The Lynchpin: A Newsroom of One

Imagine a newsroom with only one reporter, typing away on a laptop, surrounded by empty desks and unplugged monitors. Now picture this reporter going out in the field with a camera slung over a shoulder. An hour later the reporter/photographer returns, sits back at the desk, edits the photos, runs reports, sifts through data, designs a graphic, marks up the article, lays it out, and finally hits the publish button.

This is the world we live in: a newsroom of one. It’s not a new concept. Many of us have been doing just this for years and calling it content creation or in-house journalism. It’s been a necessity, a survival trait among the more successful communications professionals. It started as being a “Renaissance Man”, then a jack-of-all-trades, then multitasking, and finally employable.

So why are people asking if brands should retain a newsroom?

Here’s a pro and here’s a con.

It’s a question of content creation and scale. How does a brand create thoughtful content quickly to contribute or lead 24/7 dialogues? How does this ability span markets, countries, time zones?

There are many models, as there should be. Side note: Beware anyone who says there is a single solution. Some departments may scale up to build an internal team similar to a modern, digital newsroom. Others, usually due to budget restrictions, will ask staff to take on new responsibilities. Yet others will retain agencies when applicable, possibly with several on retainer for rapid response social media and creative.

The most important thing to retain is a staff member that fully understands these many moving parts. This colleague will either run the ship him or herself or oversee the team members spread across the globe. You need a colleague who participates in the creative process, practicing “social” media not just posting online, and produces not only collateral but content strategy. You need a colleague who appreciates the capabilities, limitations, and roles of the technology that is available. This colleague must be an analyst, running reports, sifting through the data, and detecting trends to drive relevancy. And above all, this colleague must have an editorial producer mind to package the end result and create thoughtful dialogues to increase support and sharability.

The “newsroom” is the latest buzzword. Translated it means “multifaceted team members who contribute across your organization’s departments/structure.”

The new economy has created a workforce of individuals with multiple professions and skill sets and we’re looking for positions that require using as many of these skills, and acquiring more. Luckily for you, we enjoy this demanding work life and only require one benefits package.

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