Last week I tweeted on the 10,000 Words feed about an interesting job opening at SunSentinel.com, a South Florida news organization owned by Tribune Co. They’re looking to hire an Online Community Manager.
In March I wrote about the need for online community managers at newspapers. When I saw this posting I was happy to see that, at least on the surface, this position covers a lot of the ground that I discussed in the post.
There’s a lot of information in the posting, but I want to look at the two main functions of this position, as described in the posting:
To shape and direct content that will resonate with readers online, as well as in print
Right away the community manager is brought in give input and direction about what content would work best online, with the community that is bring targeted and engaged with.
Having it work the other way, where the community manager is given content to post, make it difficult for the community manager because they’re posting and promoting content that they may not believe will get any traction.
The description make sure to include print in the online community manger’s job responsibilities. This enables the community manager to develop and plan content that will drive readers online and into the social channels, from offline.
To help build local communities via social media and training reporters and editors to aggressively pursue opportunities to interact with readers.
This is a big job to do, and it will take time to accomplish. It’s important that the company understands that when they go through the hiring process for this position.
Building local online communities via social media allows you to segment your readership into smaller, more engaged clusters. Those clusters will not be large, but the engagement levels will be high. Whoever takes on this role will need to communicate that to their supervisors.
Training reporters is a hugely important task, because in a lot of ways, they’re the ‘front line’. There are a lot of opportunities to utilize staff writers and photographers to build the organization’s social media presence.
Whomever takes this role should seek out the reporters and photographers who are most willing to become more visible online, as a member of the SunSentinel.com staff, and create their own “fan pages” and official Twitter feeds, for their activity relating to their work for SunSentinel.com
It will require some creativity, and some belief from supervisors, but it’s doable.
I posted a link to this job posting to a journalism group on Facebook, and got a reply from Mathilde Piard, a social media manager with Cox Media Group, who had more information:
I just DMed the social media coordinator at the Sun Sentinel and he said they are actually looking for a few people. “That one in particular is for our Business section,” he said about this particular position listed above.
So there you have it. If you’re looking for a job as an online community manager with a news organization, this could be right for you.
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