flytedesk publisher

Editorial vs. Business

September 5, 2019

The editorial and business side of student media are like Jim and Dwight in The Office: you both work hard to sell papers and you sometimes put each other’s stuff in Jell-O. (We’ll let you decide who is who in this metaphor.)

When your hands are covered in Jell-O, it can be hard to remember that you’re on the same team. But before you get the Jell-O out, let start with what you have in common:

  1. You both love your publication
  2. You care about creating the best product possible.
  3. You depend on the paper’s financial stability (no money = no publication).

All jokes aside, these are really important commonalities and are a great foundation for you to get aligned and keep growing together.          

To set the right team culture follow these tips:

1. Don’t get siloed. Too often the editor-in-chief can’t name a single sales person, or the ad manager couldn’t tell you the name of the news editor. Don’t let this happen on your team. Again, go back to your shared goal of creating the best possible paper. How can you do that if you don’t even know each other?

2. Communicate. Often. The editor-in-chief and ad or business manager should meet weekly to access to the state of the paper and review their collective goals.  

3. Collaborate. Work together to launch new products, services, or ideas. With each editorial innovation, the sales team has more to sell, which means you all win. Create cross-departmental teams to tackle big issues. Just because someone is on the ads team doesn’t mean they can’t contribute to brainstorming new special editions. Similarly, getting the editorial team’s insight into issues the ads team is facing could result in surprising new ideas.

For the editorial staff reading this, we encourage you to innovate and launch new products for your sales team to sell. Think about all the new camera equipment, computers, and software you could purchase if you had more money!

For the business staff reading this, make sure you are communicating the value of adding new advertising options to the editorial staff. Always have a strategic plan that lists the contributions needed from both sides and make sure that it is aligned with both divisions’ goals. Don’t allow yourself to get siloed or frustrated.

The story of the war between editorial and business is a tale as old as time. When you get frustrated with each other, take a breath and know that this is completely normal. Then remember that fighting against each other doesn't serve you or your organization, and start to come up with solutions!

We want to hear how your office is working together, tweet us @flytedesk to tell us how you're building the right culture in your office.

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