Editor’s Note: Larry Kramer of USA Today will be speaking at the 2014 Ohio Circulation Conference on September 28 and 29.
“Today is a good day to be here because we are starting Social Media Tuesdays,” exclaims Larry Kramer, the publisher of USA Today.
At 64, and worth a small fortune, Mr. Kramer could easily be spending the summer on the beach, his four-decade career as a newsman and dot-com entrepreneur in the rearview mirror. Instead, he is bouncing around USA Today’s offices with boyish enthusiasm, discussing his efforts to transform a struggling newspaper into a thriving digital enterprise.
For Social Media Tuesdays, the staff must act as if there is no other way to get their articles except through sites likes Facebook and Reddit. That means USA Today’s journalists diligently place each of their famously punchy, graphic-rich stories onto various social media platforms. The purpose is to get them thinking like their readers, who increasingly get news through their Twitter feeds instead of the paper’s front page or home page.
Initiatives like these are part of a big digital push that has helped USA Today raise its average monthly mobile readership to 25.5 million, an increase of about 48 percent in the last year, according to the data company comScore. (The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, which both have paywalls, have fewer mobile readers. USA Today is free.)