A leading challenge in unbolting newsrooms will be to help enterprise reporting break free of the “Sunday story.”
For decades, most newsrooms with Sunday papers target their best enterprise for that day, when space is generous and daily news is usually light and readers are likely to spend more time with the newspaper. But Sunday is an awful day for web traffic. Our digital audience is more engaged during the work week.
The Digital First approach to enterprise reporting has largely been to publish our Sunday stories online Saturday or Friday (if the reporter turns them in on time and we finish the editing early enough). But our best enterprise still gets muted impact with the digital audience, publishing on the weekend or late in the work week. And the content still generally revolves around a long text story that was planned for print.
Planning for enterprise stories needs to focus on how and when we tell the story digitally. Presentation of some of that content as a Sunday print story should be an afterthought (like digital planning often tends to be now). We might not develop a single approach that we use for all enterprise stories, but through experimentation develop a handful of approaches that work for different types of enterprise stories.
As I help Digital First Media newsrooms “unbolt” from our print workflow and culture in Project Unbolt, I have suggested that we develop some questions to consider in planning enterprise stories. I’m not suggesting that all these questions be considered for every story (it’s quite a long list), but some of them (and most or all of the umbrella topics below) should be considered for every story. (more…)