News Leadership 3.0

July 18, 2008

Low hanging harvest:  Just do it

@ Leadership conference:
Editors identify changes
they can make quickly

Thursday was less about expert presentations and a lot more about planning by editors participating in the Knight Leadership conference. In one exercise, we asked editors to brainstorm “low-hanging fruit,” or changes they could make fairly quickly and easily in their newsrooms. Some are pretty ambitious and I think that demonstrates how energized these editors are feeling after an infusion of tools and expertise.

Here’s a sampling:
Develop headline writing optimized for search.
Do a Google content search for our market, link to it and use as content guide
Reward section editors for growing page views of sections to which they are assigned
Identify audiences we’re not reaching. Set up site and see if can capture them (test sites on Ning)
Study - full of examples of things to do to increase people’s relationships with each other
Analyze our metrics and share them - make sure we have the right ones
Explore creating evergreen sites
Get more info about community foundation money for coverage
Implement visual designation of breaking news box most viewed by users.
Add supplemental links in and out, embed more links
Explore Facebook and myspace groups to disseminate news, getting story ideas
Template beyond slide shows - interactives, timelines that can be reused
Create a small business directory
Establish metrics for audience, traffic and revenue
Build a simple,  effective product development process
Organize around franchise products
Hire community interface managers
Develop specific training to support tactics
Seek appropriate content and technology partners
Establish accountability and incentives
Describe new roles and hire for them
Use Eyetrack
Create a product development team
Create individual performance expectations for section editors to help drive traffic pages on their site.
Monetize video content as wholesale commodity
Re-evaluate use of multimedia and use more smartly
Launch fast and fix on the fly, build speed into new idea generation process
Rebuild from blank sheet newsroom structure, rethink idea of management
Develop coherent strategy for mobile
Focus on the change agents in the room, reward and promote and empower
Spend less time focusing only on print—especially in senior management

As you check out their lists, I hope you’ll be making your own. What’s on your list? Please share ideas in the comments.


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Exploring innovation, transformation and leadership in a new ecosystem of news, by journalist and change advocate Michele McLellan.

Get in touch with Michele at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

More Leadership at KDMC:
Leadership Seminars | Annual Leadership Reports

Support is provided by:

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

USC Annenberg School for Communication

McCormick Foundation

Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute


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