As a 2017 PBS Digital Immersion Partner, I can say that “public media” is who we are.
We geek out about “Sherlock,” get really excited for new documentaries, and pretend to know what “Space Time” is talking about. TechCon garnered just as much excitement from us.
TechCon was my first in-person experience with PBS leaders and fellow stations. The energy each speaker and station brings is inspiring.
But if I could share one concept with future attendees, it’s this:
TechCon is Goliath.
It’s at the top of its game when it comes to quality workshops and impressive speakers.
You are David.
At some point, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed and wonder how you’re going make it through the final sessions. (Did I mention it’s in Vegas? Catch up on some sleep beforehand, folks.)
How you win at this match-up is identifying the first steps to implementing just one of the things you learned.
So what are some of the first steps I’m taking towards implementing my big, TechCon-inspired dreams here Atlanta?
1. Make our content as shareable as possible.
Social sharing can have the biggest effect on content performance. Put those social share buttons everywhere, including newsletters!
2. Shout our wins!
No one will know what a great job we did on promoting that original program unless we tell them, especially the CEOs and GMs.
3. Digital is different everywhere, so we need to find what works for us.
That includes everything from department structure to content focus. Do we need to rethink our staffing to match that impressive station we met? Not necessarily. Would that great digital-first program from that up-and-coming station do well in Atlanta? Maybe, maybe not.
4. Take some time for data every day.
If we don’t set goals and recap how our content is performing on a regular basis, we’ll never know what we should do again and what we should avoid in the future.
5. We’ll go nowhere if our audience isn’t top of mind.
We need to listen to what our community wants, and give them more of it!
These are just a few of the things I’m bringing back to my station after TechCon. And the great thing about being in the Digital Immersion Project is that the learning doesn’t stop here.
We’re doing workshops, training and one-on-one meetings with PBS that are already informing my work. But the most eye-opening moments of the project have come from conversations with the other Digital Immersion Partners.
The honest, open dialogue among the 25 partners gives me perspective that would be hard to gain anywhere else. We talk about our communities, what we’ve done to succeed, how hard we failed with some projects, and how we can support each other. It’s a new way for us to look at the “public” part of public media and how we can be more open to sharing ideas and experiences with other stations.
There’s a lot of work ahead for each of us in the Digital Immersion Project. We’re looking at goals, implementation and even more training. But it’s reassuring knowing that this community – along with the one I made a TechCon – is with me every step of the way.
See you at TechCon 2018!