The Ultimate Guide To Being An Odyssey EIC

The Ultimate Guide To Being An Odyssey EIC

Step by step instructions to creating a thriving Odyssey community.
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Ever wondered what it takes to become the Odyssey Editor in Chief of your dreams? Here's a complete guide straight from Odyssey HQ that will ensure you don't miss a thing! Follow these daily tips to build a thriving community.

Sunday

Contact exec team

Objective: Get in touch with your exec team debrief and strategize for the week. This is a great time to start planning a team meeting or just discuss their individual responsibilities.

Email debrief to CS

Objective: The goal of a debrief email is for you as EIC to understand your own team and be able to verbalize those things to your CS. The best debrief emails help you not only take stock of your team on Sunday but as a touch base throughout the following week.

Before Sunday night you should send a debrief email from the weekend. This debrief should also inform specific concerns to address on your EIC call this week or next.

Resources:

Sunday Debrief Email

Post in Group

Objective: Sunday afternoon (after your debrief) is a great time to reach out to your Creators as a team. Encourage them for the week ahead, remind them to submit Wednesday and get them talking. It’s always best to get a conversation going --- gauge if they are having any problems and make sure they know they have your support if needed.


Monday

Post in Group

Objective: #MondayMotivation -- Send an inspirational message to your team to get them excited about the week.

Metrics update from CS

Objective: Your Content Strategist will be editing most of the day, so this will likely be the only time today you hear from them. The goal of this update is to consolidate their EIC tracking doc into one easy message, reminding you of your team’s goal and breaking down how far you have left to go in the month.

Share Articles, Social Strategy

Objective: Only 16 percent of your friends will see what you post on Facebook. Re-sharing promising content shows Facebook you are an active User and willing to stay on the site. Spend about an hour testing new headlines, cover photos and social briefs to see what works for your friends.

Step 1: Work with your CS to get the week and month’s content. If a CS reaches out to you about an article shared on Odyssey's owned social, rally your community to comment on that post, like it, & share it.

Step 2: Look specifically at the top performers and at the content you and your CS thought had potential but didn’t do as well as you hoped. What can you do better?

Step 3: Consider changing the headline and cover photo

Step 4: (for both top performers and potential top performers): Have the Creator re-share the updated content with a new social brief

Objective: Sharing in large, relevant Facebook groups is a great way to spread your content on Facebook without relying solely on your network of friends.

Step 1: Check out the content you had this month and see if it’s relevant to a broader audience.

Step 2: Join groups with more than 1,000 members. Check the description to make sure you can share outside links

Step 3: Share the article and pose a question or have a strong pull-quote in the social brief

Step 4: Engage with the people commenting on the post.

Resource: 6 Ways You Can Crack Facebook's Code



Objective: Share on multiple platforms to reach different types of audience. The people who frequent Twitter may not necessarily use StumbleUpon and the people who are on Reddit may not be on Facebook. Take in consideration the type of content that is often shared on each site and be smart about where and when to share on other platforms.

Step 1: Analyze what content can do well on platforms other than Facebook. Ex: Twitter: news, celebrities; Reddit: long-form; Pinterest: quotes, fitness

Step 2: Note posting dead zones and avoid them

Step 3: Post with an engaging social brief if necessary


Tuesday

Article Ideas

Objective: Tuesday is the perfect time to start brainstorming content ideas for the deadline tomorrow. Spend about an hour Tuesday afternoon reviewing the ideas your Content Strategist sent to you and thinking about what type of content would perform well within your community. Send these ideas to your creators.

Step 1: Take into account things like trending content on Odyssey this week (you can find this in your Odyssey newsletter), trending content from your community this week, timely events and content that has performed well historically for you. You can also check trending content on Facebook or Twitter each week.

Step 2: Talk to your Creators about noteworthy topics, and work with them to develop their own ideas.

Step 3: Send Creators Odyssey's Library Of Digital Media Resources.

Call with CS (Weekly or Bi-weekly)

Objective: A successful EIC call gives you everything you need for the current week and the month overall. (Your Sunday debrief email will also dictate where this call leads.) You will typically be on a bi-weekly call schedule but talk with your CS to determine if a weekly call would work better for you.

Step 1: Prep for your EIC Call. You should come prepared with team updates (which Creators did not submit and why, who is new on your team) as well as questions or troubles you’re having as EIC. It’s also helpful to note anything new you’ve learned, as well as anything you’d like to learn from your CS this week.

Step 2: Jump on a 30-minute call with your CS.

Check Requests

Objective: Members of your community will request an invite to join your team at any time. Check Muse at least twice per week for any requests and contact those applicants.

Step 1: Check Muse for requests.

Step 2: Contact requests to gauge their interest in joining your team.

Step 3: Onboard creators you think are great cultural fits for your team. Follow this process.

Outreach

Objective: Your team is constantly growing and changing, and new Creators could be just around the corner.

