Part One: Interview with Buffy Andrews of the York Daily Record

Happy Monday, friends. This is the second in a series of Q & A style posts where you get to hear directly from the person(s) in charge of pinning at one of the over 130 newspapers on Pinterest. Today’s featured pinner is Buffy Andrews, assistant managing editor of features and niche publications for the York (Pa.) Daily Record/Sunday News. Andrews is also the social media coordinator there.

Andrews took time to answer many of my questions in an email on April 3. Her answers were so thoughtful and thorough that I decided to break it down over two days; I’ll post part two of this interview tomorrow. If you’d like to be featured in this series please contact me at

And now, Part One of my interview with Buffy Andrews…

1. How long has the newspaper had a Pinterest account? Why did the paper open up an account?

We only recently added Pinterest to the list of social networking sites that we participate in. The York Daily Record/Sunday News is constantly exploring ways to expand our digital footprint. We are no longer a newspaper, but a media company. It just so happens that one of the things we do, and quite well I might add, is produce a daily newspaper. But we also produce a glossy women’s magazine, make documentaries (we won an Emmy) and run a slew of websites associated with our various brands, which includes Smart, FlipSide and GameTimePA.

Pinterest is simply another tool in our toolbox that we can use to connect with our readers. Our mission is to deliver the news and information our readers want in whatever way they want to receive it. For some, that might be Pinterest.

2. Who is in charge of pinning?

As you know, I maintain my own boards . I’ve shared many of my boards with our Smart magazine account  and the YDR account. By sharing these, the boards not only show up on my account but also on the Smart and YDR accounts. And, the best part, I can post via my account on these boards without having to log off my account and onto either Smart or YDR.

Several people post to the Smart boards, but my Smart magazine editor, Kara Eberle, has primary responsibility for overseeing this account. Our FlipSide boards are overseen by my entertainment editor, Patrick Abdalla, and entertainment reporter, Erin McCracken.

Most of the YDR boards I’ve created and maintain, but others are getting involved. For example, our night news and digital desk pins the front page of the newspaper every day.

So the short answer is that it’s a team effort, but there are some key people who oversee day-to-day pinning. I would like to get more people involved. As you know, it’s a ton of work not only to pin but also to promote the pins/boards via various social media.

With more than 80 boards myself, it’s a lot to keep up with.

3. What is your strategy for pinning? What are your goals?

I hope to connect and engage with our readers. I also hope to drive traffic to our websites and promote all of the cool things we do. Some of the things I’ve promoted are contests (such as our Peeps contest  and Sharp-dressed shoes contest) and feature series by my staff (such as our oral history series  and the new series we just started, Exit Interviews).

Pinterest is just another site I use to help build a robust virtual community that encompasses all of our brands.

4. How do your pins and activity on Pinterest align with working towards those goals? How do you measure success?

We measure success by the number of repins and comments. We look at the referrals coming from Pinterest.

As I said earlier, I use Pinterest to tell people about great stories. For example, I noticed that someone had pinned a Girl Scout image on a board. I took the opportunity to share, via a comment on the pin, a story one of my reporters did that looked back on 100 years of Scouting and included video and audio files. I figured that people who would be interested in that particular pin (I pinned it myself onto My Childhood board) might also be interested in reading this great story.

I also did this with an S&H Green Stamp pin, linking to the story my staff did on people remembering collecting the stamps.  Each day, I try to find a pin that I might be able to add a link to via a comment as a way of delivering great stories to a new audience.

5. How did you build your following? What tips do you have for other papers wanting to build their follower count?

I do several things. I follow people who follow me. I will tweet an image from one of my boards and include a link to the board for people to check out other images on the board. I will also do this on YDR Facebook page, Smart Facebook page, FlipSide Facebook page, my Facebook page, all corresponding Twitter accounts, Linkedin, Google+ and any other social networking platform I’m active on.

** End of Part One. Please come back tomorrow to read more from  Buffy Andrews about how she uses Pinterest at the York Daily Record. While you are waiting, be sure to check out last week’s featured pinner: Amy Guth of the Chicago Tribune.

Want to get in touch with Andrews? She encourages you to connect with her here:









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