Continuing on with the concept of “Media 2.0.” I’ve talked about what newspaper companies need to focus on. Now it’s my turn to go out on a limb and suggest a process of doing it.
Here’s how the Media 2.0 news organization would be set up:
1. Content: The content department would develop the product — news, information, and advertising. Yes, ad salespeople would be in the same department as reporters and editors. Why? Because they are both working for the same result — content. Certainly we can maintain the same editorial/advertising integrity,but as long as the two groups are going into the same area for content, they should have easy access to each other to share intel, develop and pass along leads, etc.
2. Development: Once the content is developed, this group is develops the product into the words and visuals that will be read and viewed by our readers. These are the copy editors and ad proofers, page and ad designers, photo and multimedia producers and graphic artists. Again, why advertising and editorial together? Currently, there are redundancies in the process … mainly ad proofers and copy editors performing the same role … that could be combined. (This comment, I’m sure, will put me on ACES’ hit list).
3. Production: This is the department that creates and delivers the product. This department includes all prepress-related function, the pressroom and packaging functions for the print version. It also includes web designers and programmers, and IT specialists. Here is where the website is developed, e-mail blasts are grouped and sent, smart phone editions are produced and sent. It also includes delivery managers and drivers.
4. Customer Service: This is an area that many newspapers have cut back on, but it is probably one of the most important links to your readership. In addition to answering the phone, CS handles reader e-mails and web chats as well and should be empowered to solve problems.
5. Research: Another currently neglected area. This is the department that will assure newspapers do not find themselves in this situation again. These are the marketing and research crews working with the company braintrust to watch trends and technology. They will develop new products and modify current methods so the company can continue to operate a step ahead of the curve. If newspapers publishers had an R&D in the 90s, they would have recognized the potential of the Internet and the potential for new readership and revenue.
Throw in an administration and HR department and you’re in business.
It’s a radical idea and one that breaks down many taboos in the current structure. But, to achieve Media 2.0, transitions must be made. Taboos must be broken, Silos must fall. Collaboration and partnerships are vital.
It’s our survival at stake.