This continues a series on advice for new top editors in Digital First Media newsrooms.
Editors need to understand and pursue mobile opportunities.
In more than one-third of Digital First Media news operations, we get more than half of our traffic on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Just as the computer reading experience is different from the print reading experience, the mobile user experience is different from the desktop or laptop experience.
You need read and view your products on your smartphone and tablet (and recognize that they aren’t the same thing), both on the apps and on mobile browsers. Know what your mobile users are seeing and experiencing.
The news business hasn’t done enough to master mobile opportunities. You need to lead your organization in becoming the mobile leader in your community. Identify things your news staff can do to improve your mobile content and experience. Work with tech and sales staffs to improve the mobile content, experience and revenue opportunities.
I have written a lot about mobile opportunities in this blog, most notably my 2009 call for news organizations to pursue mobile-first strategy. I think my 2010 suggestion for a mobile-first project for your community on the go would still be a good idea for many news organizations to undertake to build your mobile audience and your mobile capabilities. (With both of those links and the others below, keep in mind that the suggestions I made may need updating if you apply them today.)
Other things editors should do to pursue mobile opportunities:
- Discuss mobile issues in your newsroom meetings. Look at how your apps and mobile site are displaying at that moment on various devices.
- Designate a newsroom mobile leader to direct and stimulate your newsroom’s consideration of mobile opportunities.
- Discuss how to engage the mobile audience in the day’s news.
- Lead experimentation in your newsroom with mobile tools and engagement techniques.
- Consider development of smartphone and/or tablet apps for special projects that have some shelf life, might be useful for the mobile community or might be particularly effective in the tablet experience. Beyond the value of the app itself, part of your benefit from developing an app is that you gain skills in developing and designing your app.
- Advocate in the budgeting process for more and newer mobile devices for your staff and/or for stipends reimbursing staff for using their own devices.
- Use tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Tout on mobile devices yourself.
- Tell your sales colleagues about all mobile projects you undertake, so they can explore the revenue opportunities.
How is your newsroom pursuing mobile opportunities?
Other earlier posts about mobile strategy
- News companies need to help local businesses pursue mobile opportunities
- How news organizations need to change to pursue a mobile-first strategy
- Students’ media use shows journalism’s future
- Tomi T. Ahonen’s view of the present and future of mobile
- Experts’ view of mobile: the opportunity of our lifetime
If you’re another Digital First editor (or a leader or former leader in another organization) and would like to propose a guest post as part of the series, email me at sbuttry (at) digitalfirstmedia (dot) com and we’ll discuss. Sue Burzynski Bullard provided such a post on organizational tools and Nancy March wrote one on balancing work and personal life.
I’m not interested in a post of general leadership tips. I’d rather have a post on a particular leadership topic. Feel free to suggest a post that might address a topic I’ve already covered, but from a different perspective. I welcome posts that disagree with my advice. I will invite a few editors I respect to write posts.
Earlier posts with advice for editors
Here are topics I am planning on covering in this series (the order is tentative). The posts probably will run every few days for the next few weeks. What other topics should I cover?
- Time management
- Developing new leaders