LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT

In my two years (five semesters) on The Harbinger, I've worked as Broadcast Editor, Asst. Online Editor and co-Editor-in-Chief — and the same philosophy has carried throughout my time in each of those roles. 

I take time to practice what I preach, making sure my work is at a level I'd be comfortable using as examples for new staffers. Whether it's scanning the room for staffers that might have questions but are intimidated to ask outright, or congratulating writers on exemplary material, it's integral to me for staffers

to feel comfortable and confident in their work. 

INTEGRATING NEW STAFFERS

One of the areas I've emphasized in my time managing The Harbinger is a smooth, learn-on-the-job transition for new staffers. Since I'm in charge of all things online, I made this document that runs all new staffers through The Harbinger's writing process and standard schedule. 

During the first week of both semesters this year, I ran through the process with them in person and fielded questions. Then I made sure to post it on the staff Google Drive to ensure the information was accessible. 

BE THE FIRST, LEAD BY EXAMPLE

It's easy to talk about ambitions to venture out and try new things. As my time with The Harbinger increased, I noticed a fair amount of dialogue about potential ideas without anyone having tried them. So with any new or different direction that I propose, I pair it with my own work to give staffers an example to build and improve off of. 

Below is a published video from my trip to Iowa covering the convergence of 2020 candidates on the Iowa Caucus campaign trail. After a few staffers had talked about covering the election, I made the 3-hour drive to Cedar Rapids and covered a number of campaigns and their efforts to expand.

This video was taken at a rally for South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign, capturing a moment in which Buttigieg joined the band on stage and played background keyboard.

It currently has over 10,000 views on YouTube and generated substantial buzz on Twitter upon its publishing. 

EXTENDING HELP OPTIONS

Beyond a face-to-face conversation, it's important to have a variety of digital options for staffers to use when they have frequently asked questions. That's why I helped with a set of slideshows that work as tutorials for operations like publishing on the website and suggestions for software to use on posts to increase the interactive aspects. 

This slideshow gives staffers software options to increase the digitally interactive aspects of their stories.  

This slideshow details the do's and don'ts of converging a print story to the online format. 

This slideshow walks the viewer through The Harbinger's online publishing process (request access).

STREAMLINING COMMUNICATION

When I'm managing publishing schedules for online stories, communication between the writer, photographer and (sometimes) designer is by far the most important aspect. For every story scheduled to be published online, I immediately create a group chat with myself and all affiliated staffers working on the story.

For both of these instances, I wanted to make sure the introduction was pleasant with both an offering of help with what each member was working on, as well as establishing the chat as a home base for communication.

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©2019 by Benjamin A. Henschel.