By Holly Edgell, Executive Producer, KOMU-TV and Assistant Professor, The Missouri School of Journalism
While producers don’t have the official title of manager, they must develop leadership strategies to manage resources and empower their peers to do their best work.
I have found that the best way to develop a great working environment — and hence a great newscast — is to find the right balance between excellence, fun, hard work, and mutual esteem. Producers: Build a team around yourself. You CAN do it.
RESPECT (You can sing this to the Aretha Franklin tune if it helps)
R – Remember you are not perfect! You have tough days and great days. You may even feel a little lost (especially at your first job, remember that?), so don’t be so quick to judge others who seem overwhelmed.
E – Educate! The best way for people to learn and NOT make the same mistakes is to take the time to teach them the right way to do things. If you can’t do it before the newscast, take a moment or two afterwards.
S – Stay cool! Most of your colleagues want to do a good job. Few people are trying to make your life miserable, so be as professional as you can.
P – Practice patience. ‘Nuff said.
E – Explain! Sometimes the best way to help people do their best work is to explain why you think a certain story done in a certain way can be most effective. For example, you can brainstorm on how a reporter can improve their stand-ups and live shots.
C – Constructive criticism. Give lots of it! And give positive feedback as well. This will let your peers know you want to see them succeed and foster loyalty.
T- Try and try again. Keep at it. You are a leader. Aim to understand how to motivate individual people on your team. It will pay off. While folks are learning, look out for them.