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Archives: August 2012

Four Management Tips During the Dog Days of Summer

We know this time of year too well. Summer’s coming to a close fast and furiously and who would really notice if you sneak out of the office closer to 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. instead of 6, right? Or how about calling in sick to jet to the beach instead?

According to a piece on Fortune, just as it’s tempting for employees to mentally check out during down time, imagine how tempting it is for managers who need to set a good example!

As such, there are four ways for managers to keep their noses to the grindstone (or at least appear like they’re still focused). Read more

The Daily Meal’s Winning Recipe

The Daily Meal recently hit 5 million unique visitors monthly—not bad for a site that officially launched in December 2010. In fact, its traffic places it as the #8 food website.

What’s the secret? According to Folio and Daily Meal CEO Jim Spanfeller, the secret is massive amounts of content—up to 120 stories a day.

Folio says that The Daily Meal is following a “strategy of going wide as well as deep with the content…while The Daily Meal features recipe content, it also goes big on content about industry news, entertaining and epicurian travel, for example.” The site’s traffic goals are 10 million uniques by the end of the year and ultimately to 20 million.

That may be why Spanfeller Media Group has just launched its second site: The Active Times, for fitness enthusiasts. “There are lots of sites out there, but none of them have any scale,” Spanfeller told Folio earlier this summer. “And none of them have what we’re trying to do, which is go broad and deep.”

Spanfeller Media Group plans to launch even more verticals at an unspecified time in the future, so for people hoping to move into this space over the next year, it wouldn’t be a bad company to watch.

Three Ways to Organize Your Home Office

Sure, as freelancers our home office is often the nearby Starbucks but in many times it’s our living room. Although office dwellers may learn a tip or two from this post as well, here are three ways to organize the home office…

1. Invest in adequate furniture. This goes without saying. Keeping in mind you’ll need adequate space for said furniture but everything should have its own space like a spot for reference materials, a filing cabinet and oh yes, a printer.

2. Establish activity centers. According to a post on HGTV, an office should have different zones. As for the work center, well it should include a clear workspace, the computer and office products. Then of course, there’s the reference center which encompasses binders, manuals, and various professional books. Lastly, the supply center contains office supplies and paper.

3. Properly place the hardware and peripherals. This pointer makes sense but how many times have you realized you use a certain spiral notebook for notetaking or tape recorder for phone interviews only to realize they’re never within hands reach? As recommended in the piece, position your equipment by frequency. For instance, if you use your printer on a daily basis, ensure it’s within reach. However, if it’s only used once or twice a month, you can hide it under a desk so it’s out of sight, out of mind.

Four Ways to Handle Boredom and Feeling Overqualified on the Job

Big yawn.

Let’s face it now — sometimes we’re overqualified for our current job, completely bored or experience a combination of both. As for the good news, you’re not alone. As for the other good news? There are a few ways to handle it to put a spring back into your step as you realize this is merely temporary.

1. View your career in chapters. Hilary Pearl, founder of executive coaching firm Pearl Associates, told The New York Times to remind yourself it’s a temporary situation. “Tell yourself the current situation isn’t the end of your career. Don’t overdramatize the negative aspects but try to view the situation more philosophically: life is a series of phases, and this is one of them.”

2. Look at it as a gift. For real. If you’re overqualified and you can zone out most of the time and still do a stellar job, maybe you can learn other aspects of the business or volunteer for special projects to boost your resume. Eileen Zimmerman wrote in the piece, “Seek tasks and responsibilities that force you to learn something new or to work harder.”

3. Channel your positivity. Instead of dwelling in the negative — and yes, we know this sounds so very Pollyanna of us — but why not leverage this as an opportunity to reframe your thoughts?

4. Focus on things you enjoy doing outside of work. Whether you’re in a book club, play tennis or hockey, it’s all good. Just think — the low maintenance job and responsibilities gives your mind the freedom to roam and enjoy pursuing your out-of-office pursuits. Plus, you can always volunteer in your community and take up a new hobby or personal goal like training for a mini-marathon.

College Senior Recaps Summer Radio Internship: “Be Willing & Have a Good Attitude”

Ah, it’s good to be a college student. Very good if you’re Sarah Scroggins, senior at Texas Tech University.

