Running a digital newsroom with limited resources
“Running on empty” is not a new concept for digital newsrooms. Over the past couple of decades, the digital load has continuously expanded, and now your journalists are also expected to produce video, social media content, images, copy-write, and everything else that running a publication entails.
But how do you keep the engine running?
Here are some ways to lighten the load, set your team up for success, and help your operation run fully-optimized without killing your employees.
Training your digital newsroom staff is going to be the most critical piece of your process. You may assume that people know how to tweak video or edit photos, or navigate CMS, but they may not. And even if they know, everybody in your team needs to be operating within the same parameters. Yes, it may be a heavy lift, and you may feel like using person-hours to teach someone how to use free video software is a waste, but it will likely cost you a lot more person-hours on the back end you don’t invest upfront.
Ensure that your old & new staff are always are on the same page. Build a training checklist that you use for all staff, and make sure to cross-train. You don’t want to end up in a situation where your “photo editor” is out and your team struggles for images.
Here are some things to think about:
Content Management System (CMS)
What video software are you using?
Where is the video hosted?
How do you embed it into your posts?
Do you create video posts?
What is your process for posting to social? Who posts to social?
Which platforms do you use, and how do you use them?
How do you create your copy?
Are your reporters selecting social-friendly images for their content?
Do you live stream?
How do you use Facebook and Instagram?
Do you use live stream software on your website?
How is it promoted in advance?
How is this distributed in real-time?
Does your team know who is involved?
Make sure there is a consistency of voice in headlines and social copy.
Are there off-limits topics?
How do you tackle controversial issues?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Is your CMS set up properly to rank?
Are your reporters linking out, both internally and externally?
Is content being created with SEO in mind?
Video is an essential component of a digital newsroom. If you’re lucky, you can rotate in a few video editors who know how to churn out a video with advanced editing software with no notice.
Every newsroom should have Getty and AP subscriptions. These image sources are going to be your primary source of photo content. Investing in some other stock image sites may be worthwhile if you struggle to find what you need.
Managing Social Media
Social media is likely one of your most considerable time sucks. However, if you’re like most digital newsrooms, a substantial portion of your traffic comes from social media. Because of the value that social media represents, it can make you feel trapped. How on earth can you get your team off of Facebook?
The good news is that scheduling and automation have come a long way! There are dozens of tools out there that allow you to schedule content out when you know you will have a hard time getting posts out.
Our Ingress tool can perform scheduling from your task list entirely, allowing you to customize frequency, content type, and more.