Posts Tagged ‘McClatchy’

Innovation as a job

As you may (or may not) know, I’ve been one of the Innovation (Design Thinking) coaches for McClatchy the past couple of years. I’m stepping away from that although still on call if they need me. In particular, I told them to let me know if they need me to sit in on a Design Review, have research needs or have a project in the Kansas City area.  Also, I’ve told them I’m available to help out at this fall’s Innovation Academy in Boise, Idaho.

Meanwhile, they’ve added a couple full-time members to the team, a couple new coaches (that are doing this on top of their day jobs, like I did the last couple years) and now, they’re looking for an intern.  So, if you know any college students looking for internships in Raleigh, these links are both about an internship with McClatchy’s innovation team:

Plus, they’re going to actually be looking for research assistance (possibly hiring a Research Analyst for their team next year) so let me know if you have good leads for them, especially in the Raleigh market.


Incubator 1.0

Congratulations to all of those that participated in this month’s McClatchy Incubator 1.0. I was honored to be one of the coaches and look forward to seeing what’s next.

Here’s a video of David Kelley speaking about Creative Confidence, which is also the title of a book that we recommended to those participating in the Incubator.  Furthermore, I’m sharing a couple quotations from Solving Problems with Design Thinking, a book that Pat had recommended (back in January) to those of us on the Leadership team:

  • “we are often truly our worst enemies when it comes to implementing design thinking. The approach summons a host of demons: our impatience for ‘results,’ our discomfort with ambiguity and messiness, and our fear of stepping into the unknown.” (page 140)
  • “where you start is not where you should expect to end up. And that’s good news. You didn’t get it wrong – you learned. So many of our flawed solutions can be traced to having stuck with a limiting question. One of the most significant contributions of design is to help us live longer in the question. It is our willingness to revisit the question we asked at the outset that allows us to reframe the way we see the world and discover new possibilities.” (Solving Problems with Design Thinking, page 157)

This photo looks back at our gathering in January when we were first planning the Incubator:

Incubator Planning in 2015-01

And here we are last week, celebrating as we concluded McClatchy Incubator 1.0:

Celebrating as we conclude McClatchy Incubator 1.0

Finally, here are a couple photos of the team I coached this week:

OMO with Coach Mark Things are looking up for OMO

It was a great (but exhausting) experience.




Travelin’ Man

In most years, I might have one business trip in my Marketing Research role at The Kansas City Star.

However, last summer, we created the McClatchy Consumer Data Center (MCDC) which resulted in trips to Wichita and Lexington. The concept of MCDC came out of epathetic interviews with advertisers last summer as part of Design Thinking with the Stanford Design School.

Well, earlier this year, I learned that I’d been selected to participate in the next round of Design Thinking training and, furthermore, I would be one of 11 people serving as Smokejumpers, which essentially means that I’m coaching others on Design Thinking and figuring out how to fan the flames of creativity. I had the pleasure of working with a team of 4 in January and at the end of the week, they went on their way and I was given 2 new teams to work with. A note of clarification though … these were new only in my participation as a Smokejumper as both groups already existed. MEND University was spreading great ideas throughout McClatchy and I’m simply encouraging them to test those ideas with customers. The other team is MCDC and, as mentioned previously, I’m actually a member of the team. For MCDC, we’ve been striving to “Nail It Before We Scale It” as we are currently providing MCDC and Database Analysis projects in 8 markets.

This past week, I returned to Sacramento for another round of training as a Smokejumper.

Before I went to Sacramento, I made a stop in Nashville for the NAA mediaXchange and got to see several friends and colleagues, including fellow researchers Pauline (Tampa / St. Pete, Florida) and Nikhil (Columbus, Ohio … go Buckeyes!) as well as vendors from Scarborough, Second Street, AdMall, Nielsen, Media Monitors, Mather Economics and RAM. Sunday featured the Audience Symposium while the highlights for Monday were sessions about Millennials and a session on how to Market to People Not Like Me, which includes but is not limited to Millennials. Then, I raced to the airport to jump on my next flight (to Sacramento) meeting with colleagues from McClatchy and the d School.

One of the surprises of the time in Sacramento was getting to present to McClatchy’s board of directors. Oddly, presenting to them really didn’t faze me … yet I struggled with the introductions/small talk beforehand as I couldn’t manage to say much more than providing them with my name and newspaper. In addition to our training as Smokejumpers, we also got to learn about teaching others by immersion as we had 3 unique experiences and then debriefed on the skills of the teachers: Tai Cooking & Making Mixed Drinks, Rockclimbing, and finally Yoga. Those that know me would probably be shocked to hear about me doing ANY of those, let alone all in one week.

Now that I’ve completed my week in Sacramento, I will be preparing to hand MEND & MCDC back to the teams so I can work with other teams as a Smokejumper. Of course, I’m still a member of MCDC and will return to Lexington for another round of training in early April. Plus, it remains to be seen what other business trips will be in my future. Somewhere in there will be McClatchy’s Incubator (probably in Raleigh) and perhaps some trips to jump into another team or 2 or 3 or …

Of course, I’m also going to squeeze in a few trips unrelated to my job with The Kansas City Star and McClatchy. This weekend, I’m taking my church youth group to Young Christians Weekend at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. Then, in July I’ll be taking them to Arkansas to visit Heifer International’s headquarters and Clinton Presidential Museum next door. But before that, I’ll be spending 4th of July in Georgia as I’m taking my parents to the Whitaker family reunion and a belated celebration of my Aunt Sara’s 80th birthday.

Happy Trails!
Mark Whitaker

P.S. After a week of traveling, I’ve spent the weekend in my recliner watching NCAA Basketball tournament; as I publish this, Wichita State leads Kansas by 3 (29-26) at halftime.

MCDC – helping businesses find more prospects

I work for The Kansas City Star and its parent company, McClatchy.  Recently, we decided to launch a new initiative, the McClatchy Consumer Data Center, also known as MCDC.  We’re able to take a business’s customer database and analyze it using the Nielsen PRIZM segmentation system.   We find out the demographics, interests and media habits of your customers. More important, we find out where your customers live and where you can find more people like them in the market.

This type of analysis normally would cost thousands of dollars but we’re rolling out this new initiative during 4th Quarter of 2014 (in McClatchy West and Midwest) and during this initial roll-out phase, we’re going to make this capability available to our business partners (clients and prospects) as Value-Added (FREE) for the next 30 days.

A minimum of about 2,000 records is needed (we need address, city, state, ZIP Code in a CSV or XLS file) and we already have a Non-Disclosure Agreement available.   Due to demand, we’re anticipating that it should take about two (2) weeks to turn this around once we receive your customer database.

To give you an idea of its popularity, we launched this new initiative/capability on November 1st and, in just one week, we’ve already had six (6) businesses sign up with us and provide us with their databases.   If you run a business operating in or around Kansas City, Wichita, Lexington, or Fort Worth and you are interested in this new capability, please contact your Account Executive or to set up a time to discuss this in more detail.

Thank you.

Mark R. Whitaker
The Kansas City Star / McClatchy Midwest