Tag Archives: multimedia producer

What is a Multimedia Producer? Another perspective

I did a profile of a Multimedia Producer role a little while ago, but I thought it might be useful to hear from someone actually doing the role. Megan Graieg has very kindly agreed to share a little bit of what she does.

Megan Graieg is a Multimedia Producer at Elsevier. Her passions include digital media, books, popular culture, and writing. While studying Communications, media, and philosophy at the University of Western Australia and the University of Bristol, she gained valuable experience in video recording and editing, animation, digital image manipulation, as well as audio creation and editing (working at both a local and university radio station). She furthered her digital skills working at Taylor & Francis as an eProduction Editor for over four years, project managing books from manuscript to final product, including typesetting in xml. Her passion for and skills in digital media allowed her to move into her current role as Multimedia Producer. Earlier this year she set up a website, Pop Verse: a weblog containing reviews and discussions of popular culture and creative industries.

Megan Graieg image

I was recently lucky enough to find a job through Atwood Tate as a Multimedia Producer at a prestigious academic publisher in Oxford. Now that I have been in the job for a few months, I’m hoping that I can provide a little more illumination on what exactly the role of Multimedia Producer (MMP) entails.

First and foremost, a MMP is a project manager. The MMP sees any multimedia project through from content delivery from the editorial team to the publication/launch of that product. This includes content retrieval, review, corrections, as well as liaising with editorial, authors, and third party vendors. As with any project management, the role of an MMP also covers budgeting, scheduling, meeting the expectations of stakeholders in different functional groups, and developing relationships internally and externally.

There is currently a real drive for the producers to be more involved in the conception and development phase of new multimedia products. So on top of being skilled project managers, MMP’s need to be technical experts. Staying well read on new trends and technologies, as well as being aware of what competitors are doing is essential. MMP’s also need to keep track of what projects have gone through the team before, to learn from what worked and what didn’t. A Multimedia Producer is responsible for guiding editorial decisions and supporting other areas of the business.

With the constant flow of new digital technologies, we have been flooded with new options for publishing. Sometimes there is just far too much to keep on top of. This is why the Multimedia team is vital to the business – we can advise on the best possible option, be that an eLearning course, interactive ebook, mobile-optimized website, or native app. We have to act not only as experts in the new digital technologies, but also as marketers to the rest of the business. It certainly keeps us busy!

As with any new area of opportunity, it is easy for a company to lose its way. More specifically, relying on third party vendors for all technical knowledge can be risky. An MMP needs to be aware of the technologies and industry standards to ensure that the business is getting a quality product at a reasonable price. We are heavily involved in the QA process – not just for technical requirements, but for basic publishing principles such as ensuring the text has been appropriately copyedited.

If you want to be a Multimedia Producer, the most important skills you need are: project management experience, awareness of digital products and technologies, be tech savvy, an ability to think outside the box. As is the case with any project management position, be organized! You will be expected to juggle a lot of projects at one time, all with competing deadlines.

A massive thank you to Megan for taking time out to tell us a bit more about what a Multimedia Producer really does. Megan’s blog is www.pop-verse.com. She can also be found on twitter @m_leigh_g

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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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