Enhancing Engagement: Nyugat’s Social Media Strategy for Sustainable Growth

Case Study

Name of the media:



Norbert Šinković

Founded in:



Project Aim: 

Nyugat.hu is a Hungarian independent media outlet that has, in its 25-year history, garnered the trust of the community and has become a reliable source of information. As part of the Thomson Foundation project, the team decided to enhance engagement with the community through various digital platforms, leveraging social media channels to effectively disseminate news content and interactively engage with the audience. 

The initiative aimed to upgrade multimedia production capabilities to create high-quality content that supports business models such as crowdfunding and donation campaigns. This involves producing compelling multimedia products that resonate with the audience and encourage financial support. 

The mentoring process served as a catalyst for Nyugat’s evolution, fostering a shift in mindset towards embracing new business models while equipping the team with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to thrive in the digital age. The goal of the project was to elevate Nyugat’s operations to a higher level of engagement and sustainability.


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Foundation of Trust

Nyugat held a unique position in the market as the only independent media outlet operating at the level of Vas County in Hungary. This independence allowed them to effectively serve as a reliable source of news and information for the community. Over the years, they have developed and strengthened relationships with the readers. This trust was evident through successful crowdfunding campaigns. 

Despite their success, Nyugat’s planning processes, particularly regarding social media production and campaign planning, were at an ad hoc level. There was a need to improve and formalise these processes to enhance community engagement and better monetise online activities.

Transformative Mentorship

During the mentoring process, Nyugat underwent a significant transformation, encompassing both changes in mindset and operational improvements. 

The mentoring team provided guidance on refining internal procedures and clarifying roles through the development of comprehensive Terms of References (ToRs) for every job position. This facilitated smoother transitions for new team members and ensured alignment with organisational objectives. This involved hiring a social media coordinator to support journalists in creating engaging content for social media platforms. As a result, Nyugat experienced tangible improvements in their operations, evidenced by increased efficiency in social media production and campaign planning. 

Nyugat team Source: Nyugat.hu Facebook page

Quarterly, Nyugat experienced a 2% growth on social media platforms, particularly on Facebook and Instagram. A strategic focus has been placed on Instagram to target 18–24-year-olds, who represent potential future regular donors and members of the reading community.

Despite changing reader habits, efforts to maintain the number of website users have been successful. The media outlet recognised the shift in preference towards social media as a primary information source and adapted its strategies accordingly.

A successful community fundraising campaign was organised, surpassing the previous year’s results.

Internally, the editorial team has undergone optimisation measures aimed at enhancing efficiency and reducing journalist overwork. 

Nyugat has implemented 2 quarterly surveys across its social media platforms and website to gather insights into the preferences and interests of its audience, as well as a focus group session with their supporters to gain a deeper understanding of the direction of the content, crowdfunding goals, and communication strategies.

These initiatives reflect Nyugat’s commitment to engage with its audience and align its efforts with the needs and expectations of its supporters to generate more funds for sustainable growth.


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Challenges faced

A significant challenge during the implementation of the business plan was the limited human capacity available to manage the demanding crowdfunding campaigns effectively. The journalists felt overwhelmed by the additional workload of managing crowdfunding campaigns alongside their daily journalistic responsibilities. To alleviate the burden on journalists, management and higher positions ended up taking on additional responsibilities, leading to burnout and overworking. This situation highlighted the need for effective delegation and a balanced workload distribution.

By fostering awareness of the importance of crowdfunding for the newsroom’s sustainability, they aimed to increase the team’s investment in the process. Management acknowledged the challenges faced by the team and actively sought ways to alleviate their workload burdens, which created a supportive atmosphere.

By addressing these challenges through a combination of awareness-building, process improvement, and capacity building, the media outlet was able to overcome obstacles and enhance the effectiveness of their crowdfunding initiatives while maintaining their focus on high-quality journalistic work. 

In addition to successful campaign and daily production, Nyugat received the Hungarian Press Award for 2023. This award comes from the expert journalistic board of the National Association of Hungarian Journalists.


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“With the help of our mentors we have taken the structural and professional steps to transform from a small organisation into a larger one, we stabilised and further developed our operations.” Gyöngyi ROZNÁR, editor-in-chief, Nyugat.hu.

Support us page on Nyugat website. Source: nyuhat.hu