Manage Meetings

News Directors are hinged to many activities at their stations, and that means they need to attend meetings. The trick is to make keep those meetings necessary and effective, focused and controlled.

Well-structured meetings are extremely helpful in accomplishing goals. Group meetings provide a good format for sharing, discussion and consensus. Private meetings are indispensible for dealing with individuals.

Unlike special meetings that are called for a specific purpose, regularly scheduled meetings are often the time-wasters. But these needn’t be the case. In fact, making strong use of the regularly scheduled meetings is a key to time management.

Here is a suggested schedule of standing meetings for a typical news director:

Annual with Team: Large agenda-setting meeting, or retreat, for annual or long-range planning. (2-6 hours depending on agenda) Schedule strategically within the budget planning cycle, or at the start of the calendar or fiscal year. If properly conducted, you’ll propel your most important initiatives.

Annual with Individuals: Annual performance reviews and individual goal-setting. (60 mins) Schedule on employee anniversary or as required by Human Resources. Requires 30 mins of preparation per review.

Quarterly or Semi-Annual with Individuals: Periodic “unofficial” personnel reviews to monitor goals and review performance. (30 mins approx.) Stagger schedule in relation to the annual anniversary. Will save time in the official review and go a long way in steering performance.

Monthly with Team: Offers opportunity for monitoring long-range plans. Can be devoted to special issues, training, or projects. (60-90 mins max.) Schedule in same window as weekly meeting time.

Weekly with Team: Opportunity to discuss past or upcoming editorial agenda, conduct listening sessions, and review recent issues. (30-60 mins max.) Consider scheduling on a Friday or Monday for best look ahead.

Daily with Team: Daily agenda setting. (Brief — 15-30 mins max.) Schedule as early as possible. Hold standing up.

As Needed: Schedule other meetings for groups or individuals requiring special consideration, or projects requiring special handling. Be sure to define the focus and set a time limit.

When it comes to planning a meeting, here is quick video tutorial that will help you “turbocharge” your meetings: