New Media, New Job

As I briefly mentioned yesterday, I have somewhat of a new job these days. I’m leaving behind my producer/project manager position within TBS/TNT and stepping into a new role in digital marketing at TBS/TNT/TCM. A lot of the details haven’t been finalized yet, so I’m actually doing two discrete jobs at the moment, but I’m quite happy. I think the developments will give me more leeway, latitude and reason to blog about work in this space.

Based on last week’s Creative Loafing cover story (and ensuing blog post) and this week’s Atlanta Press Club event (which I didn’t attend, just listened via podcast) it’s clear that the media is changing.

While most of the Atlanta-area bloggers I read – and I’ve added more than a few new voices to my Bloglines – cover the intersection of old media/new media as it pertains to journalism, my focus and interest will be on serving the needs of our viewers in this new environment. So how does a cable television network (3 of them, actually) entertain folks who aren’t in front of the big, glowing box and are instead sitting at a different glowing box?

Besides simply making sure our audience knows they can watch full episodes of our original series via broadband, I’ll also be working to develop and promote other branded content.

But what does that mean, really? Develop and promote? Branded content?

Yeah, I realize there’s a fair amount of coded language that normally comes from folks on the traditional media side, but the same barrier to entry exists on the new media side, especially all the acronyms. Granted, the acronyms are usually more accurate and descriptive, but there are walls around both gardens.

My role is to see both things for what they are and bridge the gaps. Cultivate and understand blog(ger) feedback. Reach out to fans wherever they might be (MySpace, Twitter, Message Boards). Think of new and exciting features that people will use and enjoy.

I realize I have a little bit of goodwill with most of the folks I’ve already contacted and interacted with, but it’s not infinite and it is definitely a trust I must earn and not something I get by default simply because of my title, employer or the brand(s) I’m representing. (I’ll stop short of calling it a conversation, because each person/blog/contact is unique and some of them are wary of seeming influenced by the likes of me).

I guess I’m something of a brand ambassador or a brand evangelist. But I won’t just be pushing my agenda or link on you, I’m also an advocate for new media back within my organization. I’m (hopefully) keeping folks here abreast of developments like Twitter and other forms of entertaining, interactive stuff (like Flash games) that hopefully lead us to success.

But it isn’t just about more pageviews and uniques, at least not for me. It’s about that interaction – if you’re the type to have it with me – and how we can best entertain you in those hours and days when you’re not sitting down to watch one of our shows on your television.

And I’ll be honest here in saying that I don’t have a magic wand or some deep, meaningful answer to any question I pose here. I really am doing my best to operate in this new space, not as an interloper, but as a fellow traveler.

What do people want/need out of our sites? How do they want to interact with us (the programmer – in the television sense and the new media sense)?

So I’m working in Marketing but I’m wearing a PR hat and a Production hat and a blogger hat.

I hope you’ll bear with me as I try and share as much information as I can about the hows and whys of this experiment and I promise not to spam you or ignore you or mistreat you as we move forward.

Thanks for your attention; feel free to comment.

Ooh, and here are the new bloggers now in my queue:

Happy Friday!

7 thoughts on “New Media, New Job

  1. I think it’s great, for example, that TBS has episodes of the new Tyler Perry sitcom on the web site. That greatly increases the chances of me watching an episode or two at some point when I wouldn’t have otherwise. It’d be even better if they were embeddable YouTube style (something we’re also working on for the next version of the podcast site, btw). Even if someone embeds it on their site and writes “that’s crap,” it’s still a conversation that will raise awareness about the product and and that can help you make it better.

    Really, like Dave over at Earthlink, I think it’s a great start to just generally open up the lines of communication with folks. Congratulations!

  2. Congrats on the new job, Seth! It sounds like a perfect position for you. I know you’ll bring your obvious passion and commitment to the job. (Wow, how clichß does that sound!)

    Glad you liked the APC panel podcast… hope you can make it to one of their future events in this series.

    Btw if you ever want to make sure your goodwill quotient is high, just buy me something off my Amazon wish list. ;) (I kid, I kid… okay, no I don’t… or do I?)

  3. What a cool new postition! Turner overall has been the most embracing of “new media” from my vantage point here in Atlanta. You’re surely in the driver’s seat now.

    Thanks for putting me on your blog roll here. Any blog roll/mention I make is hard-earned and comes with a lot of sweat equity behind it. We can’t help it if we make it look so easy! It’s not that simple, as you elude to here.

    But anyone, any “traditional” media outlet, who doesn’t talk down to bloggers and breath hot air on them from their vaulted, commerialized places from on high stands a HUGE chance of engaging the vast social networks currently thriving on the Internets.

    The ones who choose to dismiss and belittle the blogosphere as a gnat on the face of media are the ones with, well, everything to lose. But I know that’s not how you Turner folks behave!

    I look forward to visting your blog often during what is shaping up to be an All Harry Potter Media summer. (I have a 7 year old; she’s almost as caught-up in HP movie/book release anticipation as I am.)

  4. Classical…

    Last year I had a little bit of job change that I don’t know if I mentioned here on the blog. Wait, I did indeed.
    One of the “new” bits of the new job actually deals with old movies. Well, not all of them are old, but they’re …

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