Before you get together to start building a news outlet site and testing it in your selected market, there is a lot that needs to be taken into consideration.
Some questions you might ask yourself are: What are my goals? What tools can I use to create this site? Honestly, where do I even start?
Developing this won’t be all rainbows and butterflies, but thanks to the Tow-Knight Center’s Roadmap for Digital Media Startups, your site can flourish. This toolkit gives you an informative outline of how to develop a successful news site while including helpful web-based and low-cost services to create and launch your desired site.
There were a few points that I thought were important:
- “Pre-Launch Basics.” Content, Disruption, People, and Revenue. Your users want value, so make sure you’re offering them that. Your users want to know what you offer and in order to do that, you need to find a way to deliver that to them. In order to distribute content, you need someone, even if it’s just you. You need money. These four aspects come with a variety of questions and to make sure you’re headed on the right track go through the ones that are provided in this chapter. Answer each truthfully and this way you can figure out how to make your site and content successful.
- “Define your Audience.” Demographic (age, ethnic background, income, gender, etc.) and Psychological (hobbies, interests, lifestyle, behaviors, etc.) information are key in order to create a user profile. You want to know what type of users you want to attract. You want to gather as much information as possible and once you’ve done that you’ll get an idea of who your target audience is. Then once your audience has had some time to view your site, send out a survey to get a feedback on how you’re doing.
- “Communicate your Brand.” Your brand is essential because you are selling this to the users on your site along with advertisers. Make sure your visual identity helps you create that feeling you want on your site as well as for your users. Pick your name and develop a style guide. If you’re struggling, this chapter gives you a number of helpful sites to check out that can create the design you are looking for.
- “Social Media Marketing.” You need to know how you want to use social media to market your site. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Foursquare, Tumblr, Google + and Instagram are all extremely helpful and popular social media platforms that can get your site booming. Once you’ve decided what you want to you use, make sure you are consistent. It is noted in this chapter that, “the most important thing to remember is to be authentic” and the way to do this is to actually use the tools that these platforms provide.
These are all great strategies to use when coming up with your business/site plan, but it is always good to remember how you are representing your news outlet in the first place.
In Newsonomics: Rebuilding the news media will require doubling-down on its core values Ken Doctor notes the four principles in the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. These are:
- Seek truth and report it.
- Minimize harm.
- Act independently.
- Be accountable and transparent.
Make sure to follow t
he rules and be responsible in the way you display the information, news, and media on
your site. I think the one that really stands out to me is, “Seek truth and report.” Don’t lie, no one likes a liar. Be honest and true in all aspects of your news outlet and you will not run into trouble.
With all that being said, get on out there. Startup that news outlet and don’t be afraid. The world is yours.
6 thoughts on “Follow Your (Startup) Dreams … With a Plan in Hand”
Good summary, Anastasia. Being truthful and minimizing harm are critical to doing proper journalism and avoiding being actual fake news. But here’s the thing, media as a whole is under fire and people scrutinize almost everything. As soon as something is published that someone disagrees with, they just label it as fake news to feel good about themselves. But what happens if news media who don’t act ethically can make enough advertising dollars that actual news falls behind? Is there any way to recover in this world of short attention spans and endless news feeds?
rainbows and butterflies. nice. You’re right though. A start-up is tough business. You have to climb your way passed competitors that are already dominating the market, but even before you get anywhere near them, you have to claw your way just to even survive. All those strategies you suggest are great, but don’t you think it is more of a process. If I were to drop out of school and start a business, I would do everything I can to be successful. Defining your audience, social media marking, observing your audience, and the pre-launch basics are guidelines you have to follow and consider, otherwise, you won’t make it.
I enjoy your analysis of the points that stood out to you. The way that you expounded on all of them I felt was great. The way you worded everything was great and appealing, the tone makes me not afraid to do a startup but also lets me know it won’t be easy.
I agree that news outlets should be 100% truthful and transparent with their reporting. I also agree that before you start your company, you need to do a lot of research!
I liked your memes (as always) and also the way you structured the blog post. Starting with how to develop and plan you start up then ending with what values you need to take into consideration and ethics in the media. These are all very important points and outline the reading we had for the class. Especially when, at the end, you add which ethic you hold to the highest regard “seek truth and report it”. I liked how you explained why that is especially important. Journalism is all about honestly and the truth and what is it if it does have that.
Nice way to sum up the reading, Anastasia! I think that social media marketing may be one of the most important factors that you’ve mentioned. I feel this way because of the simple fact of who isn’t on social media these days? Time and time again I’ve had people who have their own business/ product and are trying to promote it randomly follow me on social media and I think that’s a good first step if you really want to get your product out there. Social media is also powerful because it makes getting in touch with public figures (as well as their managers) easier to get in contact with them to promote your product; you want to start off small though with social media famous people and then work your way up but this could greatly impact the number of eyes that come across your product! Great post!