The Scoop Glastonbury covers business news, happenings, and events in Glastonbury, CT. When it comes to storytelling, Founder Jackie Brousseau Post has a lot in common with MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price. The two met while networking several years ago, kept in touch, and recently reconnected to share Jackie’s story.
NAN PRICE: Give us some background. When and why did you develop the concept for The Scoop?
JACKIE BROUSSEAU POST: I started The Scoop Glastonbury three years ago. At the time, I was working freelance for NBC Connecticut. I was hosting CT Spotlight, which was a two-minute interview-style segment about Connecticut businesses. I really enjoyed talking to small business owners and learning their stories about how and why they started their businesses.
At the same time, I’d always had this nagging feeling to start my own thing in my own town where I would discover different things that were happening and share about them. I’d drive by a new business coming to town and think: What’s happening there? Why does no one know about this? I’d always say, “What’s the scoop?”
I told a local business owner about my idea, and she said, “Well, what do have to lose? Why don’t you just start it?” I went home and built my website that weekend.
From there, I had a couple of “big breaks.” I covered a somewhat controversial story about a brewery coming to a barn in South Glastonbury. I was the only one to have the story and it got shared 102 times on Facebook. I knew then that I had something that was really resonating with people.
NAN: How do you determine who you’re going to feature?
JACKIE: All of my stories are curated. So, I choose the stories, which are generally about new businesses or businesses that are relocating or renovating or anything I think is unique or interesting. I think one reason it works is because my audience is me. Because I am my audience, I’m able to curate things that are valuable and interesting to others like me. Another reason is, it’s hyper local. People want to know what’s happening in their community.
NAN: How does the business model work?
JACKIE: I always wanted it to be advertising without advertising. I make it look very organic, like I’m telling a story. Yes, it’s paid for, but that doesn’t really matter to the story because it’s something people want to know about. I feel like people want to know the business behind the story. And so what if it’s paid, it’s their story.
Some stories resonate so deeply with people and my audience becomes very engaged. For instance, I featured a daycare that’s coming to Glastonbury and they got 110 leads from one story. Their corporate office was thrilled! (Unfortunately, because of COVID-19 the licensing was backed up and they lost some leads.)
I also get a lot of response to contractors’ stories. One electrician immediately got four inquiries the day he was featured. And a logo designer got five inquiries when she was featured. That helped me realize some of the smaller businesses were following The Scoop, which was enlightening because there was a whole new audience.
NAN: You and I met through a women’s networking group. Have you been involved with any other local business resources?
JACKIE: The Entrepreneurial Center & Women’s Business Center at the University of Hartford has been invaluable for me. It provided some guidance and gave me the confidence to make better decisions in terms of my pricing. It helped me realize I was underpricing at every step of the way. That’s evolved over time. I think I’ve finally gotten to a point where I’m comfortable with my pricing, which has been really empowering because I’m able to back it up with the value I know I’m providing to people.
NAN: How has COVID-19 affected your business?
JACKIE: When we first went into quarantine, I had four or five immediate cancellations, which is totally understandable because people weren’t paying for advertising at the time.
I felt the need to help people, so I did some things that were just content related and featured a bunch of local businesses. That evolved into one of my segments called Get To Know Local, which became very popular during COVID-19. I started it as a free thing and now it’s part of my promotional package because it’s resonating with people and they seem to love it. It’s reaching between 4,000 and 7,000 people in one day on Facebook.
The pandemic has also given me time to come up with some new ideas. For example, a lot of nonprofits were reaching because their big fundraisers were cancelled and I thought: How can I help feature these nonprofits in The Scoop and still make it valuable? That led to the creation of a new segment called the Do Good Spotlight.
NAN: In terms of business ownership, what are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
JACKIE: The biggest lesson I’ve learned is not to just sit on stuff. You can’t just ruminate about something. You have to try something to see if it works. And it’s okay if you try something and it doesn’t work. Things change. You have to have the confidence to figure out what worked and what didn’t and then keep trying.