4 min read

Daily News Briefs, Reimagined

Modernization of the corporate news brief has been glacially slow across the industry. Here, we outline how Watershed is accelerating into the future.
Daily News Briefs, Reimagined

Long a staple of corporate communications, the Daily News Brief gets surprisingly scant attention and respect for the important role it plays inside large organizations. For too many, the production and dissemination of daily news clips are an afterthought, a chore. Because of this, news brief readership—and thus internal information flow—suffers.

If you're reading this, chances are you have experienced this yourself, and want more out of your organization's daily news brief.

We at Watershed do too.  

From the Medieval to the Modern

Our team has been creating and delivering daily news summaries for 20 years now, starting out when the industry was still in its medieval period—yes, scissors were involved!—and watching it sloooooowly modernize in the time since. Our mission all along has been to accelerate the transformation of news briefs into attractive, essential, strategic assets that add real value to organizations on a daily basis.

Do you have a clear vision for what your daily news brief ultimately should be? Or do you just have a nagging feeling that it can be much more than it currently is?

Either way, Watershed can help. We'd love to help you reimagine your brief.  

The Basics

The fundamentals of our approach to turning daily news briefs into valuable, sought-after communications assets for clients are the following:

  1. Engage in a candid dialogue with the client upfront—taking note of the corporate culture, executive preferences, key issues and competitors, communications sensitivities, and potential readership engagement hurdles.
  2. Produce a draft template and refine during a trial phase with a small internal audience. Nail—I mean really nail—the editorial quality and tone.
  3. Launch to the whole enterprise, closely monitoring readership, executive engagement and other metrics to ensure client objectives are being met.
  4. Look for areas to innovate, in partnership with the client. Test, test, test with a small audience before rolling out any changes more widely.

So far, so straightforward. We think that the secret to creating a consistently top-quality news brief really isn't so secret. But, you would be surprised how often Steps 1 and 2 are glossed over, leading to decidedly subpar results that then ripple though an organization. (Rule of thumb: If you're not at least slightly annoyed by the initial intake process with your news brief provider, then it's not thorough enough.)  

But you came here to think bigger. So let's talk more that. What does reimagining the daily news brief look like?

An Eye to the Future

Two undeniable facts govern our approach to news briefs: #1: Information is everywhere. #2: Time is finite. (You'd probably agree that truly productive time is even more finite and precious!) So, any innovation in the realm of sourcing and synthesizing information must be responsive to this reality.

Watershed's vision for reimagining news briefs thus centers on three things:

Let's spend a moment on each of them.

Comprehensive Crawling & Superfine Filtering

The future of daily news monitoring must embrace the fact that the news landscape is fractured and information is, indeed, everywhere.

This requires a collection effort that leaves no stone unturned. Watershed is innovating on several fronts, particularly fast-growing Alternative Media, which has become yet another domain where brand reputation is at stake. Podcasts too, which are time-consuming to monitor yet serve as important thought-leadership and brand-building venues that cannot be ignored. And for mainstream Social Media—still THE biggest amplifier of news narratives—our approach is to integrate key social media mentions directly into daily briefs when it makes sense, and to offer social-first briefs where our clients' business is more sensitive to social media.

Each of these efforts requires well-designed and executed filtering to funnel the massive newsflow into a stream that suits your finite time demands.

News Analysis Injected Into Briefs

Making sense of so much news from so many sources can be an extra burden on already overtasked executives and managers. So together with our clients, Watershed is rethinking what gets distributed daily, putting more emphasis on smartly written summaries of the news and less on the laundry list of links that require you to click and navigate through. Editors with deep industry experience are at the helm—and behind the scenes, collection is still comprehensive. Readers walk away thinking the news briefs are not added work, but rather, added value.

Groundbreaking Delivery Formats

How we consume news has radically changed in the last two decades—from Tom Brokaw to Twitter and beyond. Yet how organizations format their daily news briefs has barely budged. Doesn't make sense, does it?

Watershed is experimenting with a variety of new formats for delivering daily news in ways that will engage and delight the readership. Beyond the already mentioned editorial summaries, we are ramping up integration of news images and GIFs, audio and video presentations, data charts, and other information into the daily briefs to make them indispensable. We will share more on this topic in future Watershed Views posts.

Intrigued by our vision of the future news brief? Have ideas of your own that you wish to explore? We'd love to have a conversation. Contact us right now!