Talking small newsrooms and big content at Philly BarCamp News Innovation 2015. (Photo: @BCNIPhilly, Twitter)
The very first presentation I ever gave to group of professional peers was at Philly’s BarCamp News Innovation in 2009. I was about to graduate from Temple University’s School of Media & Communication and had just launched NEast Philly. Along came the first-ever BCNI and a couple hundred journalists eager to talk about news. Conveniently located in Temple’s Journalism School building, no less.
Six years later, and I’ve presented twice more at BCNI — three years ago on behalf of NewsWorks, where I was transitioning a breaking news blog into a social media strategy, and two weeks ago in my current role as Billy Penn’s community manager.
I prepared a few slides, seen below, about Billy Penn’s strategy for doing more with less and making our five-person team look and feel more like 50. Some highlights: Continue reading
From Left: Temple University School of Media & Communication Dean David Boardman, me, Kurtis Lee of the LA Times, David Wood of The Huffington Post and Steve Capus of CBS Evening News. (Photo: Screen capture from “Temple Update,” a university student-run TV news program)
What are the obstacles and opportunities in today’s media landscape? I spent a couple hours on the evening of April 23 talking about just that with David Board, dean of Temple University’s School of Media and Communication, and three of my fellow alumni: Kurtis Lee of the Los Angeles Times, David Wood of The Huffington Post and Steve Capus of CBS Evening News. Continue reading
I’ve always admired Philly-based visual marketing firm Curalate‘s #MarketingMix Instagram feature that takes followers inside the bags of industry professionals.
The idea is pretty simple: marketers upload photos of the content of their bags that help them get their jobs done. The visual web experts at Curalate add the banner, a filter and a description of your work, and the internet handles the rest.
It’s fascinating to me how photos of wallets and devices and the occasional pack of gum can tell you so much about a person’s job. So I was pretty excited when, after just a few tweets with Curalate, I found myself holed up in a phone booth at my coworking space artfully arranging the contents of my purse to share with the world. Continue reading
#fox29demsdebate on Thursday, April 23, 2014 at St. Joseph’s University
Six Democrats are vying to be Philly’s next mayor, and with the primary less than a month away, Fox29 hosted one of three televised debates to get the candidates to talk about important Philly issues.
These candidates’ schedule are absolutely ridiculous, with one 60-hour stretch including no fewer than 10 debates. But televised debates are king because of the accessibility. Along with journalists from students from St. Joseph’s University and journalists from Fox, 900AM WURD and Al Dia, I represented Billy Penn on the panel. Continue reading
This is me having way too much fun with the new Billy Penn stickers. Photo taken by Anna Orso.
Six months ago today, I started working at Billy Penn, Philly’s mobile-first news startup. I made the decision about a month or so before that, officially becoming the company’s first hire (Founder Jim Brady and Editor Chris Krewson had already been working on things for months).
We had no website, no newsletter, no keys to our office and about 300 total social media followers. A lot has changed. Continue reading
I had the opportunity Nov. 13 to geek out with other community managers and socially savvy reporters when the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association invited me to keynote their Sharon Johnson Memorial Workshop on community engagement.
My speech focused on what I refer to as “maximizing the message and minimizing the messenger” — basically, putting news and information ahead of an organization’s brand.
The work I do at Billy Penn revolves around engaging different communities according to their preferences, and making sure the first thing we do is inform them. So often — because it’s so easy for content to get lost online — news organizations make it a point to remind their audiences who’s informing them. Only News 1 spoke with this councilman about this issue! Our reporter Jane Schmo attended a major education meeting and has all the details for you! Where’s the information in those sentences? Why have we forgotten that our job as news professionals is to inform people?
I kept my speech to about 15 minutes so everyone at the workshop could have a full half-hour to ask questions of me and others, and to share their experiences with community engagement. There were about 25 people in attendance, and I think this is one of the most productive conversations about industry issues that I’ve been a part of in these workshop settings. It doesn’t matter if you work at a small startup like I do, at a legacy newspaper covering state politics, or for a smaller publication covering local issues — everyone has community engagement tales to tell and scars to show. Continue reading
I took this photo as newsroom participants watched Pa. Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s speech.
Nov. 4, 2014 was easily the most fun and most productive I’ve ever felt on Election Night, and there are two clear reasons for that:
1. I’m working at Billy Penn, a very lean news startup. There’s no room to be unprepared, and all-hands-on-deck basically means looking across a table to communicate with all my colleagues. Having a plan and sticking to it was pretty easy.
2. We hosted a shared newsroom that night. And though it ended up being a historically short midterm gubernatorial election, we had a great time. Continue reading