My story relates to one of the projects I’ve been able to work on; a digital media consulting class with the Philadelphia Inquirer and the philanthropist Gerry Lenfest. Gerry Lenfest emailed President Fry this past fall and asked if Drexel would be interested in being part of the process of developing a new media outlet that could co-exist with the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com as part of the Philadelphia Media Network (PMN) portfolio, which he owns. The purpose of this new outlet was to seek to develop greater engagement between millennials and the PMN brands.
Through both the discovery and development processes were taught to think in a nontraditional way
President Fry responded to this request by establishing a team of students who represented some of the best students from each of Drexel’s respective colleges. Acting as a media consulting company, we went through the process of delving into the news industry and immersing ourselves in both the challenges and opportunities within it. From this we developed a comprehensive understanding of what the particular pain points were for millennials when it comes to legacy news organizations. We then began exploring multiple approaches to these pain points. Ten solutions were developed by the end of the process, but we now had a new problem that was seemingly just as intimidating: we needed to decide which solution to pursue.
With the guidance of two professors who led the class, we voted on one of the concepts to use as the core of the product we planned to propose and then incorporated components from each of the others. Through both the discovery and development processes, we were taught to think in a nontraditional way. Rather than simply taking in information and filtering it down, we were taught to establish a core focus instead, then let our minds wander from there.
Once we developed our final proposal several of us had the opportunity to present it to Gerry Lenfest and his management team at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Not only did Drexel give us the opportunity to go through the full life-cycle of developing a product, it also allowed us the opportunity to pitch our product and defend why we think it creates the best solution for their brand.
This experience was invaluable because it showed me the potential that each of us has to truly contribute something significant to our communities.