Congratulations to Zahra Mulroy from Trinity Mirror who is the winner of Digital Journalist / Content Producer of the Year 2017
The Elevator Pitch
Over the past year Zahra Mulroy pioneered Mirror Online’s innovative parenting hub. She is a beacon of information, advice and humor for mums navigating motherhood across the globe. She fearlessly dealt with taboo issues, often ignored but faced by women daily.
As well as break stories, she uses sophisticated tools to monitor social and search trends to discover what content parenting communities are calling for. Mulroy also established a vibrant user-generated content hub receiving thousands of contributions.
Without ego in her writing, Zahra listens to parents meeting their needs, championing their lives and giving them a voice.
Set The Scene
With no budget attached to her project she recruited experts and bloggers to write for the section in order to add new and engaging angles to her coverage.
Not a mum herself, Mulroy researched, interviewed, immersed herself in the community working with mums rather than lecturing or dictating.
Often operating as a one-woman band Mulroy ensured a constant content flow by establishing a sophisticated usergenerated content stream. She embeds third party forms into her stories calling out for women to get in touch to tell their stories. More than 5,000 individuals have sent in words, pictures and video.
Tell Us The Story
In 2016 Mulroy launched her trends monitoring programme using search and social tools, including Google Trends, CrowdTangle, Newswhip and others, to be completely across what parenting communities were discussing. From her birdseye view she could strategise what topics to cover and how to cover them.
If her monitoring showed an individual generating engagement on a subject she approached them and offered Mirror Online so they could discuss their issue with a wider audience. A wonderful example of this is when she bravely published vaginal breech birth photos, leading readers who had been through the same experience to thank her.
Other amazing UGC stories in mothers’ words include:
‘I had heart attack at 29 weeks pregnant - nobody noticed the symptoms’
Heartbreaking family portraits of parents who spent just one precious day with their baby
‘I watched my baby emerge from my stomach - my natural caesarean was empowering’
She seriously covered birthgasms, interviewing an expert and women who had the experience. Where some journalists may shun or shy away from taboo subjects, especially in relation to birth, Mulroy gets to the crux of them, makes them understandable and less terrifying for women.
Her article “Facts about childbirth that aren’t easy to hear but all women should know” written with a midwife is a perfect example of this. Other examples created from monitoring search trends and translating them into useful content include:
How to help children understand death and grief
Why your child’s imaginary friend isn’t as worrying as you fear
In 2016 Mulroy drove tens of thousands of page views across a fascinating mix of content. She grew the Mirror Mums Facebook page 350% and traffic referrals from that page to Mirror Online by 1,764%.
She generated thousands of pieces of content from her UGC community and did all this with no budget. Not only did she not pay for any of it but some work has been successfully syndicated and translated into print features, thus generating revenue for the company.
Mulroy has built such a strong relationship with her parenting readers they are now woven into the fabric of Mirror Online - not only reading and liking the content but being imperative to the creation of it.