This week, Edelman Chicago launched its Creative Newsroom, just in time for Chicago Ideas Week, an annual gathering of thought leaders designed to provoke new ideas and positive action. As the official communications partner of CIW, it was the perfect time to launch our first official Chicago Newsroom activation for the CIW team, and an opportunity to share integrated stories about the great ideas during the conference.

Here are a few Newsroom lessons worth sharing:

1. It’s not about the room

The Creative Newsroom approach isn’t about the room itself. It’s a process and mindset for adapting brand storytelling to a new media environment. The team can sit right next to one another or live hundreds of miles away—as long as every member understands their place in the process and how best to operate within that team structure, content opportunities will “flow” as efficiently as possible.

2. The future is about sustained commitment to the audience

In the past, a typical integrated campaign for a client was an episodic endeavor—clients and agencies would activate and engage with their audiences in a regimented, time-restricted manner. But in this world of continuous media and exponential growth in mobile usage, the newsroom approach is at its core a commitment to be “always on” for your audience—to engage on their terms and build a conversation that benefits all sides.

3. The team must have total client support

The creative newsroom allows the team to sharpen the brand’s presence across the media cloverleaf. But none of this can happen without full client support—from legal to brand management and all teams, including digital, traditional and making the account team an absolutely essential part of the process.

4. The newsroom team must be nimble

The newsroom team should develop procedures and guidelines, but embrace flexibility in their individual roles. For example: the analyst might spot a trend or opportunity and immediately spark a creative idea. In rigid roles, they might simply pass it onto the strategist. But to operate effectively in a newsroom process, the entire team must be able to shift their roles based on the content or engagement need. It’s an environment made for T-shaped skillsets.

5. Don’t underestimate the change

The newsroom approach is a fundamental reshaping of how marketers and brands adapt to the real-time media landscape. Like any change in how things are done, it’s bound to be met with plenty of instinctual resistance, both within account teams and client organizations. But the payoff is a brand and an audience that’s relevant, valuable and “tuned in.”

How have your teams adapted to an “always-on” marketing world?

This Friday5 was written with assistance from April Umminger, Erin Shea, Gloria Hurtado and Rick Murray.

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