grow audience.

Not only will you learn what data you should measure and what the numbers tell you. You'll explore practical approaches to growing your brand through content merchandising, site design and engagement, social media strategies, e-mail marketing and evergreen content.

You'll learn from news media innovators at Deseret Digital Media, including Clark Gilbert, who are mapping a path to the future. You'll also get advice from four media innovators: Scott Lamb, managing editor of; Betsy Morgan, president of; Bob Cohn, editor of The Atlantic Digital; and Lewis D’Vorkin, chief product officer at Forbes Media.

This course also contains two unique interactive tools: a Content Strategies Workbook and a Digital Content Dashboard. Submit data from your organization in the Dashboard to see how well you're meeting your digital goals. The Workbook will help you create an action plan based on the ideas in this course. When you're done, you will have a custom guide for putting a strategy to work in your organization.

What Will I Learn:
  • Ways to keep and grow your readers' engagement
  • Practical approaches to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and social media
  • How to use analytics tools to understand the behavior of your audience
  • Types of user-generated content and how to use them
  • Why evergreen and contributed content should be key elements of your content strategy
Who should take this course:

This course is for anyone in a news organization who is new to digital content, as well as those who are looking to expand and develop their content strategy

Course Instructors:

Clark Gilbert

Clark Gilbert is the president and CEO of the Deseret News Publishing Company and Deseret Digital Media. The Deseret News is Utah’s longest running business and one of the nation’s fastest growing newspapers, both in print and online. Deseret Digital is one of the largest targeted media networks in the country. It manages the commercial Web properties of the Deseret Media Companies:,,, and

Chris Lee

Christopher M. (Chris) Lee is the executive vice president and publisher of the Deseret News and vice president of digital for Deseret Digial Media, Salt Lake City, Utah. He joined DDM in June 2010. He was recently nominated for a three-year term on the board of the Local Media Association. Prior to his arrival at Deseret News, Lee was chairman and CEO at Heritage Makers, a marketer of web-to-print personalized photo products.

Brett Atkinson

Brett Atkinson is the General Manager of He enjoys working with some of the brightest and most innovative people and is thrilled to be associated with them. Brett received his Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communication from Arkansas State University.

Nathan Gwilliam

Nathan Gwilliam is the director of strategic verticals and social strategy for Deseret Digital Media. He is responsible for planning, developing, marketing and managing a network of strategic vertical sites focused on mission-oriented and values-based topics. Gwilliam is also responsible for the company-wide social strategy across all products.

Graydon Johns

Graydon Johns is the News Director for He coordinates the online efforts with KSL-TV and KSL Newsradio to provide timely, accurate and interesting news content on He also serves as the liaison between the technical team and content managers to better streamline processes. He also works on the Deseret Digital Media Sports Committee, which regularly looks at ways to improve online sports coverage.

Mark J. Miller

Mark J. Miller has written for American Journalism Review, Presstime, Crain's BtoB's Media Business, Folio: magazine and Digital Magazine News as well as Glamour, Details, The Washington Post,, Sports Illustrated for Kids and Runner's World, among many others.

Training Partner:

American Press Institute

The American Press Institute advances an innovative and sustainable news industry by helping publishers understand and engage audiences, grow revenue, improve public-service journalism, and succeed at organizational change.