How the brand new chief of The Hill, NewsNation views politics, PR and media success

The Hill

It’s been a rocky twenty first century for the information media, and the final 12 months hasn’t provided any reprieve.

Media organizations outdated and new have seen layoffs and bankruptcies — and a few have simply closed store altogether.

Add that to a deeply polarized panorama the place journalists themselves typically grow to be the story, a looming election and it’s a frightening time to take the helm of a political information group. However that’s precisely the place Joe Ruffolo, senior vice chairman and normal supervisor for The Hill and NewsNation Digital, finds himself.

However he’s not scared.

“There’s clearly an enormous transition, however we’ve been doing very effectively on each side of my place right here,” Ruffolo instructed PR Day by day throughout a current interview. “Clearly we’ve seen optimistic site visitors and outreach, but additionally from our promoting companions, I see quite a lot of energy in that as effectively.”



Ruffolo’s profession in media has spanned practically 30 years and the complete evolution of digital information, from his early profession at CNN to stints with ABC Information, AOL and MTV Networks. Most not too long ago, he served as managing director for OceanX.

“I typically snort to myself, if you actually take a look at how far (digital media) has come because the earliest days of CNN Interactive, and the way huge and simply the elemental conduct of most individuals’s information consumption has grow to be on the digital facet,” Ruffolo mentioned.

He’s at present tasked with discovering a approach to carry non-partisan information to folks at a time when nearly nothing feels non-partisan. However that makes the work they do much more essential.

As Ruffolo has talked to common folks about his new position, he mentioned he’s heard the identical complaints: I don’t really feel knowledgeable, I don’t know what’s really taking place as a result of I don’t know who to belief.

Ruffolo, maybe idealistically, believes {that a} concentrate on the basics of journalism and what issues most to folks may give them causes to belief once more each The Hill and NewsNation, he says, thrive after they concentrate on making the small print digestible — and even pushing past the overtly political protection they’re so identified for.

“I feel typically we are able to get caught up in just some massive tales that the media likes to speak about. However if you actually get into the economic system, and well being and schooling and all these actual points that really affect folks’s lives, I feel that’s what’s being overlooked,” Ruffolo mentioned. True bias, he believes, comes from story choice and what information shops select to cowl and select to not cowl.

You possibly can anticipate finding broader protection on each information shops within the coming months, together with on matters like what it means to be a mother or father, well being and psychological well being struggles, and extra — which suggests extra pitching alternatives for PR execs. Ruffolo needs that collaboration.

“We’re attempting to be a bit extra proactive and placing out extra info round what we’re doing,” Ruffolo mentioned. “However I actually wish to simply be a bit extra interactive with folks on concepts … attempting to speak to as many individuals as I can.”

Waiting for 2024

Ruffolo wasn’t fairly able to share the shops’ plans for 2024 presidential protection — keep tuned within the subsequent few months for that. However he did reveal that video will prepared the ground in protection. Search for massive issues from The Hill TV, their YouTube channels and NewsNation.

NewsNation, he defined, advantages from having the infrastructure of Nexstar behind them to assist distribute programming like “The Hill on NewsNation” to a broader viewers.

“What you’ll see us proceed to do is elevate all these totally different native items as a lot as we are able to to essentially reply what folks care about,” Ruffolo mentioned.

The metrics they use to find out what folks care about fluctuate. Clearly, internet site visitors is a crucial, if blunt measurement of success. Nevertheless it’s removed from the one metric he cares about.

“I additionally take a look at simply the journalism of what we do,” he defined. “I feel it’s crucial that we do have an important variety of tales. So not every part can really be judged by site visitors.”

The Hill’s Cheyanne M. Daniels and Alex Rosenwald will converse at PR Day by day’s Media Relations Convention in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Register immediately

Allison Carter is government editor of PR Day by day. Observe her on Twitter or LinkedIn.


One Response to “How the brand new chief of The Hill, NewsNation views politics, PR and media success”

    Ronald N Levy says:

    It’s tempting to consider what’s on this for us however consider what’s on this for HIM.

    He wants readers and names make information so we may also help him by having releases with the names of essential leaders as a result of they’ll care they usually’ll learn and he’ll adore it.

    He wants advertisers so we may also help—not solely in what we ship him however much more in issues we ship main potential advertisers—info he’d love for them to know as a result of it might enhance his income. What advertisers care about is that he does in fact attain authorities folks cared about by big organizations wanting to make essential issues occur!

    He wants for media to refer typically to his publications, so we are able to rating factors with him by serving to him rating factors in media by referring to his publications in our releases.

    Give and ye shall obtain, it’s written. By giving him extra visibility amongst potential readers, advertisers and media, we could each give and obtain. Give him a name to ask for his charge card so you’ll be able to assist to unfold the phrase of what he has that folks need and wish.