LEADERSHIP: In fall and spring terms, the engagement desk is typically led by an engagement editor. In summers, this desk’s duties are typically absorbed by the editor-in-chief.
STAFF: In fall and spring terms, the engagement desk typically has no other dedicated staffers.
PLANNING: This desk should attend every afternoon news meeting, the weekly enterprise meeting and, as needed, individual desk meetings. Primarily, as of 2020-21, the engagement desk is the curator and keeper of our newsletters, which are run through Constant Contact. This desk also manages broader, more ambitious social pushes for our enterprise work, and in the past has been a mainstay of in-person events organized around Daily topics of coverage or at which The Daily is a partner.
COMMUNICATION: Leaders of this desk should regularly monitor key newsmakers’ social media accounts and read competitors like The Norman Transcript, The Oklahoman and others in addition to having their finger on the pulse of our own newsroom as well as anyone next to the editor-in-chief. Communication should be a blend of in-person where possible and in Slack for broader transparency and understanding throughout the broader group of newsroom editors and their respective desks. It’s especially important for the engagement editor to communicate and coordinate with editors of other desks about story progress and possibilities in terms of amplifying their impact with audience and ways in which we can extend the reach of our work for broader audiences. The engagement editor also must communicate effectively with and be a liaison among the editors of the design, photo, video and copy desks as the work they shepherd draws on all those areas.
MINDSET: The most successful engagement desks are on their toes, actively and creatively meeting our audiences where they are, understanding their needs and wants and bringing that information back to our newsroom to be reflect in our ongoing coverage. Additionally and especially, the engagement desk should keep in mind the varied audiences – on campus, in the city/state and beyond – our work can serve.
DAILY REPORTING: This desk doesn’t have “day reporting” shifts, but its closest approximation would be our daily headlines newsletter, which typically runs Monday-Friday during the fall-spring semesters and weekly in the summer, as well as the sports headlines newsletter that runs the morning after football games as well as at other times agreed upon by the engagement and sports editors.
FULL STORIES AND ENTERPRISE: This desk’s closest approximation would be in-person events, deeper enterprise pushes and steadily helping the newsroom better understand its audiences, their patterns and how to better serve them. This desk, perhaps more than any other, is tasked with creating new avenues to growth.
BUILDING BLOCKS FOR DESK ORIENTATION: Building trust on Facebook, by alum Joy Mayer | The power of email, by Inbox Collective’s Dan Oshinsky