From my print day submissions, I consider this piece of work the strongest that I have submitted for the Multiplatform Journalism module. This submission is different compared to my usual written content in terms of style as it is more of a review or blog post than a standard news article. It would be suitable for a blog or an online publication such as The Tab and this type of content would also be highly suitable for inclusion in a travel magazine. This content is suitable specifically for 'Collective' because the intended audience is people within the Millennial age range that may assume Disney is not for them. I aim to be very methodical with my writing so any written content is always structured to encourage the reader to continue all the way through the article. This is evident in this piece of work as the aim of the first paragraph is to hook the reader into wanting to continue to read the entire article as explained by Pape & Featherstone (2006, p.67). The following paragraphs focus on specific areas so that it doesn’t become convoluted.
The whole article provides key information condensed into a limited word count. As explained by Miller (2012, p.142), shorter word counts work better online as readers can click between articles online if they aren’t hooked immediately. I wanted to ensure that the reader would finish it and be curious for more information rather than be overwhelmed. An undecided reader will not want to read through thousands of words on a subject that may not interest them. The images included are relevant to the copy because they were taken on my recent holiday to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and have been specifically chosen to show a selection of the diverse range of things to do at the resort. They also provide evidence that families with children in the Millennial age range can enjoy this type of holiday. Textual hierarchy is important in terms of engagement and utilising online interfaces to the maximum potential. Simplified captions have been added below each image to describe where the location of the photo was taken and the images correlate well with the content because they show genuine emotion and involvement that intend to help the reader make a decision on whether they want to visit the resort or not.
Overall, the article is a positive review of the Walt Disney World Resort. It could be expanded on with further articles reviewing attractions and amenities at the resort in the style of a ‘tour guide to Disney for Millennials’ - similar to a television campaign run by Disney aimed at families with older children. The aim of the article is to negate assumptions that Disney is just a theme park or a holiday destination for families with young children and that there are many different things to experience around the resort. This type of journalistic material has potential if it is directly aimed at the Millennial age range as content could also include YouTube vlogs and social media integration along with podcasts to maximise exposure to the target audience. There is also the possibility for revenue with sponsored content as Walt Disney World has public relations contact details for consumer travel reporters at http://wdwnews.com/contact-us.
The production process throughout the module involved five print days that required cooperation with members of the group each week. The production editor and sub-editors rotated each week and had important roles to ensure that all of the content was free of spelling mistakes, organised and in line with the style guide. Having to submit work to a deadline each week with the print days was very useful as it is a standard industry practice. At times it did become difficult to keep up with the print days along with other work as the deadline dates had to be prioritised but the constant pressure ensured that everyone maintained a good routine and that content submitted was of a high quality. Cooperation within the team was good as most members attended the seminars and the majority submitted work each week on the shared Google Drive folder. The team also had use of a Facebook group page where discussions of changes to the social network accounts were discussed. The social network accounts for ‘Collective’ include Soundcloud for podcasts, Instagram for imagery and the main website where all of the print day work has been uploaded to. Quality checks were continuously made on the website each week when the editor had uploaded work to it; the focus in the last few weeks was to ensure that the website looked professional and that all of the links worked. All of the team was individually responsible for writing their own bio sections along with a photograph suitable for the publication.
Team skills were important throughout and the decision on a specific readership and house style was made very early on to provide a guideline on what content would be acceptable for the website. The team as a whole worked well together as all suggestions were considered and feedback was sometimes provided by the editor of a particular week in regards to a print day submission. This type of positive interaction was an important factor to the success of the team as the quality of the content and the website itself reflects this outcome of team cooperation. All of the team members were aware that if they were not in one week, or for the week that they were editor in particular, they would let down the whole team.
This did not worry some team members enough to fully contribute towards the whole team effort of producing consistently high quality content, even though the penalty for not submitting work each week was five percent off their overall grade. A possible solution in future to ensure that everyone in a team participates is to have the print day deadlines allocated to a relevant seminar each week rather than through an online submission on a Sunday night. By only allowing the content to be submitted either in hand or online by the end of the designated seminar, it would encourage people to come in and complete the work as the grade deduction would be at risk. It would also allow the teams to discuss anything regarding the print day submissions for their websites and to discuss any issues with the editor of the week. Missing deadlines or producing content that is too low on the word count would have consequences in industry as it would directly affect workflow.
Miller, M. (2012). Web Words That Work: Writing Online Copy That Sells. 1st ed. Que Publishing, p.142.
Pape, S. & Featherstone, S. (2006). Feature Writing: A Practical Introduction. 1st ed. London: SAGE Publications, p.67.