Making the multi-platform editorial team a reality

Creating an editorial team that works across print, video and web is now not just a long term aspiration, it’s a requirement for survival.  See my recent blog on the Guardian’s web strategy for their take on integrated edit teams.  Many media companies are still being held back by not knowing how to make this change, and how to avoid the pitfalls. I’ve provided some basic hints and tips in this earlier blog.

Simon Penson , a former editor at Emap, has lived this challenge for the last four years. Below he outlines some of his key learnings:
“As former magazine publishers we faced a tough task back in 2004 after securing a multi-million pound investment to roll out a series of websites for one of the UK’s biggest publishers. What we learnt, through real life trial and error, over the next three years could save you lots of heartache, time and expense.

As with all major shifts in strategy the operational side of this seismic change requires change management, education, planning and process; but the good news is that with the right plans in place the shift can be performed with minimum impact on your day-to-day business.

People are the centre of every media business and you must start by educating and training those that are excited by the shift in your vision of how both platforms create added value for each other and support rather than pillage.

Your ‘vision’ must also include a clear and concise picture of who does what, when and how as efficiently as possible and a 90 day plan of how to ensure everyone involved has all the skills to operate in your new world.

Armed with the ability and understanding your teams can then enter the new integrated world confidently and with a purpose and goal, rather than simply regurgitating content online ‘because they have to’.

Here are some of the issues you need to consider

  • Understanding what your web audience REALLY looks like and how your brand strengths can help you prosper.
  • Understanding how the web differs from your traditional business and how to identify your new, and very real, competitors.
  • How to find your niche and exploit, rather than flounder in a broad church.
  • Why you and your whole team must live and breathe the Google algorithm!
  • How your planning sessions need to change to encompass the three dimensional world that is the web.
  • Why Facebook, Twitter and other social network sites are your new friend
  • How to get your teams thinking differently about their ‘feature ideas’.
  • Why you need a real ‘web person’ and not just a journalist who ‘spends lots of time online’ to operate in the hub of your team.
  • Why planning is now more important than ever as clear communication becomes an absolute imperative in executing three dimensional features.
  • Why your editorial people must become more commercially aware and how they can help create more money for your web business.
  • Why you must pounce on resistors quickly and remove their negativity.
  • How to plan the first 12 months of your new online business.”

If you are interested in discussing how we could help your editorial team make the migration to multi-platform content, please contact us.

Penmaen Media was founded by Carolyn Morgan to help media brands grow in a digital world.  Visit to find out more