Step 1: Use your network! Reach out to friends, sorority sisters, club members, teammates, and classmates and tell them about the opportunity. Look for leaders within your community and across your campus.

Step 2: Post on your own personal social media + ask your team posts their own social media blurb about joining Odyssey!

Step 3: Email clubs and organizations to pass along a message on their listserv.

Resource: Try posting this message around on Facebook: "Odyssey is looking for Content Creators! Hoping to build your resume without interrupting your schedule? Odyssey democratizes the way stories are told online. We believe multiple perspectives, opinions, and ideas should be captured and heard, shared, and amplified on a worldwide scale. Hyperlocal voices looking to gain digital exposure and a clipbook of work should request an invite to join the platform. Why not start today? Request an invite here: https://muse.theodysseyonline.com/apply


Wednesday

(Creators submit deadline by 5 p.m.)

Post in Group

Objective: Coach team to submit on time today. Shout out rock star Creators for things like views, shares or culture from the week prior. It will help encourage creators to submit on time.

Call with CS (Weekly or Bi-weekly)


Thursday

Post in Group

Objective: Roundup any creators that missed the deadline.

Edit Content

Objective: By now, each of your Creators should have at least one piece in. Spend this time working through your line edits & packaging content.

Step 1: Read through the entire piece, correcting grammar and syntax errors. Make sure to leave comments noting your changes or encouraging your Creator.

Step 2: Ensure the piece is packaged well.

Step 3: Schedule the share.

Step 4: As you edit, write down headlines of pieces you think will do well to include in your debrief email later on.

Step 5: As you edit, mark off Creators who have submitted on your tracking doc.

Resources:

EIC Editing 101

Tracking Doc

Download Grammarly, a Google Chrome extension to help with editing

Package Content (in tandem with editing)

Objective: You want to make your team’s articles the most attractive articles on the web.

Step 1: Make sure cover photos are attention-grabbing. Make sure cover photos are attention-grabbing. Use Pexels, Unsplash, and Kaboompics for free stock photos that are also aesthetically pleasing.

Step 2: The headline should be concise and creative. If it’s a listicle, include the number of items in the headline

Step 3: The social media brief is the subhead or a blurb that teases the article.

Step 4: Choose a time you believe the article will do best. Monday at 10 a.m. is always a great time to schedule a post because content begins to take off at that time.

Step 5: Make sure the Creator has an engaging social share. Blatant self-promotion puts the content at the bottom of the Newsfeed. Consider having them change the share text to a strong pull-quote or a question.

Resources:

How To Craft The Perfect Headline

Copyright

Odyssey's Library Of Digital Media Resources

Call with CS (Weekly or Bi-weekly)

Check Requests

Objective: Members of your community will request an invite to join your team at any time. Check Muse at least twice per week for any requests and contact those applicants.

Step 1: Check Muse for requests.

Step 2: Contact requests to gauge their interest in joining your team.

Step 3: Onboard creators you think are great cultural fits for your team. Follow this process.


Friday

All edits are done (By Noon)

Objective: Ensure that all edits are completed for your CS to tackle. Content will go live from your CS first thing Monday morning and throughout the week.

Make sure weekly email is sent to your community (By 5 p.m.)

Objective: Keeping your community updated is an essential part of the EIC role.

Emails should include, but not limited to:

1. Reminders & announcements

2. Creator // article shoutouts

3. Metrics updates

4. A tip of the week (how to share your article, how to format properly, etc.)

***

Want to build an exec team?

Why should you build an editorial executive team to help you out?

1. Creator experience outside the Odyssey bubble: Giving creators the opportunity to take on leadership and responsibility that they can carry onto future opportunities depending on their career trajectory

2. These positions dont diminish the EIC role as it is now or what it could be in the future. Rather, these different leadership roles give the EIC the opportunity to hold his/her executive team accountable. The EIC is partaking in all of the other leaders responsibilities, but has a direct person who knows everything about a particular EIC task [i.e., The EIC understands Facebooks algorithm and can coach creators around packaging, but the social media director makes it a point to research best practices to present to EIC, do smart sharing hacks, etc.]

3. Giving creators these titles specifically presents new opportunities for them to interact with different counterparts across the country, just as EICs do now in the Facebook group. There can also be opportunities for them to benefit from group calls with NYCs best outreach specialists, audience development team, or culture queens

4. This doesn’t need to be seen much differently from any other structure in any other organization (i.e. Greek Life has a president & a board, the U.S. president has a cabinet, Odyssey HQ has different departments working in tandem, etc.)

Here are the positions you can bring on:

1. Outreach Specialist

2. Social Media Director

3. Community Health Manager

4. Contributing Editor

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Raw, humorous and valuable advice for new or already established students.

