By Abigail Cook

Every day looks different when you are the digital strategist for a publication that boasts 123,000 followers on Instagram, 430,000 likes on Facebook and 452,300 followers on Twitter.  

Tynin Fries works on everything from the Denver Post’s website, social media platforms, newsletters, and other engagement efforts.

Fries recently answered a few questions from University of Montana student Abigail Cook over email about her work. Below is a transcript of their email conversation.

Q: What does a typical day at work look like for you?

A: It changes every day! Depending on the news, my day can be really busy with breaking news or be slower, with time to work on longer projects or big-picture goals. 

Q: What are some important factors your team considers when posting something on social media? Do you set goals for social media posts, like advertising for full stories or interactions on the platform?

A: We consider whether a story fits into a few categories: high mission or low mission, high audience or low audience. Those high mission, high audience stories are the key to social success. Yes, we have goals that we try to reach each month for referrals and engagement. 

Q: Does the Denver Post have strict guidelines and consequences to unprofessional or biased behavior on social media?

A: You can read about this in our union contract but ours are pretty industry standard. 

Editor’s note: The Post has no specific policy regarding ethics on social media, but their online behavior applies to a general policy that every journalist at the Post follows, covering everything from fairness throughout news coverage to the journalists’ personal lives.

Q: What strategies are used to grow and maintain your audience?

A: We like to meet our audience where they are and also listen to them. Are we providing the kind of stories they want? How do we do better? 

Q: How different is social media-based journalism from the classic print journalism that most people assume of the industry?

A: Very different skill sets but social media works hand-in-hand with print or digital news. 

Abigail Cook is a student in the UM School of Journalism’s Social Media and Engagement class, which conducted Q&As this semester with more than 20 journalists as part of a research project on best practices for journalists on social media.

Leave a Reply