What’s in your newsroom’s tech stack? 

Tech stack services refer to technologies, tools, and softwares that are used to power your organization. Newsrooms need to choose tools to help manage audiences, keep track of members and contacts, process payments, run their websites, and other facets of running a modern news business. Choosing the right tech stack can often be challenging and overwhelming, especially for smaller outlets or individual proprietors. 

The Lenfest Institute is partnering with the Membership Puzzle Project to create a comprehensive guide to membership in news. The guide is going to feature advice, best practices, case studies, and templates to help newsrooms develop and sustain membership programs. You can learn more here.  

One section of the guide will outline the tech stack tools and services needed to run a successful membership program. We’re focusing on the following elements of the tech stack: content management system, email service provider, customer relationship management, payment processors, audience analytics, social media management, registration/paywall, and tech for building an online community. 

We’re working with News Catalyst to understand what tools member-driven newsrooms are using. We’ll be offering a crowd-sourced list, while News Catalyst will be evaluating the pros and cons of those most commonly used. 

We have some initial ideas for what we should include on our list, but to make sure that we don’t miss anything, we need your help: Can you let us know what you’re using for your membership tech stack? 

Please fill out this form to let us know what tools we should be sure to include. 

The other thing we’re collecting today is job descriptions for roles supporting membership. The role doesn’t need to have “membership” in its title – particularly in smaller newsrooms, it’s rare that supporting membership is a person’s entire job. We want to hear the many ways newsrooms have staffed their membership programs, from hiring an executive level membership editor all the way to outsourcing most of their membership work to a consultancy. 

If you have a job description or collection of job descriptions that capture your newsroom’s membership “jobs to be done,” we’d love to see them. 

Our goal in collecting these is to offer a series of example job descriptions in the membership guide that newsrooms can adapt for their needs. You can send them to [email protected]

We’ll have much more to share when we publish the guide in September, but in the meantime we wanted to share a few terrific resources to help you better approach your tech stack: 

What to know when choosing your membership tech stack

Media consultant Emma Carew Grovum outlines key considerations for member-driven newsrooms trying to choose the right tools to manage their audiences, including examples, Q&A’s, and common themes. 

How to get a new CMS

Poynter and News Catalyst created a guide aiming to help news organizations transition into a new publishing system with resources, case studies, and answers to your questions regarding CMS.

Discover 50+ Of The Best Email Newsletter Tools In 2020

An updated and comprehensive list of available newsletter tools from Rad Letters including advertisements, communities, discoverability, platforms, referral programs, and sponsorships.

Solution Set is a weekly-ish report from The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. We take an in-depth look at one interesting thing in journalism, share lessons, and point you toward other useful resources. 

Join us for a virtual discussion on race equity in fundraising and philanthropy

The Lenfest Institute News Philanthropy Network, a new community of practice to support those focused on fundraising to support journalism, is hosting a free virtual discussion next week on race equity in fundraising and philanthropy. 

Our conversation will be moderated by Sharon Chan, VP of Philanthropy at The New York Times, and will feature Knight Foundation Director of Journalism Karen Rundlet and Candice Fortman, Outlier Media’s Chief of Engagement and Operations. They’ll lead us in a conversation on how how to re-imagine funding and how to acknowledge and dismantle inequities.

Please join us on Thursday July 16 at 4pm EDT. You can register for the event here. Please feel free to share with any colleagues or friends who may be interested in joining us. 

Please reach out with any questions, and we’ll be back next week with a new issue of Solution Set.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

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