Jobs in a changing world: what is a “Multimedia Producer”

One of the things people were talking about at FutureBook 2012 was the need for different skills and new job titles, and we are already finding that the type of jobs coming up in the publishing industry are evolving as companies embrace digital in various different ways. When you are looking for a new job it can sometimes be hard to understand what, exactly, these strange new job titles are, let alone what sort of skills a hiring manager might really be looking for. It’s happened to us all – you look at a job advert and go “Well, I think I have the sort of skills they’re looking for…” but do you really? Or conversely, do you ignore job adverts because you don’t understand them, but actually you might be perfect for it?

Once again, Atwood Tate to the rescue! As and when we get a particularly interesting/confusing/exciting digitally focused role come in, we are going to do a break down here on the blog and try and translate it into plain English.

Today I want to talk about Multimedia Producers.

First, look at this job advert. Pretty fuzzy, right? The job description isn’t vastly more illuminating.

Simply put, a multimedia producer is a coordinator, supervisor, and strategist for projects involving the creation of digital media. The role might also be called a digital producer, web producer, or online producer, but the job is essentially the same. The producer serves as the primary coordinator and communicator of any digitally-based project. In publishing, this role most often works very closely with the Editorial department, producing digital counterparts to more traditional print products.

This position collaborates with multiple people across a range of departments including editorial, production, sales, marketing, and IT. The producer provides oversight and perspective to maintain a common goal while increasing knowledge, communication, and awareness between team members. The most successful digital producer is an effective communicator and organizer who can eliminate obstacles, maintain a realistic view of complex digital initiatives, and manage the entire process. (Source)

Hopefully, this is all starting to sound a little bit familiar, especially to those of you with an editorial/production editorial/project management background.

Breaking it down, to do this role you will need:

  1. Experience in Editorial Project Management. Do note, this is a different skill set from IT Project Management. Not all companies will specify this, but you will need at least an understanding of traditional publishing workflows so you can appreciate how digital might be different.
  2. To be an excellent, and diplomatic communicator. Everyone will want slightly different things at different times, and will want to change their mind. It will be your job to keep the project moving forward, resembling the product asked for, to time and to budget, whilst keeping everyone involved informed and happy.
  3. Be able to able to explain digital ideas to less technically minded people. What works in a book might not work on a website or app. The editor might ask for something impossible. It will be your job, again, to explain the difference (for example) between an app or a widget and the pros/cons of each.
  4. Understand digital and be excited the possibilities of multimedia and new technologies. What can be done changes on an almost daily basis and you will need to keep up. When an editor goes “it would be nice if we could do this” , you will need to know if it might be possible.
  5. To have ideas. Editors like things they know and trust. It is often easier to reuse or adapt a previous product idea than it is to create something from scratch. But there are times it will be your job to go “why don’t we try this” and then explain it.
  6. Be organized. You will need to be able to keep track of what freelancers are doing and when their work is due in, production deadlines, when content is coming from editorial, when sales teams need material, what IT is doing, approval dates, budgets, schedules… A multitude of things. When someone asks you “where are we with X?”, you need to have the answer at your fingertips.

Does all of this sound like you? Or something you might be excited by? Congratulations, you could be a Multimedia Producer.
(We currently have one active Multimedia Producer vacancy so make sure you get in touch if you want to apply).

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One Response to Jobs in a changing world: what is a “Multimedia Producer”

  1. Pingback: What is a Multimedia Producer? Another perspective | Atwood Tate

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