11 Tips to Successfully Balance a Print and Digital Portfolio
5. Break down walls.
Profitably integrating print and digital media should start with the actual physical work environment of the employees. In other words, by literally breaking down the walls between employees working in print and other interactive media divisions, you eliminate silos. “There needs to be a concerted effort to tear down the walls between editorial, online media and video staff,” says Marc Mathies, interactive operations director for Detroit-based AutoWeek, a division of Crain Communications. “We [literally] lowered the walls in our entire editorial area, so the interactive and editorial departments have to look at each other and talk about what they need to do.” The result has been a “transformational” process of cooperation and communication between departments, he says.
6. Cross-purpose your staff.
The breakdown of physical space will naturally lead to the sharing of ideas, people and resources, which can significantly impact return on investment. “Get them to think beyond their primary medium,” says Mathies. “It’s the only way to survive because we couldn’t support building out redundant staff. Our editors and reporters [who] write for the magazine are now responsible for contributing to voice-overs on our daily video TV show, and they are responsible for contributing scripts for that show.”
TechWeb has also cross-purposed its staff. “We no longer have a single person on our staff [who] only works on print,” says Uphoff. “If you work for InformationWeek, you are InformationWeek print, online, and in many cases, live events and video.”
7. Concentrate on content, not fads.
Today’s readers are looking for useful content, information that will impact their lives for the better. So, publishers need to pour quality into their content and maintain high standards, especially on Internet. “You’ve got to put a lot of quality online because, ultimately, readers are looking for information,” says Ruddy. The graphics, he says, don’t have to be as aesthetically pleasing as they are in print, “but your content has to have interesting information that is pertinent to people.” He also warns about getting caught up in technology fads, which can create a lot of bells and whistles that do little for reader interest. “People are constantly getting deluged with new technology,” says Ruddy. Keep your eye on informative content, and your readers will stay with you, he advises.