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Five things that are a key to a good newsletter PLUS Media companies are facing challenges attracting and retaining talent

Five things that are a key to a good newsletter PLUS Media companies are facing challenges attracting and retaining talent
I was at the Press Gazette’s Future of Media Technology conference yesterday, and during networking, one of the messages that I heard was that media companies are struggling to attract and retain talent. Some of this is about pay, not just that is competitive with other industries but a living wage.
But another major issue is around flexible working. After two years of working remotely, the idea of being in the office isn’t that attractive. More than that, managers seem unsympathetic to issues around work-life balance. One of the keynote speakers at the conference exhorted managers to make their workplaces fun so that people would show up at 7 am with a smile on their faces. Honestly, the bags under my eyes would cover overwhelm any smile on my face if showing up in the office at 7 am wasn’t my normal shift pattern.
Another comment I heard was that local journalists in the UK could make more working at a fast food restaurant than in their current jobs. I know the truth of this. When I was a regional executive editor for Gannett, my entry-level reporters had to have second jobs to make ends meet. The pregnant wife of a young reporter at one of the papers I managed button-holed me at the grocery store. She told me that based on the pay her husband made and what she made working in retail that they would have to rely on state benefits for the birth of their first child. It still makes my soul ache. And we need to talk about this in the industry. I remember the low pay when I started in the industry decades ago, and I could say twas ever thus, but the problem is that too many reporters don’t have a career path forward in their communities anymore. The only way to a living wage is to leave and work in national media, and then you have the crushing costs of living in New York, Washington DC or London. And the pay at TV stations in the US is even worse. It’s time for an industry-wide conversation about that.
And there are two pieces today that point to other issues around the talent crunch hitting media. At Digiday’s summit in the US, managers were complaining that they would hire entry-level direct sales staff only to see them scooped up by tech firms six to eight months later at twice the pay. And in the US state of Missouri, a well-respected university is offering scholarships to students who commit to working at local, rural newspapers.

Paywalls’ impact on SEO: How publishers can minimize risk and maximize value | What’s New in Publishing | Digital Publishing News
What’s New in Publishing summarises a report by Poool that offers a three tactics that can help preserve your SEO efforts once you paywall your content. A lot of it hinges on keeping up with Google’s latest recommendations and products.
536. Axios has a brief message for journalists
A good podcast about Axios’ strategy of how they happened upon the strategy of ‘smart brevity’. It recognises the value of your audiences’ time and also the overwhelming amount of content that is out there.
33% of US TikTok users say they regularly get their news on the app, up from 22% in 2020 • TechCrunch
TechCrunch summarises the latest Pew research on sources of news.
Vice News looks to Twitch, TikTok to develop audience trust and engagement - Digiday
I can see how their efforts lead to audience growth and engagement, but apart from being seen as authentic on these platforms preferred by their core audience, I struggle to see how this builds trust.
Media Briefing: Overheard at the Sept. 2022 Digiday Publishing Summit - Digiday
What the heard at their conference of senior media executives: A tough quarter and the challenges of retaining talent.
‘Who’s going to run it?’ – RJI
Another piece highlighting the issue of attracting and retaining talent. Just as rural communities in the US struggle to have doctors (remember the 90s show Northern Exposure), they are also struggling to attract editors.
"We must meet our audience where they are": Why TMB launched a streaming channel for Family Handman | What’s New in Publishing | Digital Publishing News
Trusted Media Brands, which is probably most well known in the US for Readers Digest, has launched a streaming channel to support their Family Handyman magazine. If a brand produces enough video content, this makes quite a bit of sense. The challenge is how to break through with so much streaming video clamouring for people’s time. I wonder if there is an easy way for someone to go from print to the channel or social to the channel. Any OTT/streaming experts have the answer before I start Googling?
INMA: Customer changes drive CMS, cultural changes at Mediahuis
As someone who now works for a CMS company and also someone who has gone through a number of CMS transitions, this article goes through all of the issues involved when changing your content-management system. Yes, when choosing a CMS, it might seem to be solely a technical project, but like any product project, it will involve not only technical but editorial and commercial stakeholders. And for internal end users, it will also involve workflow changes, which is actually an expression of newsroom culture.
Publishers: 5 things you should always include in a newsletter | What’s New in Publishing | Digital Publishing News
Most of these you are probably already doing, but the one thing that I have found is a good point for user research and A/B testing finding the right send time. When do people normally read the content that you are providing? (I say this as someone who because of demands at work and changes in my daily schedule send this out whenever I can!)
Gannett positions for the future by cutting today - Poynter
This could have been written at several points over the past 15 years with Gannett. I hear from a lot of people outside the scale-focused print media companies that you can’t cut your way to growth. You can, but only if you tighten the focus and clarify the product and value proposition.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Kevin Anderson, Consulting Services Director, Kaldor/Pugpig.

Digital transformation and product development with a media focus.

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