General News

11 December, 2022

Engagement with readers reaches new heights

THE last 12 months have seen significant growth at The Express. The reach across our social network platforms has seen a marked increase in visitor numbers with the introduction of news video and audio products.

Cadet Journalist Ellie Fink creates another news video which complements The Express’ printed product
Cadet Journalist Ellie Fink creates another news video which complements The Express’ printed product

Over the course of a year, our Facebook page has jumped from 16,000 followers to just over 21,400.

A recent post titled “Spooky Pines”, a story about switching pumpkins for pineapples to give Halloween a more Australian flavour, had a reach of 1.1 million, with over 12,000 comments and 9,000 shares.

The story went above and beyond all expectations as people across the world were intrigued by the idea of creating a spooky Halloween decoration out of pineapples instead of pumpkins and shared it to their friends and family, drawing them to our small locally-owned paper.

Since February, 2,000 new readers have hit the like button on our Facebook page and over 80,000 have visited our page to keep up to date with all the latest news across our readership.

Peak engagement for the Express
Peak engagement for the Express

From a print perspective, the Express has increased its numbers from 12,000 to 14,000, an increase of 15 per cent.

“While we know newspapers are still favoured by our readers as their preferred way to get their local news and sport, we are also aware of the need to increase our digital presence,” managing director Carl Portella said.

“To that end, The Express has started making video news pieces which provide our readers with a visual and audio experience that complements our printed product.”

“An interesting find within our Facebook and Google analytics is 25 per cent of our readers are based in Cairns while the other

75 per cent are from across our greater readership area and our team is honoured to be their trusted news source ‘up the hill’.

“We want to continue providing qual-ity news to our expanding readership so we have invested in some new technology to help deliver news in a variety of ways.

“In February this year, we introduced Ad Auris to our website which is an audio player that narrates our stories back to you through your device.

“In August this year, we aired our first video, which was about the Mt Carbine Bull and Bronc ride, with hopes to show our au-dience more of the action firsthand.”

Editor Robyn Holmes said it was impor-tant to have new ways of engaging readers and offering them different mediums through which they can be informed about what’s happening in the region.

“Our journalists spent several weeks learning the ways of Premier Pro and how to capture the best shots to put together in a way that tells the story best through video,” she said.

“All these videos have been uploaded to our Facebook and YouTube page and we are continuing to find new ways to bring our stories to life.

“Our journalists have also learned how to fly drones, securing their accreditations, learning all the laws, regulations and training, and since then we have used footage to capture stories like the raging fires on Chewko Road in Mareeba, and the amazing Savannah in the Round.

“We appreciate the support of all our readers over the years and we look forward to providing quality locally-sourced news for years to come.”


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