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.
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