New Ways to Connect with Readers

Our engagement editor will help ensure our journalism is more inclusive of and responsive to the communities we cover.
10 21 Heroes 1800x1200 Fob Engagement Editors Note

You’ll be hearing from Hawaii Business Magazine in some different ways going forward. We’ve created an “Engagement Editor” role to lead interactions with our readers and help ensure that our journalism is more inclusive and responsive to the communities we cover.

I asked the magazine to create this role and put me in it. Engagement-type positions are gaining popularity in journalism as a way to identify new ways to generate readership and support. If Hawaii Business is to accomplish that, we need to do a better job of understanding and considering our audiences, their interests and their needs, making sure we are not just reporting “on” communities but reporting with and for them.

I believe this work must be proactive, meaningful and intentional – and that requires having someone dedicated to these efforts.


Lots of Experiments

I’ll still be writing stories, but now a large part of my job will be to lead the editorial department’s engagement initiatives. That will include developing an engagement strategy, helping draft social media teasers, coaching other writers and interns to engage with readers, studying industry best practices and lessons learned, and identifying ways to get readers involved with and excited about our stories before and after publication. A lot of this work is new to us and it will take some experimenting to fi nd the right fit.

We’ve already started asking you to help with our reporting through call outs on social media and our website. Our latest call out was for my story in this issue on how grandparents help working parents balance keiki and career. I wanted to hear from working parents about the ways their parents or in-laws help with their children, plus how those without built-in family support make it work. This call out was part of our ongoing efforts to be more inclusive of communities across the state and of people from different backgrounds.

We’re currently asking for your suggestions on interesting careers to profile and lesser-known non-profits that deserve more recognition. These call outs are housed on our “Get Involved” webpage.

We’ll also be talking more about our reporting process and how we decide what to cover. I did this for my grandparents story to thank the parents who responded to my questionnaire and to explain how their information helped me. I also talked about the challenges I encountered while working on the article. Future stories like this will appear on a new “How We Work” page on our website.


My Journey

I was hired as a staff writer in 2017, but my tenure began as an editorial intern in 2014 and later in 2016. I’ve interned with other local publications, too, but Hawaii Business always pulled me back. Part of that is because of the publication’s supportive culture, but it’s also that the magazine dives deep into the big issues impacting Hawai‘i, including housing, education, entrepreneurship, technology, the cost of living and more.

My reason for pursuing a journalism career was to write stories that are important to the community and that help add to discussions to improve it. Hawaii Business has allowed me to do just that, and my hope is that this engagement work results in more meaningful, transparent journalism and deeper, sustaining relationships with our audience. Hawaii Business has long been a respected resource for the people of Hawai‘i, but in a time of declining trust in traditional media, my colleagues and I know we must continue to earn your support.



Categories: How We Work, Opinion