Associated Press Plans Summit To Quell Employees’ Fears

With possible layoffs putting The Associated Press on the top of our layoff watch, employees at the newswire are understandably anxious about losing their jobs. Silicon Alley Insider reports that an AP “Town Hall” meeting will be held next month, and that those concerns will probably be on the top of the list of issues addressed by CEO Tom Curley.

Curley says addressing employees via Q&A sessions are business as usual, but there is obviously one question on most workers’ minds: Will they have a job come Christmas?

Update: AP spokesperson Paul Colford has notified us that the town hall meeting has been scheduled since October 1, and that it’s primary focus will be on “the outcome of the AP’s recent management retreat at Lake Placid.”

Official memo about the conference after the jump.

AP Bigwigs Host Town Hall To Ease Paranoid Staffers — Silicon Alley Insider

Tom Curley and the AP Management Committee will talk about the initiatives that will drive AP’s agenda going forward, at the next staff meeting, Nov. 12 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. Learn more on the town hall page. The initiatives derive from the recent strategic retreat, in late September in upstate New York, and cover everything from new storytelling techniques to new licensing and product strategies. It’s an aggressive agenda you’ll want to hear about. Details on the meeting will follow soon.

In the meantime, Jim Kennedy, vice president for strategic planning, provides more information about the initiatives in this Q&A.

Q. What were the main goals of the 2009 meeting?

A. We tackle the “Lake Placid process” every two years to revisit the corporate strategy and drive innovation across the company. The process takes its name from the place we go for a meeting at the end, but the work begins early in the year, as key projects are identified and teams are selected to pursue them.

We’ve done this four times in the last six years, and each time, the teams never fail to produce real breakthroughs. The granddaddy of them all came with the first Lake Placid in 2003, when we decided to shift our technology from telegraph-style wires to a multimedia database. That fundamental change has driven our strategy ever since, enabling our journalists to work across media type and our customers to access the entire breadth and depth of our content in one place.

The transformation continues today, and LP 2009 provided exciting new breakthroughs in our journalism and how we take our report to market. As most know, we’ve been pushing a “3P” agenda this year, underscoring the need to protect our content online, point more consumers to it and get paid appropriately. That agenda fed the Lake Placid process as well.

Our principal goal was, metaphorically, to get “all the way across the digital bridge.” By that, we mean completing our transition to a truly digital media company. And, in so doing, we aim to extend our global leadership in breaking news.

Q. What key initiatives or breakthroughs came out of this year’s summit?

A. As you can imagine, based on such an ambitious goal, the projects were wide ranging, covering everything from news coverage to products, sales and operational improvements. As usual, the teams produced significant breakthroughs in all areas. You’ll be hearing more about those results in the upcoming Town Hall on Nov. 12. There were more than a dozen initiatives presented. Key among the innovations proposed were new social-media and storytelling techniques for news, a framework for licensing that captures more value for digital uses of our content and a roadmap for new product development. Studies also revealed fresh insights into how our content is being used and pointed to places to scale our resources up or down based on that usage. Rounding out the work were plans to improve the information and guidance that operating departments and divisions receive to help them compete and succeed.

Publish date: October 30, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT