How to build your case for change
There are four key steps to putting together the case for your new idea. This could really apply to any kinds of ideas, but it’s especially meant to give you a framework to help you advocate for change, whether to workflow, culture or something else.
Step One: Gather your evidence.
- Pull together a list of examples of how this idea has been implemented in other news organizations. This could include slides from speaker at your conference, or a handout from the workshop you attended.
- Follow up with other attendees or speakers from your event. If someone gave a talk on this subject, offer to take them out to coffee so you can ask them more about their work or research.
Step Two: Build your team.
- Identify people who could be key allies to supporting this idea. Who needs to be on your side in order for this change to happen the most smoothly? Other reporters? The photo desk? The legal team? Someone in technology or ad/ops?
- Reach out to those folks and validate your idea for change with them.
Step Three: Tell your data story
- This step won’t always be necessary or possible, depending on what kind of change you are advocating for within your news organization.
- BUT if it makes sense to do so, pull out any analytics or other data reporting that can help support your pitch.
Step Four: Don’t bury the lede
- Oddly, journalists are really good at getting to the point in our stories, but can easily fall into the trap of backing into an idea, especially if making a large ask to management or leadership.
- Be clear about:
- What you are proposing (changing from XYZ current reality to YXZ ideal state)
- What decisions need to be made
- What resources need to be moved/changed/acquired
- Allow your leadership or management team to ask questions and interrogate your idea
This resource is part of the OpenNews After Party toolkit, developed by Emma Carew Grovum. It’s meant to help you get the most out of SRCCON—or any journalism event—and share what you learn with your own organization. The toolkit is licensed CC BY-SA 4.0, and we’d love to see you use or adapt it for your own event—all we need is a link back here.
We’d also be thrilled to hear how you put what you learn into practice, so please tweet us at #OpenNewsAfterParty, or if you have any questions, let us know!