In the days of newspaper and broadcasting being the sole or primary sources of news, content producers (writers, photographers, editors, producers, etc.) only needed to think about producing their story and the corresponding photo/video elements. The newspaper or television station would carry their work into thousands of homes. Today, the question of whether news content reaches an audience is not just dependent on the brand in the masthead. Digital audience depends upon the quality, searchability, and social sharing of an individual story.
About one-third of news sites' visitors come directly to the home page. The rest come through "side doors" -- search engines, social sites, news aggregators, email, and other venues where a user might click and enter a news site directly to a story rather than to the home page. Growing "side door" inbound audience has become a shared responsibility for news organizations, in which content producers play a significant role in driving audience to their own stories.
DDM's "Digital Content Certification" has 3 main learning outcome objectives:
First, content producers at DDM should have familiarity with the concepts and terminology of digital content marketing. They should be facile in verbal and written communication within our organization and with distribution partners, marketers, and social followers outside the organization.
Second, DDM wants employees to gain expertise in digital content marketing for their future success in journalism. Certification with the DDM brand should offer employees useful, transferable training from an innovator and leader in web news content.
Third, and most importantly, the mission of DMC "to be trusted voices of light and knowledge reaching hundreds of millions of people worldwide" cannot be accomplished without the dedication and direct involvement of digital content producers and marketers. Growth in "side door" traffic requires personal investment by employees in engaging audiences. "Invest Personally" is one of the principles of the DMC Mission Statement.