Our model disrupts the way advertisers invest in diverse communities


We believe in a new kind of audience currency: The Currency of Impact. 

URL Media, a decentralized, multi-platform network of high-performing Black and Brown media companies, is pioneering a revolutionary approach to valuing local news content across the media landscape. Our lens prioritizes community engagement over clicks, responsiveness over CTRs, and behavioral changes that uplift communities of color while honoring an advertiser’s need for scale. We seek a new approach to quantifying the value of diverse owned-and-led media.

We’re integrating a tool into the media buying conversation, that tells a different kind of story to advertisers and media buyers. Typically so reliant on the ad tech industry to help develop a story of success for advertising clients, we are giving agencies and brands another perspective that truly reflects how crucial local news media is to the advertising ecosystem. As we pitch, we consistently share the impact that our media partners have on their collective communities, and why we deserve an ongoing and unwavering commitment from media buyers and brands. We believe in unveiling a new kind of audience currency: The Currency of Impact. Read our full statement here.

Our tool helps define, develop and measure this level of impact. This includes:

  1. Audience/Individual: How content may increase knowledge on vital issues, such as reader feedback and social comment
  2. Community/Network: How content may contribute to movement building, such as if advocacy groups are citing stories
  3. Institutional: When community, religions, corporate, or government institutions refer to content, such as if state representatives cite content as the basis for legislation
  4. Media amplification: How other news engages with content, such as citing or repurposing 
  5. Organizational: Awards, nominations and speaking opportunities

The complete URL impact framework can be found here.

URL Network Member IA Impact Tracker Dashboard

URL Network Member IA Impact Tracker Toolkit

Here is a step-by-step guide to using the URL Network Member IA Impact Tracker and model. Below we will walk you through building your custom tracker template, dashboard and how to utilize the results for advertisers:

  1. Click here for step step-by-step instructions for newsrooms to set up their own Impact Trackers.
  2. Copy the Impact Tracker Form here
  3. Click here for an Impact Tracker Dashboard Template
  4. Download data, and begin integrating anecdotal stories and data that are curated by the tool into advertising sales pitches, case studies, media kits, and RFP responses. See our media kit example here, which includes our case studies of impact
  5. Over time as data collects, begin developing a new type of currency, The Currency of Impact, which ultimately quantifies the intangible: the transformative power of our community news outlets,  alongside their audiences

This work was done in partnership with Impact Architects. For more information, visit their page here.

Common Questions

How is the URL Model different from other impact trackers?

In this particularly heightened national climate, advertisers and brands are being pressured to showcase commitments to the same audiences and communities they are aiming to reach. 

By broadening the lens and exploring the impact that newsrooms have on their respective communities, publications are able to develop a nuanced view and salable narrative of what makes content and audiences valuable to its user base, and how the work of newsrooms translates to change within and engagement from multicultural communities.

In addition, we are:

  • Elevating and quantifying audience trust and relationships as a benefit to potential advertisers
  • Actively encouraging self-efficacy across our communities through service journalism
  • Empowering our user base to consistently drive change 
  • Re-affirming community-led institutions as distinct pillars in our journalism work  

Applying this approach to show value to media-buyers and advertisers to garner ongoing and sustainable advertising revenue

What rises to the level of impact?

 A sample of our network collective came together to try and articulate this very question. It’s complicated, but here’s what we’ve found: While there are multiple ways to touch, engage and uplift a community, many newsrooms have their own inherent ‘currency of impact,’ This particular lens on quality content that resources and aids an audience base, helps newsrooms understand and validate how valuable they are to their readers and user base. During a URL Media partner brainstorm, here is what some of our member newsrooms said about what impact looks like for their organizations. In partnership with Impact Architects, we turned this collective brainstorm into a more in-depth draft framework for the tool.

How can I tailor the form to my organization and what additional integrations are there?

Click on this setup instructions deck, to view additional integrations, including Google Analytics, Slack, or other CSV files (audience surveys, etc), as well as a training resource on the Google Looker Studio, should you want to do deeper dives on how to use the platform.

This work was completed in partnership with the Reynolds Journalism Institute. Read more about our partnership below.

Meet our partner organizations.

Members of URL Media include twenty seven exceptional news outlets representing a diverse mix of culture, format, geography and audience.