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How Does an Engagement Editor Engage?

Published on by David A. Kennedy

Legacy media and other news organizations have begun to take social media more seriously, creating positions that focus on the medium.

However, few have set out to create a position as unique as the the Voice of San Diego.

Its new Engagement Editor, yet to be hired, has people talking. It’s part ombudsman, part new media guru.

Journalists Erik Gable and Steve Buttry wrote recent blog posts about the position and what it means. Mark Luckie over at 10,000 Words created a nice list of what journalists with similar and current positions do with social media.

In his blog post, Gable asked what you would add to his list.

Here’s what I would want to do that are similar to his ideas:

  • Manage the organization’s flagship social media accounts, reader comments and other reader-submitted content.
  • Monitor new technology and teach staff workshops on social media and other new tools that may improve engagement. Help staff determine the best tools to use for different projects.
  • Hold regular workshops for readers and community organizations to encourage new and continued reader-submitted material. Identify the potential regular and occasional correspondents for the website.
  • Serve as the point of contact for readers and be the steward for conversations about the and its stories.

And I’d also like to:

  • Organize and lead discussion forums and live online chats on the site about important events and stories. These could also take the form of a broadcast on UStream or similar site. Bring together community leaders to participate in these discussions in order to promote debate about topics.
  • Create a portal on the site that would help readers better follow the bigger, more complicated stories. Think of it like a giant blog with easily accessed backstory.
  • Establish a more social portal for comments and discussion, through a tool like Ning or BuddyPress.

Like Erik asks, what else would you add?

Image by Anastasia Dulgier .

Tagged JournalismSocial Media