Blog Archives

Getting Started In Entrepreneurial Journalism

Happy Sunday DMI: This week in Digital Media Innovation we’re going to start exploring how entrepreneurial perspectives are influencing news media companies and the overall industry.

To help you start learning more about life as an entrepreneur I suggest you start following news media outlets that cover this specific area. Here are a few great places to start:

Sign up for the free enewsletters offered by these organizations. This gets you great news headlines delivered right to your inbox. You’ll want to start a collection of key content focusing on the industry areas you are most excited about. For example:

And, you’ll want to track approaches to entrepreneurial journalism:

Have fun diving in this week. Use these resources to start contemplating The Problem you’ll dive into in a few weeks.

@DebraJChico

Image Source: Unsplash.com, CCZero license

The Value of Talking to Your Market

Greetings, DMIers. I’m glad most of you fund the Sticky Test exercise helpful in brainstorming your initial product concepts. It’s interesting to see the direction that everyone is moving in.

When we did the Sticky Test many of you reported that the “Unexpected” and “Story” traits were a challenge at this point. For the story component, take a look at Entrepreneur’s Five Blueprints for Your Brand’s Story. Good one to bookmark for future reference.

Monday we’ll be focusing on conducting original research with your potential market. This research will help to identify if your customers experience The Problem in the same way that you. It may also help to determine if your idea is just that — an idea — or if there is potential to make it something more. This is a crucial stage for any entrepreneur.

Be sure that you take a look at Mashable’s How to Solicit the Customer Feedback Your Startup Needs before class.

The NiemanLab is also fantastic source to dive into. Remember that your final concept must have a significant news element built into it. As you continue to develop your idea think about how you’re going to include traditional journalistic elements: news storytelling, generating original content via blog posts or other news content formats, perhaps partnerships to showcase great content from other journalists. And, some of you are looking at localization issues – how can you build a hyperlocal news element into your idea?

Lots of great stuff to contemplate this weekend.

Best,
@DebraJChico

Image Source: Realistic Shots, Creative Commons Zero license

Find Inspiration: Entrepreneur’s 100 Brilliant Companies to Watch

Good afternoon DMIers. I hope you had a fantastic Labor Day weekend and are ready for week 3.

Tomorrow we’ll be diving into your digital media product concepts with Homework 1. We’ll be putting each product concept to the Sticky Test and brainstorm options for further development. We’ll also review Homework 2 and 3, which require you to start identifying details about your competitors and your market.

Here are some resources to help you find some inspiration in your work:

  • Entrepreneur’s 100 Brilliant Companies to Watch in 2016 highlights innovators across a wide range of industries including fashion, health, business services, tech, recreation and food. This is a great resource for a quick dive into entrepreneurs in specific industries you’re passionate about. Who knows, you may find a competitor or two in this feature.

Enjoy exploring your industries and fine-tuning your business ideas.

@DebraJChico

Diving into Ad Pricing

Greetings DMIers. One of the big conundrums with our digital media concepts  is the revenue section. Most of you are using advertising in some way as a revenue source. Advertising is appropriate as long as its implemented in effective ways that do not turn off members of your market.

There are many details that you’ll need to think through in terms of your advertising plans. Some of those topics include:

  • What types of advertising will you use?
  • Where in your product will those ads appear and how often (ad inventory)?
  • In the case of sponsored content, how are you going to be transparent to your market in the labeling of these paid-for spots?
  • How much are you going to charge for each category of ad you’re going to sell?

To help get us started on that last bullet, take a look at some of these resources:

  • Quirk’s Online Advertising Guide: this is helpful to think of the different areas, sizes and options in web pages for advertising.
  • Digiday’s 2013 article showing how much it costs to run certain types of ads on well-known sites.
  • Promise Media offers a section identifying how to develop online ad rates, rates cards and more.
  • Association Media Publishing has a great list of key terms you need to be familiar with in the online advertising area. Some of these terms are also covered in Briggs but not all of them.

We’ll chat more about this in class as we continue to develop our Money & Marketing plans

Best,
@DebraJChico

How in the world should I price that ad?

Greetings DMSers. One of the big conundrums with our digital media startup business plans is the revenue section. Most of you are using advertising in some way as a revenue source. Advertising is appropriate as long as its implemented in effective ways that do not turn off members of your market.

There are many details that you’ll need to think through in terms of your advertising plans. Some of those topics include:

  • What types of advertising will you use?
  • Where in your product will those ads appear?
  • In the case of sponsored content, how are you going to be transparent to your market in the labeling of these paid-for spots?
  • How much are you going to charge for each category of ad you’re going to sell?

To help get us started on that last bullet, take a look at some of these resources:

  • Quirk’s Online Advertising Guide: this is helpful to think of the different areas, sizes and options in web pages for advertising.
  • Digiday’s 2013 article showing how much it costs to run certain types of ads on well-known sites.
  • Promise Media offers a section identifying how to develop online ad rates, rates cards and more.
  • Association Media Publishing has a great list of key terms you need to be familiar with in the online advertising area. Some of these terms are also covered in Briggs but not all of them.

We’ll chat more about this in class as we continue to develop our business plans.

Best,
@DebraJChico

Marketing & PR for your startup

Good morning DMSers. In today’s class we’re going to start diving into the marketing and public relations section of your business plan. A lot of ground to cover here.

Aside from the Briggs text, I’d like to share the following resources which may prove helpful in the coming weeks:

Demographics of key social networking platforms from Pew Research Center.

Connecting with Customers: How to Market to Their Emotions from Entrepreneur.

Bootstrapping Your Way to Success, also from Entrepreneur.

More to come at 2 p.m.

Best,
@DebraJChico

Hear about life in a startup during DMS Monday

Greetings DMSers. I hope you’re having a fantastic Thursday now that the midterm is behind you!

Monday we have a guest speaker, Colby L. Smith. Colby graduated from our program in 2013 and landed her first job out of college with a startup company. She’s now a social media and marketing specialist with the Melton Design Group where she is working on another startup project, the Outdoor Trunk.

Colby’s talk will focus on what it’s like to work for a startup company in your first job out of college. She’ll discuss strengths and weaknesses of making this type of leap and key questions you should ask during the interview process.

And, since she’s a social media and marketing specialist, you might pick her brain about how best to use these skills in the marketing section of your business plan.

Check out Colby on LinkedIn. Bring your questions.

Best,
@DebraJChico

Chat with J&PR alumnus Matt Kiser

Greetings DMSers. During Wednesday’s class session we’ll have digital entrepreneur Matt Kiser live from New York!

Matt graduated from the news side of our program and has worked for Forbes, Fuse and Spin. He started in music journalism and now is a product manager at Business Insider.

His experience in the entrepreneurial journalism space includes helping companies develop new products, content strategy and developing strategies for increasing user engagement.

Check him out online:

Matt is going to talk about his career path and how you can apply the lessons of entrepreneurship to your career.

Bring your questions and be prepared for an engaging hour of discussion.

Best,
@DebraJChico