Thursday, August 30, 2007

'We're no longer a daily newspaper'

"We're a 24-hour information center." So says the managing editor of the News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., a Gannett paper that adopted the "Information Center" approach early on.

A lot of the things we have in the works here -- most notably the "universal desk" -- bear strong resemblance to what's going on in Gannett. (Insert ominous music here.)

The ME shared some of the lessons she learned during their transition:

  • Communicate often. Managers must tell employees that change is coming, even before managers know exactly what the changes will be.

  • Expect turmoil as newsroom resources are redeployed. Expect some resignations, and expect staff to express uncertainty of the results. Quality may suffer during the transition, but it will return.

  • Be flexible. Great ideas will come from unlikely sources. Capitalize on opportunities. And don't be afraid to make adjustments.

  • Train managers to manage the change and to manage staff in their new roles. Train staff on the new equipment, technology and processes they will be using. Ask what they need, and ease their fears that they will be left behind.

  • Encourage and reward innovative ideas, and celebrate successes. Host monthly progress parties that celebrate changes accomplished during the month.

Also of note in this Inland Press story, the paper's vice president of human resources offers some advice to help staffers transition from the old model to the 24-hour, Web-centric newsroom organization.

1 comment:

Andria said...

I like this quote from the story too:
""Focus less on the change and more on the opportunities the change can bring," said Weinberg. "Personal and professional development is the best retention tool we have."