21 ideas for your newsroom in October


October is flush with holidays, fall colors and a host of other ideas that can get your audience engaged. Here are three topics worth investing some time in:

Fall Foliage

• Take your audience to the best leaf peeping destinations with a list and a map. (Chicago Tribune)

Create an interactive map that allows your audience to see when the leaves will change. (Mashable)

Provide weekly or ongoing reports on what colors leave will be. If you can build a tool, great, but a simple update would do. (Travel Wisconsin)

• Ask readers to share their fall foliage photos. (Hartford Courant)

Explain the science behind fall foliage. (Weatherbug)

Halloween

Provide a guide to help people get the best last-minute costumes (New York Times)

• Create a tour of the spookiest places to visit in your region (KSAT)

• Before you recycle that newspaper, create these spooky crafts with it. (Times Free Press)

• Have an expert share their spookiest Halloween stories. Or just have a local author read one. (NPR)

• Find the best Halloween movies on TV or that are streaming. Do the same for the spookiest podcasts. (CBC and Entertainment Weekly)

• Ask readers to send in photos of their pets dressed up. (Mercury News)

• Ask readers to share their cool and retro photos of their old Halloween costumes (Star Tribune) and their best homemade costumes (Herald Extra)

• Have your staff share their favorite Halloween memories and/or photos. (Daily Press)

• Help readers know where sex offenders might live in their neighborhood before the kids head out. (Click2Houston)

• Is your kids’ Halloween candy safe? Talk to the experts to know what to look for and if the myth of poisoned candy is even true? (KGW)

• What is the best Halloween candy? There are of course lists. So ask your audience in a poll. (Ranker)

Breast cancer awareness

• Help give back by providing a percentage of your sales in October to groups that help find cures and support those impacted by breast cancer. (Wicked Local)

Make your paper pink all month long and/or put a pink ribbon in the nameplate of your website. (Naylornetwork.com)

• Create content that helps educate your audience around breast cancer. (10news.com)

• Develop a tool that allows your audience to assess their knowledge of breast cancer detection methods. (everydayhealth.com)

• Have readers write personal columns about their battles with cancer. (Huffington Post)

Have editors explain why and what you’re doing throughout the month with your coverage (Florida Today)