Media plays a powerful role in the 21st century. The rise and evolution of how it works, what it says, the narratives it chooses and abandons are a topic of discussion within and outside of the media industry.
Earlier, what used to be largely two separate groups, that of media and news, is now much more complicated and intertwined. One of the common ways to address this middle ground has been news media.
This is not to say that this complication is bad or negative. Just, occasionally messy.
Managing one of these, is of course, messier than it looks to the consumer. Let’s look at how certain tools can help you manage a media conglomerate.
Monetizing the platform
First, if you’re going to have a free model for consumers, you will need to monetize your business with ads. Or you will have a subscription model. Or you will have a mix of both. The thing to focus on is your ad platform. You have to have ads that are relevant to the topics and categories you generate news around. The best example here would be that of The Verge. They talk mostly about tech, science, and space, and the ads shown on their platform are relevant to their readers which not only adds value but also keeps their readers’ experience unhindered.
Now that is just covering the basics of the platform you choose. Your content creation platform should be built to work in partnership with the ad platform you choose, smartly.
Next up, comes the content you actually publish. There are certain guidelines and rules regarding the content you have to publish. There are soft guidelines like making a note of the updates in the content if you make changes, and hard guidelines like not publishing plagiarised content. The way you talk about things on your platform will depend on the things you talk about as well. Be bold, and be careful. You are in a very public space.
As a company, this business leads to heavy investment in the tools you provide to your staff, your writers, editors, curators, freelancers, reporters, guest contributors, and designers.
Now, of course, this software or portal works on login credentials for each role I mentioned above. Since these roles are different, the access that each of them require also differs based on the tasks they need to perform.
- A writer needs to only access their own portfolio of articles, whereas an editor should have access to all the work for all the writers or the writers assigned to them.
- Similarly, freelancers should only be able to submit articles, designers should be able to add media to articles or in the library, etc.
And if your media house is big on collaboration, you can always have a feature where a particular writer/editor can add more writers, freelancers, editors, guest contributors, or designers to their articles providing special limited access when permitted to create holistic articles with verified information from the subject matter experts.
An information and media platform is not limited to news or opinion editorials. It also includes video, podcasts, or all of these things.
If your media house handles podcasts independently of your written stories, but shares them on the same website as stories, then your portal needs a special way to handle audio files as well. You will need to treat that post like a normal story that you write a brief about and then embed the audio file in it.
Same applies to how you handle video stories. However, if your platform is a streaming platform for video, then things shift slightly. Here, video is your central content.
If you have a review team for gadgets, cars, any kind of product or service, this portal can also be a tool to manage that neatly. It can keep track of which review unit you have, when it arrived, when it was sent back, if it arrived faulty or was damaged later. While your review of the service or product will be public, the company that it belongs to should also get the basic facts of your experience. This becomes a good way to keep track of product iterations for your writers, and if a product breaks down multiple times.
Another thing that a media house can use to engage with the audience is polls. You can put up relevant polls regarding trending topics and get the results directly in the backend, and be easily usable inside articles if required.
Once the news is out, the natural second step is to try and decipher the behavior of your readers along with finding your voice. If you have started your news media platform with an objective in mind, then you already know your voice as well as your audience. But if your subject matter expertise is widespread, then you will have to spend a good amount of time analyzing your traffic and seeing if your content is being downloaded into your audience the way you want it to, and if it is sparking the right conversations around the topics that matter.
For this, your media portal can help you monitor as well as analyze.
For creating great user-centric content, you need a 360-degree view of your competitors, your readers, as well as the topics you publish content on. And your portal dashboard should give you that. This can come handy to the editors, strategists, as well as to the senior writers. The dashboard should fetch media data and chatter around your news media from sources like social media, broadcast channels, online sources, etc. This allows you to:
- Monitor your brand reputation: If anything goes south, you can deploy your social media or crisis management or PR brigade to handle the situation. News is sensitive and can spark either revolutionary conversations and movements or violent public outbreaks or public menace. And you don’t want your articles to cause the latter. Something like this can stick to your reputation until the end of your existence.
- Get industry news: Now if you are reporting news and creating media for a particular niche, you can’t afford to lose the happenings in your industry. So, it becomes imperative that you monitor every news in your industry to stay ahead of your competitors. This is crucial in stories that are developing so that you don’t end up missing out on important updates.
- Insights of topics: Similar to monitoring a particular industry, you can also monitor a topic. This can be beneficial for writers who specialize in a subject matter. This way they can monitor topics and write keeping in mind the chatter of the town.
- Analyze your competitors: Monitoring what your competitors are doing can help you to craft strategies that can push you ahead of them. So, you can add the sites of your competitors to the media portal and monitor the frequency they publish, readers’ responses, social shares, etc. This way you will be able to understand the gap and the nature of it, which will allow you to fill it easily and in less time.
Now this needs to go a step above and beyond getting basic viewership insights. In addition to knowing where your users are coming from, this dashboard/backend should be able to tell you where they are posting and sharing your content. If you know the kind of conversations that it sparks on social media, your social media team can actively participate and add to the dialogue. Also, make sure that your analytical dashboard is configurable so that you can overview your organization’s performance in a single glance.
Here’s what all you can do with an analytical dashboard:
- Campaign tracking: News media houses are there to ask the right questions as well as create awareness. And to do that, it is necessary to run campaigns, do a series of articles, and provide as much information as you can on that particular matter. Not only that but you also need to analyze the performance of these campaigns in order to know the impact you left on readers. So, this dashboard can provide you with insights like viewership, social shares, mentions, comments, tweets, reddits, or any conversations happening around your campaign.
- Identify influencers: Influencers have become a big part of every company’s marketing strategies, and it should be yours too. If your article caught the eye of an activist or an influencer, then they can actually help you to grow your viewership; that is if they are on the same side of matter as you are. They can negatively promote your article too. So make sure to keep a close eye on influencers, activists, etc. with an analytical dashboard.
- Streamline brand communication: It is the most important thing for a news media company. You don’t want to look like a hypocrite on important matters. So for a united front, you should monitor all the channels your articles are being shared and with what message. And this analytical dashboard should be able to do just that.
- Properly handle negative reviews: In the world of hyperconnectivity, missing even a bad comment, review, about you or your content can lead to a huge negative impact. To not let this happen, an analytical dashboard should help you monitor mentions, comments, shares, etc. in real-time so you can counteract in the best way possible and as soon as possible.
Generating news, finding a voice that is original, unbiased, and informative, in this world of hyperconnectivity is not an easy task. But with the right tools like a fully specced up media portal with the above mentioned features will help you find your space in this internet universe that we’ve created.
CRMJetty is a web portal development company and we can make a custom portal for your requirements. If you want a retail portal with an ecommerce option, we can make it possible for you. Contact us here to further explore this option for you.
Roma Amarnani contributed to this post.
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