Any investment, be it in human resources, outsourcing services or equipment, must be carefully considered and only made when it is clear that a long-term financial advantage exists in doing so.
In tough economic times, a lean company is a precondition for success. A news outlet must trim the fat wherever it can. Companies should conduct an honest assessment of work that needs to be done, weigh up the capacity of their staff, and streamline the work by focusing resources on producing the best possible value. Can middle management be cut without a fall in productivity? If new skills are needed, are there existing staff who are willing and able to retrain and develop new expertise rather than hiring new talent?
For example, a news outlet from a Central European country that works together with MDIF consists of a small development team of three people, a person in charge of marketing and crowdfunding, another in charge of direct ad sales (advertising by agencies and programmatic advertising is outsourced to a sales house) and a strong newsroom with more than 20 journalists. Besides producing high-quality content, journalists also take care of their social media presence, help with marketing and business ideas, and assist with fundraising by working on different project applications. Management is led by the CEO and the Editor-in-Chief, as co-founders. In addition, a CFO manages all the company's finances (including financial planning, record-keeping/accounting and financial reporting) and a COO oversees ongoing business operations within the company and leads the development team. Altogether, a team of just over 30 people generate an average traffic of 3.5 million readers every month.
This article is part of the #mediadev guest post Media Viability: 6 strategies for success.
1. Business as important as editorial
2. Flat organizational structure
3. Clearly defined brand and audience
4. Diversified revenue
5. New and creative ways to connect
6. Openness to change