editor, RedEye/MetroMix, Chicago
Question: Connect news organizations and millennials, the next generation of media consumers.
Tran Ha believes understanding new audiences is crucial to the success of modern media organizations. She is adamant that the future of news lies in capturing the interest of a key group: millennials—all 80 million of them.
In her year as a JSK Fellow, she finely honed her radar for the unmet needs of this audience, applying the user-centered methodology she learned from Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the d.school) to ferret out insights deeper than the broad-stroke findings of surveys and studies about millennials.
Intrigued by the success of marketing campaigns, gaming and social media in engaging young audiences, Ha delved into these worlds to extract lessons and best practices from youth magnets, including Red Bull, Zynga, Reddit, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. She traveled to New York to discuss audience strategies with rapidly growing digital publishers including Buzzfeed, Vice, Upworthy and PolicyMic.
At Stanford, she took classes in brand marketing, platform economics and behavioral psychology, and paired her business school experience with real-world design-thinking challenges as part of the d.school’s elite d.leadership course.
With this knowledge and experience, Ha is prepared to break traditional conventions and forge into the next era of media.
Helping media organizations engage young audiences .
How can news organizations reach millenials? Tran Ha explores a question that is crucial to the future of legacy media.
Tran Ha wanted to be Nancy Drew when she was little. She parlayed her love for mystery-solving and storytelling into an action-packed career in journalism during which she’s launched digital and print ventures, led innovation initiatives and hired 80 teenagers for a startup publication by and for Chicago high school students.
Most recently, as editor and general manager of the millennial-targeted RedEye, Ha transformed a daily newspaper into a digitally driven, multiplatform news organization. Under her leadership, RedEye saw significant growth in reach, readership, revenue and social relevance.
Information on this page is from the fellowship year.