Hire me

ji joy
At Journalism Interactive in Gainesville, Fla., 2016

My goal is to help you envision and work toward a more committed, more rewarding, more collaborative relationship with the people you most want to reach and serve.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so we’ll work together to articulate your mission and goals before developing strategies. Then I’ll help you and your organization move forward in a way that is optimistic, practical and purposeful.  

My background is journalism, and I get a thrill out of helping the industry I love so much stay relevant and audience-focused. Of course, the transformation of digital communication clearly applies outside newsrooms, and I also enjoy working with other organizations that are interested in adapting their organizational cultures and products to better serve their audiences or clients.

Scroll down for testimonials from previous clients and colleagues, and get in touch at joy@joymayer.com

How I can help you:

Whether you want a one-time Skype session, a lecture or speaking engagement, an on-site staff training, or a months-long consulting relationship, I look forward to helping you evolve. Here are some sample services I offer, with links that will give you a window into my philosophies.

SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY: What do you hope users learn about you on your social channels, and what do you hope they’ll do in response? I can help you create a social media publishing plan, based on what you hope to achieve and what relationship you want with your users. We’ll look at your social analytics and goals and create a plan for producing each channel, including a framework for the pacing of posts, a cheat sheet for different types of posts, design templates for visual components and recommendations for logistics and staffing needs. I can then train your staff to execute the plan and provide evaluation and tune-up sessions.

Related reading:

ANALYTICS AND MEASUREMENT: What qualifies as “success” for your organization? When something “works,” what does that mean? What are you doing that’s “working,” and what are you doing that’s falling flat? I’ll evaluate what you’re measuring, what data you’re overlooking and what you wish you knew about how your audience responds to your work. I’ll help you identify the metrics that tie most closely to your mission, and we’ll make a customized plan for tracking success and impact.

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AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: How can you base what you’re doing on the actual needs of the people you aim to serve? How can you host and join conversations around what you cover and find out what matters most to people? And do you have a plan to make sure the content reaches the users who most need it? The process of gathering and producing the news should be more transparent, collaborative and social, and getting there means being willing to adjust your routines, workflow and organizational culture.  I can work through these issues with your newsroom overall and/or help with specific projects or coverage areas with smaller groups. Let’s make a plan to ground your work in the priorities and expertise of the community.

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TELLING THE STORY OF YOUR WORK: Do you invest in telling your community or your audience what you stand for and what you offer? Too many brands don’t. Let’s work on clearly articulating what you wish people knew about you — your values, your services, your priorities, your mission, your competitive advantage, etc. Then let’s pull from strategies I’ve tested to work the story of your brand into your communications. Don’t just hope your users understand how great you are. Learn how to tell them why you’re relevant and important in ways that feel genuine, not forced.

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STRATEGIC PLANNING AND CONTENT STRATEGY: Is it time for you as an organization to step back and talk about your mission and goals? What are you in business to do? Who are you in business to serve? Is it “working”? Are you providing content your audience wants? Let me guide your staff through those questions. I’ll get you working through the answers, and together we’ll craft a plan for staffing, content, audience, feedback and community outreach.

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What previous clients and colleagues have said:

Kelley Griffin, vice president of news, Colorado Public Radio
Ever since Joy opened our eyes to the potential of social media to improve our reporting and connection to communities gathered there, reporters have adopted a new phrase: What would Joy do? This gets us thinking about how to be out in the social community as we report and after the story is done to understand the responses to it. It broadens our thinking and deepens our reporting. Joy provides specific tools for seeking out relevant communities on social media, and prompts us to ask “where would people be talking about this?” As a result we are getting story ideas and sources from people who’ve never heard of us — a big move beyond our usual suspects! To top it off, we like to say Joy is aptly named — she brings such passion and enthusiasm to this work, along with concrete experience in how newsrooms can use these tools.

John Collins, director of Weave News, an alternative news site based at St. Lawrence University
Joy’s approach to working with Weave News was professional, respectful, and inspiring. She took the time to get to know our grassroots media organization and staff in detail, and her recommendations demonstrated an ideal combination of empathy, vision, and constructive critique. Through our conversations with her we were able to grapple effectively with a key set of questions concerning organizational culture and the importance of audience engagement. In short, she made a profound and lasting impact on our work by giving us a clear sense of what was possible, helping us devise real-world strategies for addressing the challenges in front of us, and pushing us to greater heights in all that we do.

Tommy Thomason, director of the Texas Center for Community Journalism
Joy Mayer presented a one-day workshop for working journalists at community newspapers for the Texas Center for Community Journalism — and the participants have been emailing me since the workshop ended. They didn’t like it — they loved it. They told me that Joy helped them understand that social media are not just additional publishing platforms, and they told me that they left the workshop with new understanding and with concrete steps of action. Joy’s workshops are fun and participatory, but they also offer practical help for journalists who want to make the best use of social platforms. The workshop ended two days ago, but I’m already getting requests to have her back.

Margie Freivogel, retired editor of St. Louis Public Radio
Joy Mayer brings a rare combination of insight and effectiveness to her work. She knows that the greatest challenge facing journalists today is not just about technology and tools. Instead, we face a deeper challenge, reframed and made painfully urgent by the digital revolution. We must serve people with reporting they value, using every means possible to understand and meet their needs. Joy helped our newsroom grasp this fundamental mission. Equally important, she gave us practical ways to carry that mission forward daily amidst chronic newsroom pressures. She channeled angst into productive activity with immediate impact.

Tiffany McCallen, former national community manager for a Faith & Values community website project and current chief operations officer for the Religion Newswriters Association
Hyperlocal news experimentation is both exciting and scary, but turning nothing into something with a bare-bones budget is downright terrifying. When we called up Joy Mayer to help our five website startups engage with their communities in innovative ways, we were hoping to come away with at least a few ideas we could implement with minimal planning and turnaround time. As it turns out, several of the ideas we fleshed out through consultations with Joy were instant hits with our new sites’ audiences. Joy helped us look beyond our web pages and stories to make meaningful connections with community members through events and reader feedback tools. Her work had a tremendous, positive effect on our project. I would highly recommend her for any news organization.

Katherine Reed, former colleague at the Columbia Missourian and the Missouri School of Journalism
Joy had a profound and lasting impact on our teaching newsroom and on me, specifically, in formulating the most effective approach to teaching reporting. By nudging our newsroom into an “audience first” frame of mind, Joy sparked an epiphany for me: that audience engagement powerfully validates the importance of authenticity in reporting. We’ve had it the wrong way around for much too long, and I believe that audience-first thinking has the potential — more than anything else — to rebuild our relationship with our communities. I truly believe that’s crucial to restoring the health of our democracy.