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Whether you are a brand new college student or you have a couple semesters under your belt, it's easy to get stuck going through the motions without allowing yourself to fully absorb everything that your school has to offer. These 25 students at the University of South Florida share some of their most valuable advice, secrets, and hacks when it comes to getting the most out of your college experience.

Going To The Football Games

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"If I could give a first-time student some advice I'd say to take off of work on Saturday and just go to the football games because they'll regret it if they don't." Ciara G.

Finding Opportunities

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"Read the Note-a-Bulls emails and flyers you see on campus. Sometimes you find a great scholarship, internship, and recreational opportunities." Abigayle R.

Gaining Friends And Losing Friends

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"Remember that some people come into your life for short periods and even though some make your life amazing while others make it awful…they're part of your story!" Ashley J.

Procrastinating

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"Always put school work as a number one priority. I know I sometimes slacked off and waited until the absolute last minute to do assignments my first year. Not only did that stress me out but that work also ended up not being as good as it could've been. Also, take as many pictures as you can because before you know it college is over." Sydney M.

Sidewalk Etiquette

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"If you walk slow, do not walk in the center of the sidewalk." Katie H.

The Squirrels

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"The squirrels get aggressive, just be careful." Alex K.

Doing Laundry On Campus

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"Always check the USF app to see if the laundry machines are in working order, and if you want your money back call, the app for the company doesn't work well…and keep in mind they'll give you a refund, but they will send a physical check even for something as small as a dollar." Megan M.

When In Florida, Do As The Floridians Do

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"Always carry an umbrella because there is a 100% chance that it will rain. Also, buy a rain jacket that can fit over your backpack in order to protect electronics." Sina W.

Dining Dollars and Beer

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"You can buy stuff that is not food from the pod with dining dollars and you can buy beer from the Beef O Brady's with dining dollars after 5 p.m." Carlin I.

Finding Parking

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"Be prepared to play musical chairs, parking lot version." Negin W.

Taking Alone Time

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"Remember to take time for yourself. Whatever that may be, always remember you deserve time for you!" Mary S.

Checking Your Emails Is Important

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"Check your email regularly. This is the only way advisors/faculty can communicate with you. Also, set your mail.usf email to forward to your personal email account if you don't want to check more than one email." Cherie D.

Letting Go Of The Past

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"Nothing from your past matters, not people or things, so don't dwell on it." Cameron H.

Sitting In Someone Else's Spot

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"Respect peoples non-assigned assigned seat. Also, people at USF are friendly so don't be afraid to talk to people and make new friends." Gaby M.

Talking In Class

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"Don't be afraid to talk in class. The class will go by so much better and will be less boring if you help the professor out and say something. Also, be sure to go to peer leading because it helps me so much." Brandon W.

Being Friendly To Your Professors And Classmates

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"Get to know professors as humans and mentors. Be the student whose smiling face they look for in class when they come in. Don't always dive for the empty table if you see others sitting alone. Maybe they need a friend too." Amanda F.

Being Involved On Campus

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"Take advantage of the stuff on campus. Like you pay for it. Do it." Leeland B.

Exercise And Finding Free Food On Campus

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"Join a sports team on campus, you'll get your exercise in and make amazing friends! Also, download the Edi-Bull app to find the free food on campus." Megan K.

Being Anti-Social

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"Go to USF events and just talk to people. That little voice that tells you 'ah people are scary, I shouldn't interact,' almost everyone has that voice in some sort of way so you already have something in common. Also, come to WOW (Week Of Welcome) and so hi to the PALS (Peer Advisor Leaders)." Ishaat Musrur H.

Not Knowing Your Purpose

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"Don't worry about figuring out everything (yourself, your major, your classes, etc) right away. It's okay to be a little unsettled as long as you are working hard along the way." Bonita H.

Sleeping, Eating, And Showing Up To Class

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"Set a structured schedule for yourself. Try to get up and go to sleep around the same time every week day-it makes waking up easier and it's healthier for your body! You don't have to live off of fast food. I know it's easier and all around on campus but try making yourself something- you'd be surprised how easy cooking can be. Also, go to class! Even if attendance isn't mandatory, you're paying for every single hour of that lecture. Better not waste it." Hannah W.

Controlling The Music In The Dining Hall

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"You can control the music in the dining hall using the Rockbox app." Nicole Y.

Figuring Out Where Your Classes Are

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"At least a day before classes start, walk around on campus to find out where they all are and go to your professor's office hours. Especially if it pertains to your grade, but even just for one little question. Get to know your professors." Demi A.

Picking The Best Classes

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"Prepare for the next semester! Try and figure out what classes you need for the coming semester ahead of time so you're ready to get them as soon as you can sign up!" Elizabeth S.

Appreciating Your RA's

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"Get to know your RA! They're here to help you get acclimated and enjoy your time on campus." Gia R.

The number one thing to remember is to have fun and appreciate each moment because these few years will fly by faster than you think. Go Bulls!

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