To produce for multiple platforms, start by listening

I had the honor of speaking on a panel at the NABJ Conference in New Orleans yesterday about producing for a multi-platform environment. Here is a quick hit of what I had to offer:

The most important step in producing in this era is actually not producing, but listening. You know the saying that to be a good writer you have to read a lot? Well, in order to be a good producer today, you have to consume a lot. Be smart about what you’re consuming and take note of why it’s resonating — or why it’s not. It’s also important to expose yourself to engaging content outside of the news echo chamber on today’s popular platforms; YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Have you heard of the term “Social listening?” Type that into Google and go to school. Newsrooms use it much differently than brands, as the goal is not so much to find out what people are saying about you – although that can be insightful – but what are people talking about in your community. What content should you produce that is going to resonate with your audience? You don’t have to guess any more. Now there are tools that can tell you.

When producing content on any platform, be authentic and engaging, first and foremost, of course. Look for ways to bring social content onto TV and drive TV audiences to share on social, then find a way to highlight the best stuff on your site and app. We call this “The Circle.”

So the top 3 tips:

  • Start with listening
  • Be authentic and engaging
  • Complete the circle

The conversation yesterday in New Orleans was wide-ranging and spirited. Thanks to my fellow panelists and the audience for bringing their collective insights into the discussion.

(On a personal note, I felt especially honored to attend and speak at NABJ as my grad school advisor and one of the most inspirational people in my career, the late, great Chuck Stone, was NABJ’s first president.)

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