The basics of project development for a media organization

Project management image courtesy of pxhere and posted under Creative Commons Universal

A media organization should always be attentive to changing demand and audience behavior. This involves constantly reviewing what is produced to ensure that it is relevant to those who consume it. There is so much competition in the internet age and it’s easy for your audience to walk away. You have to be nimble and vigilant if you want to grab their attention.

Part of this process might involve revising the current editorial process and / or creating new products to try both to retain the existing audience and to attract new listeners, viewers and readers. Such a process, done correctly, can lead to increased audience engagement and loyalty.

But how can media managers be sure they’re creating the right products? And what are the steps they need to take? Launching any media product, whether it’s a new radio or TV show, a special edition for a newspaper or a website, requires careful research, planning and, most importantly, a justification.

In this article, the first in a three-part series, we first take a look at the basics of running such a project before moving on to a how-to guide on what to do if you’re planning a relaunch or a relaunch. new product, and then watch an example of how to set up a new TV program has been launched successfully.

The following principles should be applied by all broadcasters and publishers involved in the process of creating new products. It is best to make a checklist that spells out all the questions that need to be answered. This checklist can be divided into four areas:

  • Define the target audience.
  • Expose the unique editorial proposal.
  • Evaluate the cost.
  • Calculation of yield.

Let’s take a look at these four areas in more detail.

1: Define and know your target audience

The first question to ask yourself is “Who is it for?” “.

You’re about to put a lot of time and effort into creating something new, so you need to know if someone will want what you’re about to produce.

This is where you need to make sure that what you create matches the demands of your audience.

Our training module on “The Value of In-Depth Research for a Media Business” outlines the steps a media business needs to take in order to establish its position in the local media market.

And then you have to understand the audience you are targeting with the new product. Our training module “Identifying the target audience and their information needs” will guide you through this process.

2: Establish a clear and unique editorial proposal

The second question is “What are you proposing?” “.

Before you begin, you need to define what is unique about what you are about to produce. How will it be different from what the competition produces? Why would someone want to listen to your radio station, watch your TV show, read your magazine, or visit your website?

It’s about offering something different; something that not only does not currently exist, but also something that is so unique, fresh and relevant that it sets your media organization apart from the rest.

Your difference may lie in the topics covered, the way you deal with news, user engagement and interactivity you offer, the editorial and ethical values ​​you hold dear, your focus on fact-checking, the diversity of voices you include.

Our training module “Establishing a market differential with original journalism” offers a way to do this. After reading this module, you are ready for the third step of the process.

3: Calculate the cost in terms of money and resources

Next, your media business needs to know if it can afford to pay for the new content idea.

The first question to consider is whether you can do this with existing resources. Is there a way to revamp the way you do things right now so that you can produce more content or different content without having to hire additional staff and material?

You will need to review your current production processes. In my experience, many new products can be created from existing resources if media managers are prepared to take a fresh look at how news is produced.

Our training module “Create a Converged Information Operation” presents a few simple steps that will allow an information organization to introduce efficiency gains that will improve the quantity and quality of output.

This usually involves the introduction of new workflows and changes to what staff currently do. Our training module “Convergence, workflows, roles and responsibilities”, shows how this can be implemented.

I have successfully introduced convergence models in Africa, Asia, Middle East, South East Europe and CIS. Either way, duplication of effort has been eliminated and productivity has been increased – and all from existing resources.

Once you’ve taken a fresh look at how your newsroom works and better understand how to leverage existing resources for maximum gain, you’re ready to take the next step.

4: Understand the sources of income

The last point is about how to make money with the new program, edition, or website. Need to know which advertisers / sponsors will want to be associated with what you create?

And, while I listed this as point four, it would make sense to start thinking about it early in the process at the audience identification stage.

Our ‘How to Develop a Media Sales Strategy’ training module presents some simple steps that, if followed, should help you monetize the new product, cover your costs, and get you started thinking about how to further develop your business. media company.


In the second article in this series, Bob Eggington presents a “How-to of media project management” listing the practical steps required. The third article, also written by Bob, takes a look at “A Practical Example of Media Project Management,” in which he shares a case study of a program he implemented.


About Barbara J. Ross

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