Media Advisory Services, MDIF’s technical assistance hub, has published the first two handbooks in a series of practical guides for media managers.
A Practical Guide to Product Management in Digital Media, by Derrick Fountain, and Launching a paywall: What You and Your Team Need to Know, by Tomáš Bella, are designed to help media decision-makers understand some of the key topics in digital news management. They give practical information and advice in adopting ideas and tools that improve operations and streamline how news companies work.
The guide to product management helps news managers work through issues such as understanding who the real customer is for a product or feature, and identifying which features to build, fix or improve for existing products. It gives guidance on improving communications between technical and content teams, and how to set priorities for product development.
The guide on launching a paywall helps media leaders avoid some of the traps that lie ahead as they seek to launch a subscription system, and helps them understand the factors they need to consider if they are to build a successful project. It explains how different types of paywall work better for different types of outlet, and provides advice on how to implement an effective project. The guide also weighs up the pros and cons of issues like readers’ clubs and crowdfunding, as well as tips and tricks on tackling issues such as pricing strategies and software.
The series aims to provide practical guidance and strategic direction to help media organizations navigate the digital transition, including best practices to implement different tools, processes and techniques. The guides summarize current trends and approaches in an easily understandable way and provide links to other resources – always with a strong emphasis on practical use and real-life examples.
The third guide, on data journalism, will be published in February.
Over time, we will add a case study to each of the guides to highlight a particular approach undertaken by our portfolio companies.