In 2014, we had, on average 62 site views every day. In May of 2015, we averaged over 200 views every day through the power of social media.
My current co-Editor-in-Chief was the Social Media Editor, and I was the Chief Investigative Reporter, but we were the only two students with access to the account last year. We made it a priority to expand our audience. We have since really fine-tuned our social media strategy, but we are always learning.
After working on our own social media, which you can view by clicking the links on this page, I took over two social media positions for the summer. I interned at Bad Rhino Inc., a small and local social media marketing firm, where I got to work on the Pinterest and Instagram accounts for their clients. I also joined Students Helping Students, a Philadelphia-based 501(c)3 that works to redistribute supplies to schools in need and managed their social media accounts. In a little over a month, I brought their Students Helping Students’ Twitter account from scratch to 2,000 followers, and nearly doubled their following on Facebook and Instagram.
Social media is crucial for the success of our publication. This year, four staff manage our publication’s social media accounts, and we use Slack to share ideas and check in with each other.
National High School Journalism Convention Presentation
Our First Freshman Survey
Under my leadership, we started a brand-new tradition in August 2015 – a freshman survey. We were inspired by The Crimson at Harvard University, and hoped to engage a totally new readership before they even had their first day of classes.
We passed out wristbands that had “Malvern Prep Class of 2019” on one side and our website mpfriarslantern.com on the other side. Every freshman wanted one and we instantly established ourselves as a “cool” activity on campus.
The second day of their orientation, we presented all the information that we collected and the freshman were really engaged. It was great for the students to learn about their peers, and the teachers to learn about their new students. Even the admissions staff approached us to get statistics for their use.
From this survey, we got a lot of interested freshman who wanted to join the staff, and started off our relationship with a quarter of the student body on a great note.
We are always taking into account the best ways to engage with all of our different types of readers.
The demographic stats have taught us that parents, espeically moms, are our main source of Facebook traffic, while students tend to be our main Twitter traffic. We diversify our coverage among six different section areas in our publication to attract people with all various types of interests: Friar (Student) Life, Sports, Arts, Media and Technology, News, and Editorial.
The students that are huge into movie previews – we have articles for that. The students that are worldly and politically focused – we have articles for that. The students who love sports – we have articles for that. Regardless of their interest, we probably have something every issue that fits it. The same goes for parents, alumni, faculty, and any other segment of our readership.
Under my leadership, we were able get our first student-led budget from the school’s activities program.
At the start of the year, my co-Editor-in-Chief, adviser, and I met to come up with a plan for the whole school year regarding number of pages, color, and conference fees. After we drafted a plan, we were able to get this funding. We have made adjustments when needed, but our publication now has a budget template to use for future years.
This winter, the school’s administration approached us about sending out the paper to around 100 important members of the community, including the Board of Trustees and some major school donors. We worked to get funding from the Development Office to pay for the extra copies and mailing, and support color production for the rest of the year.
We are currently investigating ways we can start bringing in revenue, including a subscription service. Because we currently are sending it out to community members, the infrastructure already exists. I know my grandma is extremely excited about it.