With a record audience during the pandemic, Project Boomerang focused on getting new and newly-engaged members coming back to The Wall Street Journal and making the most of their subscriptions.

The pandemic brought a record number of readers to The Wall Street Journal: more than 79 million in March 2020. Digital subscriptions also hit an all-time high, as people sought trustworthy news and actionable information about how Covid-19 was affecting various industries, financial markets and our lives.

This post is about how The Wall Street Journal’s cross-functional focus on audience engagement — across Membership, Content, Product, Design and Technology —…

Stock photo of a lit candle
Stock photo of a lit candle
Photo by CHIRAG K on Unsplash

There are a number of affordable services that you can use to host a virtual memorial service or tribute for a loved one — especially during the pandemic when we can’t gather in person. This “how-to” post lists several tools that you may find helpful in planning an event and also includes language for a sample invitation (further below) that you’re welcome to use and adapt with loved ones.

Hosting the Service

Transcript of a sermon by Rev. Elder Dwayne Johnson, Metropolitan Community Church of Washington DC, November 15, 2020. Video on YouTube.

God, we praise you today for the spiritual gift of courage that rises from our hearts. We pray that you would give us the courage to live the lives you’re calling us to live: spiritually free in you. May the song of encouragement rise in our hearts again and again and again. Amen.

U.S. Marshals escort Ruby Bridges in New Orleans, 1960. AP Photo

Sixty years ago — on November 14th, 1960—courage took a walk to school. Six year old Ruby Bridges took a walk to her first day of…

Transcript of a sermon by Rev. Elder Dwayne Johnson, Metropolitan Community Church of Washington DC, October 4, 2020. Video on YouTube.

What are your growing edges? One of the growing edges during this season of pandemic is continuing to live with a sense of purpose and a sense of goals. To continue to strive toward the goal, to press on toward the goal.

Some people have put their lives on hold during this time. More than once, I’ve heard someone say, “After the pandemic…” “After the pandemic, I’ll get my life together…” “After the pandemic, I’ll fill in the blank.”

Here at MCCDC, we are determined to live with purpose and with mission: now and following the pandemic, whenever that might be.

In the August 2020 episode of The Growing Edge podcast, author, educator and activist Parker Palmer describes “two types of carefully-crafted conversations” that must happen in our society. First, “across the so-called lines that divide us,” bringing together “unlikely partners.” Second, “white people talking to other white people about hard topics like racism.”

“We need to be honest with each other and need containers where that can happen,” Palmer explains. “They need to be containers that are safe but not sleepy, where people are invited and the conditions are established where they can tell hard truths and say things…

I’ve transcribed this August 2019 sermon by Rev. Elder Dwayne Johnson, senior pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington DC. The message is particularly relevant during these violent and divisive times.

Courage and faith are intertwined.
Courage and faith cannot be separated.

Now more than ever, we are called to be a people of courage. In a world that is increasingly scary, in a world that breeds fear, in a world of so much toxic division; we are called to be a strong and courageous people. …

This is an adapted transcript of poet, author and speaker David Whyte’s appearance on the “This Human Moment” livestream, July 10, 2020. (Video available on YouTube.) Whyte is currently hosting an online series, “A Road Always Beckoning.” All photos and poetry belong to Whyte.

I wrote this first poem, “The Blessing of the Morning Light,” while looking at a very ancient dynamic: the nameless place of “not naming.” It’s a foundational place that human beings have long tried to reach. …

People often talk about the need to “break down organizational silos” or “enable more cross-functional collaboration” within a company. Sounds great! But it’s easier said than done.

Consultants have spilled a lot of ink debating where analytics, customer data, e-commerce, or user experience functions should ideally live within organizations. I don’t participate in those philosophical debates, nor do I have a strong point of view on what should live where. (In fact, I think it’s naïve and irresponsible to imagine that all Chief Marketing, Chief Product, Chief Technology, or Chief Experience Officers have similar skills or budgets.)

Instead, I’ve observed…

Vince Lombardi said, “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” By that standard, our bar was set high at Gannett.

Since 2016, I’ve been fortunate to work with supremely talented and passionate people, responsible for some of the country’s most trusted brands.

In this post, I’ll explain how we unlocked our team’s potential. The six foundational steps below boosted employee engagement and retention, helped us earn the trust of colleagues across the company, and ultimately positioned us to generate more value for both customers and shareholders.

  1. Clearly define expectations. Then do it again…

Here are the insights shared in my 11/21/2019 keynote at Fuse Media in Philadelphia: “Modernizing Experiences to Delight Both Consumers and Advertisers.” (Fair warning: they may read a bit cliché without the accompanying case studies and anecdotes, which will follow.)

  • Resist the temptation of “design for design’s sake.”
  • Invest in the technology capabilities necessary to support your ambitions.
  • Focus on your true right to win, not just where you can show up.
  • Super-serve your most loyal users and they will reciprocate.
  • Prioritize user research and robust testing of assumptions along the way.
  • Be brutally decisive when it comes to scope…

Jason Jedlinski

Brand builder, innovator and digital content strategist

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