Use your archives and partnerships with cultural institutions to retell your community’s most fascinating stories through audio — engaging new audiences and opening doors to new sponsorship opportunities.
Partner to expand your capacity and capabilities at lower and more flexible costSubscribe to Updates Use partnerships, third-party services, shared resource arrangements and flexible staffing to expand your capacity and capabilities across all areas of your enterprise: content creation, marketing and distribution to target audiences, new services and products, access to needed skills, technologies, tools and data, and more. Do this in ways that lower investment requirements, reduce and add flexibility to your cost structure, increase speed, and better share risks compared to doing it on your own.
Big Picture A primer on why news organizations must partner and collaborate
Local news organizations can’t afford to do everything alone. Partnership and collaboration opens up doors in technology, revenue and other areas that would otherwise not be possible.
Plan Understand the gaps in your news organization and how to close them
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: Facing a hit to advertising, The Day in New London, Conn., partnered with the Local Media Foundation to launch a crowdfunding campaign to support its COVID-19 coverage.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: Rethink how you’re delivering content. Scalawag is discovering new audiences and building new relationships through its virtual events.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: Through partnerships with groups outside of mainstream media, The Sacramento Bee attracted new readers, gained access to a diverse talent pool of journalists and elevated the voice of under-resourced communities in the area.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: As a local news organization, you can solicit drawings from children and publish a special section thanking essential employees who have kept your community going throughout the pandemic. It’s a great way to provide some positive news — and generate ad revenue along the way.
What gaps do you have in partnership and collaboration? Use these tools to find out.
In order to overcome them, first understand the barriers to succeeding at partnership and collaboration.
This Tables Stake requires you to probe everything you currently do or might do by asking, “Must we do this ourselves? Or, in how many ways might it be wiser to have others do this for us or partner to do this together?”
Three types of scorecards can help you measure the success of your make/buy/partner choices as well as monitor progress toward closing partnering gaps: Enterprise-wide scorecards, front-line team scorecards, and service-level agreement and memorandum of understanding scorecards.
Do Actions to close the gap
Here are 10 ideas to steal and adapt: From developing audience personas to building trust, these original case studies are the most-viewed in 2023 on BetterNews.org.
By taking this approach for local elections, the news organization created a significant, authentic public service experience around local politics.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: Create an online subscription-based platform that produces editorial content focused on amplifying positive stories within the Black community, raising awareness regarding relevant issues that affect the community at the local, state and national level.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: As a digital news start-up, the Border Belt Independent partners with local newspapers to provide them with long-form stories at no cost. It helps grow our audience and provides them with in-depth reporting their readers expect.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: To build your opinion content, solicit responses from readers who have registered for a free account on your site. Pick the best snippets of a commenter’s ideas, creating a broader range of voices on curated discussions of local issues. Partner with a local university to foster and analyze these discussions.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: What does your target audience like…to drink? When the Vermont brewery Lawson’s Finest Liquids approached Vermont Public Radio about a craft beer in honor of the station’s award-winning narrative podcast, VPR saw an opportunity to reach new listeners.
Build a program of philanthropy to fund journalism. Digital subscriptions can pay for our daily journalism, but the deep investigative work is expensive and needs another funding source to be sustainable under our changing business model.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: WFAE and La Noticia both knew that immigration issues affecting Latinos in Charlotte needed more coverage. They decided the best way to address it was together.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: Refocus your community coverage to build trust and cultivate new, diverse audiences — growing subscriptions along the way.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the KPCC-LAist newsroom has invited questions from its audience. Nearly 4,000 people have written in. More than half of them have opted into newsletters, and nearly all have received a personal answer.
Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: You have great reporting and writing skills. Use them to get grants and other funding for your newsroom.
You must design and use a framework for identifying and evaluating options for how best to achieve capacity, capability, speed, risk, revenue and cost objectives by working relationships with others as opposed to yourselves.
How can you turn make/buy/partner into a strategic capability throughout your organization? Practice!
The choice to buy differs from the choice to partner. Buying means you decide to have others do the work for you. Partner means you decide to have others do the work with you. You must structure each of these approaches for success.
You might hire or designate a senior leader to oversee partnering. Or you might make that responsibility a key role for a senior executive even if not the full-time job. Or you might designate a team for the same purpose. Absent taking one of these steps, though, partnering is not likely to happen with the rigor, discipline and repetition required.