Google New Initiative | Supporting Publishers on their Digital Journey

The Google News Initiative (GNI) aims to support high-quality journalism through technology and innovation. Their Digital Growth Programme is particularly aimed at news publishers who have started developing their digital journey more recently, so the learning resources provided have to be accessible, digestible and most importantly - applicable.

UpSkill Digital has a huge amount of experience creating large scale, multi regional, complex subject matter; so we were approached and asked to create a content suite to help publishers thrive in the digital age.

The initial phase was to have a multi-region approach. Content - created by our learning design team - was translated into 6 different languages (English, French, German, Polish, Italian and Spanish). 

At UpSkill Digital, we have unparalleled access to subject matter expertise and delivery, from a global roster of knowledgeable, engaging and charismatic digital coaches. For each region, 12 unique workshops were developed. Subjects ranged from How To Understand Your Data to Exploring Alternative Income Streams. And we didn’t stop at translation in this multi-regional effort; we made sure to source local case studies in each region, so every workshop was country specific. 

In delivering 543 different case studies across the 6 regions, we were able to consolidate the content; and create a custom canvas that would present users with news items relevant to their social media interactions, location and interests. 

UpSkill recruited, trained and onboarded 20 trainers who went on to successfully deliver 74 workshops on YouTube Live, where publishers were able to interact with the trainers; ask questions; and watch on demand. Our European publishing and news media experts brought a breadth of industry understanding, matched only by their passion for sharing their expertise. 

During 10 weeks of live sessions, 290 publishers were engaged. We had over 1000 live views, over 1500 unique views on YouTube, and a total of 36 hours of training was completed. Feedback from the publishers was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, with an average content relevancy score of nearly 80%. This showed not only how helpful the GNI programme had been for publishers; but that there was a clear demand for further phases to help plug the digital skills gap.

Armed with lessons learnt, and keen to build upon the success of the first phase, UpSkill Digital added 5 further workshops to the content suite, along with new regions such as Czech regions and the Netherlands. Phase 2 also saw the addition of our deep dive sessions: an opportunity for publishers to join one-to-few group discussions about the digital topics covered in the workshops and ask more in-depth questions of our lead coaches. These deep dives also gave fellow publishers a chance to interact with, and understand in more detail, the themes discussed. 

Phase 2 was also a great success with over 108 workshops now taking place. So far, we’ve had over 3000 views - and engaged nearly 300 publishers.

What comes after Phase 2? 

Well, Phase 3 of course - and it’s coming soon. Content will be updated and new regions studied and engaged, realising our shared goal of helping publishers thrive in the digital age.