The broadcast journalism major told The New York Post while working for 92.3 FM’s digital media department she got to see Justin Bieber and will.i.am, but more importantly she got an experience to bolster her resume. Read more

The New York Times Company Reveals Compensation Package of Incoming CEO

Mark Thompson, the new chief executive officer of The New York Times Company, is going to earn an annual salary of $1 million.

Plus, his sign-on bonus to be paid in stocks and stock options is valued at $3 million, according to The New York Times.

In addition to numbers released this morning, reportedly he’s eligible for an annual bonus of $1 million.

Thompson is eligible to earn a separate bonus to the tune of $3 million as it relates to meeting long-term incentives. This isn’t a guaranteed number; its’ contingent on meeting specific goals and would be paid out over three years.

Joining from the BBC, he replaces Janet Robinson. According to the piece, his compensation package is similar to hers. It’s anticipated he’ll begin his new job this November.

The Breakup, Part Three: Who ‘Wins’ The Media Coverage Game?

This is the third and final part of our week-long look at Poynter.org’s Mediawire and JimRomenesko.com, and the differences in traffic, coverage, etc., that they have from one another.

After putting both sites under pretty intense scrutiny for a week, we thought we’d be able to come away with a firm answer of who was doing media criticism better.

But overall, it’s much harder to declare a “winner” than we thought it would be. With the sites so divergent, we’re (almost) glad the separation happened as it did. Romenesko’s focus seems squarely on short items that will get clicks–some of them simply hilarious, though, to be fair, some are yawners. He also receives many more internal memos and other exclusive documents (due to his long track record as the media industry one-man watchdog, no doubt). Romenesko seems to be focusing on speed and scoops, and supplementing those items with fluff here and there; on the other hand, we get the impression that Mediawire is trying to post more items and more thoughtful items, even at the expense of speed. Poynter’s Julie Moos and I didn’t discuss the speed of breaking news during our call, but she did say (as previously mentioned) that Mediawire was trying to do more analysis–and that this was a change put into motion even before Romenesko’s resignation. “Before Jim left, we were making changes to the blog and to the site, and after that [we] continued to make changes,” she said.

The new Mediawire is clearly going in a new direction, with fewer short items and more in-depth pieces. This has gotta be expensive, however, since the site displays bylines from not just Andrew Beaujon but other Poynter staffers as well. Seen from that light, Romenesko’s one-man site is certainly coming out ahead. But the people who follow media industry news would be well-served to subscribe to both sites. The people who vowed never to visit Poynter.org after Romenesko’s resignation (“I’m sure there are some of those,” Moos said) are only doing themselves a disservice. Bottom line: if you’re a journalist, you need both.

Four Reasons Why Your Resume Gets Rejected

Ever wondered why maybe you’re not getting a call from a recruiter after submitting your sparkling resume?

Well, maybe it’s not as spot on as you may think. According to a piece in India Real Time (sister site to The Wall Street Journal), there are a few reasons why your top notch experience may not be presented the right way on the ol’ trusty CV. This is assuming your skills and experience match the job qualifications (if you’re not qualified, well let’s just say that’s the numero uno reason why you’re not getting a phone call.) Read more

Five Ways to Relax at Work

Okay, okay, so we know National Relaxation Day was yesterday but why not keep the blissful state of mind through the end of the week, right?

Whether you’re working on deadline 24/7 (let’s face it, who isn’t?) or stressed out from fact checking, chances are we can all infuse relaxation techniques into the frenetic work day.

Courtesy of CBS, here are five tips to kick back and breathe deeply in the hallowed halls of a newsroom… Read more

‘Las Vegas Review-Journal’ Lays Off Six Employees

The week is almost at its close but unfortunately, we don’t go unscathed with head count.

In other words, The Las Vegas Review-Journal is the latest publication to anounce layoffs.

According to JimRomenesko, the announcement was made on Tuesday. Five editors and one art director are among the casualties. They are going to hire one person to manage news/business and will apparently hire another person to oversee features/sports. As per the site, impacted editors have been encouraged to apply for the openings.

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