Sunday, February 12, 2012

Reflections on Mid-America Press Institute's 'Managing Change' workshop

Now sitting in an airport restaurant waiting to board my flight home, I thought I'd share some of the highlights from this weekend's Mid-America Press Institute workshop 'Managing Change' in St. Louis.

 - Looks like the next big thing in social media has arrived: Pinterest. Brian Steffens, director of communications for the Reynolds Journalism Institute called it the fastest growing social site yet. I, of course, was beaming with pride for my colleagues at Journal Register Company and MediaNews, who have already begun experimenting with it. Consider me officially motivated to find a Pinterest project for my own newsroom.

 - I absolutely loved Steffens' idea for direct buy advertising (Click on an ad, be taken directly to webpage where you can purchase the product). This leads me to another point ...

 - There was a lot of talk about money and advertising. Glad to hear it. Journalists no longer live in a world where we can sit idly by believing that financial success is not our concern.

 - Bob Rose of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch showed an interesting graphic on traffic - while traditional websites see a daily rise and fall culminating around the lunch hour and dropping rather dramatically on weekends, mobile traffic stays relatively consistent throughout the workweek and weekend. We should start thinking about the implications this has for staffing various shifts, he said, and I agree.

- I left feeling really good about the newspaper and company I work for and a bit amazed to learn that so many newspapers are now experiencing the ugly times we went through a few years back (My surprise not at the tough times, but that the timing of them seems a bit late compared to what I experienced). Not to say it's all sunshine and roses nowadays, but I feel like we're ahead of the game in terms of a rebirth. And I hope I left others feeling like there are brighter days ahead. I believe there are, and I believe every newsroom staffer can play a role in making any day, regardless of hardships and challenges, a brighter one.

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