By Sam Ford
If you want to improve engagement, start by building up your outreach muscles within your own newsroom.
Here’s three ways to listen better and be more collaborative:
1. Tiny action: Engage with Your Colleagues’ Work
Each day, commit one coffee break or part of your commute to reading, watching, or listening to a story from one of your colleagues outside your team. If you see issues you care about, share it online. It’s easy to get locked into your own projects, and miss out on the great work happening in your broader work community.
2. Medium action: Start an Internal Conversation around Those Stories
Look for ways your colleagues’ stories might connect to something you’re working on, or have done in the past. If it does, start up a chat with them—online, or in person—about that point of connection. There’s a lot of serendipity that lurks between projects, but it takes effort to discover those ties.
3. Large action: Co-Brainstorm with Colleagues from Other Parts of the Organization
Once every two weeks, set up a call, lunch, or 30-minute meeting with a colleague you don’t know well, who is outside your team. Each of you should briefly share what you’re working on. If you find potential points of connection, consider pitching a collaboration to your leadership.
Sam Ford is a consultant, research affiliate with MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing, and instructor in the Western Kentucky University Popular Culture Studies Program. He was formerly VP of Innovation and Engagement at Fusion. You can find him on Twitter @Sam_Ford and learn more about his work on his website.
Image from WOCInTechChat, CC-BY 4.0