I want to pick up on what I wrote earlier this week about prospects for journalists in this climate with an example from my actual work.

For context: I’m currently working with my partner to expand our company, Angle Content, which helps publishers bring elevated and mission-aligned content underwritten by public interest-focused organizations to their audiences to supplement their staff-produced work.

We’re particularly focused on thinking of ways, in addition to storytelling, that we can work with journalists to achieve publishers’ objectives.

Why journalists?

Because they are among the most exceptional professionals I have ever encountered:

🛠️ Journalists are scrappy and resourceful.

🧠 Journalists are expert researchers, analysts, and communicators.

🌱 Journalists are some of the most adaptable and effective learners around—among the most exposed to the winds of technological change, and practiced at constantly updating their skills and knowledge as a result.

We’ve had a lot of fun brainstorming and exploring different roles and opportunities for journalists to work with us. I’m going to share one main way we’ve done that so far and three ideas we plan to test soon.

WHAT WE’VE TESTED SO FAR:

Idea #1. We’ve paid journalists to do the research that powers our content/experience creation. They’ve used their reporting skills to dig deep into the topics we need to cover for a given project and provided us with comprehensive reports—essentially beat memos—that guide our content and experience creation. Their work has been fabulous and has helped us to:

🎯 Validate our content angles, ensuring they are deeply rooted in serious reporting and aligned both with publishers’ objectives (specifically in terms of adding value to their communities) and underwriters’ domain expertise.

✂️ Sharpen our briefs to publishers and underwriters so we’re all on the same page at the start and can execute the content or experience smoothly and efficiently.

⏱️ Shorten our production time and improve quality over the long run by providing us with reliable sources, data, and insights upfront.

🚀 Enhance longer-term campaigns (which are our focus) by informing our full plan upfront and helping us create connections and callbacks throughout. This makes for a richer and more connected series with bigger payoffs for communities.

💡 Generate new ideas and opportunities by uncovering trends and insights related to the topic at hand that can inspire future collaborations, as well as renewals with current underwriters.

WHAT WE PLAN TO TEST IN 2024:

Idea #2. Work with journalists to shape our proposals. During the proposal phase, we plan to test consulting with former beat reporters who have deep subject-area knowledge. Paying journalists for research has already enhanced both the quality of our work and the ease with which we produce. Our thesis is that bringing subject experts in even earlier might further enhance this payoff.

Idea #3. Hire journalists as customer success execs. We’ll need people in this role by year’s end and think journalists could be a great pool of talent to choose from. The nature of Angle’s work lets them use their skills and passions for objectives they care about, including helping to serve communities’ information needs. Plus, journalists offer:

🎨 Creativity and reporting skills, which will help them work with publishers to learn what information their communities want and need, and come up with fresh, interesting, and relevant ideas for projects.

👥 Communication and relationship-building prowess that enables them to offer guidance and partnership that ensures Angle’s work supports publishers’ big-picture objectives for their newsrooms and communities.

Idea #4. Consult with journalists to recommend the best channels and formats. Many journalists I know have awesome ideas—crucially, informed by their reporting, community engagement, and storytelling—about how to reach audiences in this constantly shifting media environment. That’s why we want to experiment with partnering with journalists to ingest our research and briefs, and then recommend creative approaches to reach communities using their lens as storytellers and subject matter experts. We’d then partner with channel experts to take the execution from there.

We are quite bullish on just how much journalists can flex their skills. I’ll report back on what we learn as we test.

👋🏾 If you are a journalist who wants to learn more about our collaboration model (and/or spare some thoughts on it) please inbox me. I’d love to hear from you!

➕ I plan to say more in the coming weeks about why posting on LinkedIn has scared me to death for years—and how it is that you came to be reading these words despite this fact.

➕ I also want to thank and credit Executive Presence CEO Justin Nassiri for publishing this post back in January about why you should build your company in public and for his incredibly helpful (and evidence-based) LinkedIn content about posting helpful LinkedIn content. Justin posts frequently and is well worth following.