In the engagement space, we are constantly preaching about meeting our readers where they are. The adage is often associated with digital distribution, but we took a more literal approach with our story suggestion boxes. And where are our readers? Drinking coffee.
The idea was to create a direct line to the Courant through these small metal boxes, notecards and pencils.
So, we ordered a few boxes from Amazon (naturally), and placed a few of them at popular gathering places throughout the Hartford community. One of those places being the popular coffee shop Story and Soil.
We've gotten a number of great story suggestions so far, ranging from where to see underground rock shows in the area to where Connecticut's politicians stand on President Trump. Every now and then, we even get a few poems.
We've recently transitioned the boxes to include the prompt: "Which issues do you care most about in the upcoming presidential election?" to help guide our newsroom's election coverage.