Know your audience:

Strategies for increasing reach &
engagement of your journalism



Instructor: Amanda Zamora

July 15 - August 11, 2019


Who is your audience? How many people did you reach? If and when these questions arise, it is often after we have already published something. “Know your audience: Strategies for increasing reach & engagement of your journalism” is meant to help you think through these questions before you publish. In fact, long before you have finished writing, reporting or designing something to publish, you should be thinking about who you are developing this project/product for. This course will give you a roadmap for clarifying your goals, identifying your audience and designing an experience to reach that audience.

The course is $95 and is designed for anyone in a newsroom from anywhere in the world who is interested in audience engagement.





Registering in the platform is easy. Please follow these steps:

  • 1. Create an account in the Journalism Courses system. Even if you’ve taken a course with us before, you may need to create a new account. Check to see if your previous username and password work before creating a new account.
  • 2. Wait for a confirmation in your email indicating that your account has been created. If you do not receive this, please check your spam folder.
  • 3. Pay the $95 registration fee. The payment must be made only by those who already have an account in the Journalism Courses system. The username and email you used in the system will be required when you complete payment.
  • 4. You will receive an email confirming your registration, and granting you access to the introductory module of the course.

Please add the email addresses knightcenter@austin.utexas.edu and ryansagare@utexas.edu to your address book to ensure you receive emails about the course.

In this course, you will learn about goal setting, audience research, product/platform research, user research, project management, analytics and measurement.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Draft a strategic audience map for your work
  • Conduct basic audience and product/platform research
  • Set goals for your work and measure your progress against them
  • Run basic experiments to test methods of growth/engagement
  • Introduction Module: Course Introduction

    In the introductory module, you will get an overview of the course structure and meet the instructor.


    Module 1 - What is an audience map?

    In this module you will learn to:

  • Know your current audience (or define a prospective one)
  • Begin an audience map for a specific project with clear editorial/content goals

  • Module 2 - Who do I hope to reach/serve?

    In this module you will learn to:

  • Build an audience map by naming the specific audience(s) you aim to reach
  • Research your prospective audience (and the competition!)
  • Refine your editorial/content goals accordingly

  • Module 3 - How will I reach/serve my audience?

    In this module you will learn to:

  • Continue a content and production plan with your audience map
  • Draft a promotional plan, including content optimization and campaign tracking

  • Module 4 - Measuring your success

    In this module you will learn to:

  • Finalize your audience map with quantitative/qualitative goals
  • Gather baseline data about your audience/product
  • Run a basic experiment
  • Amanda Zamora leads The Texas Tribune’s audience growth and engagement efforts. A native Texan, Amanda joined the Tribune in 2016 after spending 13 years on the East Coast working for news organizations including The Huffington Post Investigative Fund, The Washington Post and ProPublica. Amanda got her start as a cub reporter at the Austin American-Statesman after graduating from the University of Texas. She strives to leverage her storytelling, digital and audience skills to create journalism that actively engages people in the issues that matter most to them. When she’s not poring over spreadsheets, she’s (hopefully) dancing, cooking or traveling the world.

    This course is open to anyone interested in learning about audience development, including writers, content editors, social media managers, engagement editors, marketing managers or anyone else interested in audience growth and engagement methods. Those already involved in audience development are encouraged to join the course to deepen their skills and to provide additional insight on the topic.

    This course requires you to use Excel or Google Sheets.

    First of all, note that this is an asynchronous course. That means there are no live events scheduled at specific times. You can log in to the course and complete activities throughout the week at your own pace, at the times and on the days that are most convenient for you.

    Despite its asynchronous nature, there are still structures in place for the duration of the course.

    The material is organized into four weekly modules. Each module will be taught by Amanda Zamora and will cover a different topic through videos, presentations, readings and discussion forums. There will be a quiz each week to test the knowledge you've gained through the course materials. The weekly quizzes, and weekly participation in the discussion forums, are the basic requirements for earning a certificate of participation at the end of the course.

    This course is very flexible, and if you are behind with the materials, you have the entire length of the course to complete them. We do recommend you complete each of the following before the end of each week so you don’t fall behind:

  • Video lectures
  • Readings and handouts/exercises
  • Participation in the discussion forums
  • Quizzes covering concepts from video lectures and/or readings
  • A certificate of completion will be available for those who meet all of the course requirements. Once the course ends, the Knight Center will review your activity in the course and will send a message letting you know if you fulfilled the course requirements and if you qualify for the certificate. If you don't yet qualify, we'll tell you which activities you still need to complete. If you do qualify, we'll send you instructions on how to download a PDF copy of your certificate through the course platform. You will be able to then download your certificate before the course closes. The certificate is awarded by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas to attest to the participation in the online course. No formal course credit of any kind is associated with the certificate.

    In order for you to be eligible for the certificate of completion, you must:

    • Listen to the weekly video classes and read the weekly readings
    • Complete weekly quizzes with a 70% minimum score. (You can retake the quizzes as many times needed. Only the highest score will be recorded.)
    • Create OR reply to at least one discussion forum each week

    Please add the email addresses ryansagare@utexas.edu and knightcenter@austin.utexas.edu to your address book to ensure you receive emails about the course.




    Connect With Us:

    Facebook Twitter