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Monday, March 3, 2008

The case for hiring a video strategist

There are a few nice notes in this post about online video strategies from Liz Foreman, a former TV manager who jumped to a Gannett newspaper site, in Cincinnati.

For a start, Liz sees newspapers as being more serious about online than TV:

"My boss’ mantra: ‘Write for online, update for print’ permeates the newspaper newsroom but the online thinking also extends into other departments for a very good reason - online is a serious money-making component of the business. Although many TV stations are getting more excited about the web, their websites just aren’t bringing in the bucks like newspaper sites are (I know, there are exceptions,) and consequently they just aren’t as serious about it."
She notes that while video is gaining popularity with online news sites few have a coherent strategy for it:
"As a result, newspapers need folks not only to shoot and edit video but also to help the staff understand what types of video will work online and how to monetize their video efforts."
She summarises her job as being an ambassador for video:
"Reminding staff that we 'do' video, suggesting video ideas during the story planning process and politely saying certain ideas won’t make good videos, motivating newsroom staffers to shoot video and disseminating video statistics so that people can observe traffic growth.
"Based on my experience, the job is akin to my early days of running a TV news website - you must be a good salesperson, good at collaborating with other departments and religious about communicating what works and doesn’t work."
She offers some good pointers for anyone moving into a video management job, and let's hope a few such jobs will be created in New Zealand soon.