All Blog Posts By Topic, Creativity & Imagination, Journalism, Writing Tips

Meeting Challenges: An Innovation Toolkit

Innovate your content with these 20 tips!

According to former alt-weekly editor Alexa Schirtzinger, a recent Stanford University Knight Fellow, nearly all industries—including journalism—are being disrupted by the Internet. Seventy-five percent of publications say their challenges are not having enough staff, money, time or technology, she told attendees of the AAN Convention 2014 on July 12, 2014.

To keep up with the changing times, she offered these 20 tips for enhancing your newsroom. Embrace and live these “rules” every day!

  1. Know your community
    1. Ask readers how they read the news.
  2. Know yourself
    1. Have brand clarity. Know your strengths and limitations.
  3. Know your purpose
  4. Listen
    1. Know what interests your readers.
  5. Get personal
    1. Interact with people.
  6. Engage
    1. Engage in conversations with readers on social media, at events and in comments on blogs.
  7. Enlist allies
    1. Find brand ambassadors who will promote your brand/publication on your behalf, because they are huge fans.
  8. And put them to work
    1. Ask people to share your content; tell your story in a compelling way.
  9. Consider your user
  10. The “use” case
    1. Craft and distribute content based on the user.
  11. The whole journey
    1. Where does the content continue? Is it a 3-part series, or an annual issue?
  12. Just try it
    1. Experiment!
  13. Rough beats ready
    1. Create a rough draft or prototype to get feedback you can improve upon.

i.     i.e., See the rough original vs. revised, streamlined Google Glass prototypes

  1. Take time to reflect
    1. Think strategically about where your organization is heading.
  2. Be transparent
    1. Tell your own story. Put yourself out there as a personality. Compel your community to interact with you.
  3. Innovate continuously
    1. “Innovation is a culture, not an event. It should happen over and over.”
  4. Get the data
    1. See where your traffic is coming from via your readers.
  5. Challenge all your assumptions, especially the ones know to be true
    1. Activity: Make a list of all the things you assume about your readers and then confirm the truths or untruths.
  6. Tear down your firewall between departments (i.e., advertising vs. editorial)
    1. Activity: Every journalist should go on a sales call, and vice versa.
  7. Have fun
    1. The world is yours!

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