Cultura Colectiva, one of Mexico’s largest digital media platforms with the most engaged millennial audience, launched a new project named CCNews in June 2016. CCNews is this highly influential Mexican platform’s news outlet, intended to produce hard news through different verticals beyond those used by traditional digital and/or print newspapers.
After carefully studying their audience and the content they produced, Cultura Colectiva felt a social responsibility as a media company to include groundbreaking content related to hard news, and is currently doing so along its five main sections: Elections (Mexico), Human Rights, Science, World and Culture. Besides, they are inviting new types of audiences to understand reality through innovative lenses.
For instance, ahead of the Mexican presidential elections of 2018, CCNews has introduced a series of interviews with presidential candidates and invited the missing ones for a more informal, authentic and funny conversation, different from traditional interviews dynamics.
Eduardo Navarrete, Head of News at CCNews, runs the newsroom and over the past month and a half has tried to “change sections that lacked a young perspective, as well as the way the newsroom was operating.” During every editorial meeting, a line is traced between what to publish on Cultura Colectiva and what to publish on CCNews in order to build an autonomous identity for the latter, and to position it as a must-visit site for millennials.
For Navarrete to accomplish this, he relies on his 16 people team plus more external colleagues to produce hard content exclusively for CCNews.
Data science and the three I’s
Navarrete bets on a new newsroom architecture, as he is certain that “their audiences are ready for a new type of journalism.” CCNews’ articles always feature a Q&A structure about trending topics in order to catch the reader’s attention and to create original content.
Cultura Colectiva has a strong data science department that has been really useful for CCNews’ performance. Before publishing a new note, Navarrete’s team conducts a micro-study about the standard millennial reader and builds a character to determine “which are the main questions they ask themselves as they wake up,” Navarrete affirms.
“We can surprise our audience with formats and stories that go beyond the expected and that, at the same time, become relevant for having an unconventional angle with a close and inspiring language.”
Navarrete explains that articles have had a higher impact this way. Their main goals are to find original perspectives to every story and to tell stories in a dynamic, lively way that doesn’t bore its readers to ensure they come back for more news.
One example of this is that they play with what they call “crossed navigation” and mix different types of content, such as videos, graphics, text and infographics, across their different verticals.
Navarrete trusts in CCNews’ added value with regards to other digital platforms and shares the three core values of the organization, that have helped them in building credibility among the public: that all of their work be produced in an “inspirational, indispensable, and impeccable” way.
Lessons learned from Facebook’s crisis
CCNews depends to a great extent on distributing their content through social media platforms given the nature of its target audience. “Facebook’s algorithm change took us all by surprise and left us shook,” Navarrete comments.
However, he affirms that they learned important lessons, such as investing in quality content, storytelling and profound audience analysis in order to keep attracting the public directly.
“We learned how to work by using just what we need from Facebook and how to build with our own tools and insights what we can do by ourselves.”
The 2025 Plan
CCNews’ 2025 Plan goes about creating their very own News Lab with all the data they have gathered to create previous audience analysis before publishing any note. The idea of these analyses is to question, compare, and determine what news production techniques have worked before, which angles have engaged audiences the most, and how audiences behave in real time.
CCNews is a vivid example of the importance of studying audiences in order to boost a media company by creating more defiant content that is groundbreaking and that has a positive impact on its readers.
Will CCNews succeed in becoming a must-visit news website for the millennial generation to consult everyday news, existing within an ever growing competitive digital realm?