How to be an Outbound Customer in the Big Three Newsrooms

Sherwood, N.C. — — Newsroom leaders across the United States are working to ensure that outbound traffic reaches their customers more effectively and is more efficiently delivered.

Today, the three major U.S. newsrooms released a strategic plan to improve outbound coverage for all major metropolitan areas, including a new set of guidelines to improve how newsrooms deliver outbound news.

In an effort to improve customer service and make their newsrooms more relevant to their customers, major newsrooms are collaborating with their outside clients to develop a strategic outbound customer service plan that addresses a wide range of issues.

The three major news organizations — CNN, USA TODAY and the Associated Press — all released their strategy in the wake of a series of events that took place at the White House last week.

These events included a call between the president and the first lady to express concerns about the response of the president’s office to the coronavirus pandemic, the resignation of White House communications director Sean Spicer, and the appointment of a new chief of staff.

The Associated Press and CNN released a joint statement Thursday calling on their news organizations to be transparent about their plans for how they will implement the strategic out-bound customer plan and how they are communicating with their clients and the public.

The new guidelines require newsrooms to create a strategic communications plan by May 30 that identifies a clear goal for the entire organization and outlines the goals of the strategy.

The plan must address the following:The plan must include:A clear, coherent, measurable goal for all of the organization’s employees and the broader community, and how the organization is achieving that goal.

A plan for communicating with the public about the strategy and objectives of the plan.

A strategy for how the newsroom is planning for a variety of scenarios and risks that could affect the quality and availability of its news.

The plan should outline a set of actions the news organization is taking to ensure the safety of its customers and the quality of its coverage, including:Developing and implementing a customer service program that will ensure the health and safety of our reporters and newsroom staff, and all employees in the news room.

Developing an outreach program that targets specific newsroom members and their audiences to increase awareness of the role of health and wellness in the coverage of the pandemic.

Developing a plan to communicate with our clients about the newsrooms strategic plans and the need for the plan to be effective.

Develop a plan for training all of our staff on the plans and principles and how to follow them.

Develop an online presence that can be accessed by all newsroom employees.

In addition to communicating with clients, the news organizations are also collaborating with outside stakeholders and members of the news community to develop new strategies for how to implement the plan, including the following elements:Providing information to all staff about the plan and the strategic objectives of it.

Identifying opportunities to reach a broader audience through outreach to community and news organizations.

Creating an online community where the news media can share information about how to make a better decision about which strategy will be the most effective.

“We recognize that many of these challenges are beyond the control of our newsrooms, and we’re committed to being more transparent about our strategies to ensure we are doing everything possible to ensure they are being implemented,” Sherwood News Chief Operating Officer James T. Sherwood said in a statement.

“The goal is to make sure the outbound community reaches our clients more effectively, so we can deliver the quality news that their customers want to read.”

As part of the strategic plan, the companies are also proposing a range of actions that could help their newsroom customers and community reach the goals outlined in the strategic plans.

These actions include:Increasing the number of people who can be on the air at a time to ensure a seamless flow of news to their communities.

Informing local, state and national media about the strategic direction the news operation is taking.

Develop and implement a strategy for providing a safe and secure environment for our employees and our communities.

Develop tools that help journalists to understand their role in newsrooms work environment, how to report, how and when to share and share more information with our audiences.

Develop new policies that will help our newsroom partners understand what we expect from them.

“As newsrooms we have a responsibility to our audiences, and this strategic plan outlines a path for us to work toward that goal,” Sherwoods CEO Sherwood added.

“We’re working with our news organizations and our community partners to make the strategic change necessary to meet that goal, and I know our news employees will join me in doing just that.”

For more information about the out-of-towner strategy, visit the WhiteHouse.gov/outboundservice.

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