Richland Source Leverages YESEO to Improve their Work

When Jay Allred, the publisher of Richland Source, discovered YESEO through the Newsroom Robots podcast with Nikita Roy, he knew his newsroom had to try it.Richland Source Logo

“I just was really impressed with the idea,” Allred said. “You solved the problem of SEO tediousness and so, when I heard about it, I told our team, ‘let's check this out.’”

Richland Source is a local news publisher that is part of Source Media Properties, which covers three counties in North Central Ohio. It was founded in 2013 and spans an audience of around 250,000 people. It is also a member of Local Indepedent Online News (LION) Publishers.

In their newsroom business reporter Grace McCormick was the first to embrace using it and has found many ways to use YESEO in her daily workflow. As their newsroom moved onto Newspack by Automattic as their Content Management System, she has found the keywords YESEO pulls from her stories useful to put into their CMS’ tagging system.Tags View for Richland Source

“Keywords are more important when we’re using internal traffic, people can click on different keywords and see what else we’ve written about that topic,” McCormick said. “They're not terrible, just typing in, but it is pretty tedious.”

“When I plug it into YESEO, it will say these are the words that you use the most frequently in the story. So that’s been pretty easy. It saves like a minute for each story, but that’s still a minute saved, which is convenient.”Initial Message from YESEO on Richland Source Story

McCormick has also found the ability to generate headlines with a single click to “Suggest Headlines” to be useful. Having heard from past presentations on YESEO, she knows that they are the path to building an idea of her own for a headline.

“When I'm writing I'm not necessarily thinking about the best headline for it,” McCormick said. “I’m thinking about the best way to tell the story and then the headline is kind of secondary. So that is helpful when YESEO says ‘here are the words that you should be using in a headline’.”

Source Media Properties uses Newspack and as a WordPress style CMS, they also use the Yoast SEO tool, but McCormick has found that YESEO compliments the way she is able to score in the internal tool where it gives green, orange or red icons for positive to negative scores.

“My editor has asked, ‘How do you always have the orange and green smiley faces?’ I’m like ‘well, YESEO helps’,” McCormick said.

Richland Source’s newsroom is around 11 people and as a smaller newsroom, Allred knows that they ask a lot from their reporters, to take their own photographs, writing stories, headlines all the way to publishing.

“It just felt like one of the easiest, smoothest opportunities to onramp and get experience in a low risk way,” Allred said. “YESEO is an augmentation tool that helps me do a thing way better and faster than I could do the thing by myself, which is sort of the perfect play space for AI tools right now in journalism, in my opinion.”

YESEO usefulness also comes in how friendly and convenient it is in Slack.

“It is habit building,” McCormick said. “It’s nice that it uses very neutral language. It doesn't get angry at you. It's just making neutral, positive suggestions.”

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