RGD highlights the experiences of Celina Fischer RGD, Senior Producer, CBC NEWS – Brand and Creative Strategy
1. The Basics:
Name: Celina Fischer RGD
Company Name: CBC
Job Title: Senior Producer, CBC NEWS – Brand and Creative Strategy
2. When does your typical work day start and end?
This is a bit of hard one, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but in this day with mobiles and the ramped-up speed of projects and platforms, varying designer shifts and priorities means I am “pretty on” for much of the early morning and potentially into the late evening.
3. What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?
Coffee. Turn on the news channels. Check my calendar, do any prep work for any meetings coming up. Confirm status and updates from the design team and editorial teams – make sure priorities, delivery and motivation are still aligned. How has the story or coverage changed, what is the new story and how does this impact the design team.
4. List the 5 things you spend the most time on during a typical work day, and allot them a percentage amount (adding up to 100%).
40% - Running from meeting to meeting. Meetings entail listening to the needs of producers, writers, editors, designers and management, discussing the creative opportunities, coordinating and planning for inter-platform coverage and story-telling.
50 % - Email and impromptu discussions with writers, producers, graphic directors and designers to better guide the visual storytelling and presentation and keep the CBC NEWS brand promise consistent.
10% - R&D – look at other news organizations, CBC NEWS platforms and third-party platforms to get a measure of our brand presence. What other graphic tools could the editorial teams benefit from as in “templates” or what deficiencies are in our visual system? I try to read or watch at least one article a day that is related to the business of design, leadership, trends, improving and increasing efficiencies, processes, scheduling and technical delivery formats etc.
5. Of all of the tasks you complete during the day, what is your favourite? What is your least favourite?
Consulting and guidance are my favourite. Listening to great ideas and introducing teams and individuals to make an idea or creative opportunity come to life. Facilitate the conversation, ask the why, what is the motivation, what is the audience experience, the value to the story, does it make sense or move the story forward? My least favourite is the technical specifications – getting graphics from one source to another and scheduling, do we have the right number of designers with the right kind of skillset for any given portion of the day, etc.
6. Do you have any strategies to keep up your productivity/inspiration over the course of the day?
Great conversations. Bouncing around ideas with each other, looking at what we did yesterday and put in motion ideas for tomorrow. Looking at others – looking at how well their brand voice is consistent or not. Meeting up with others who are in design but not in media – discuss similarities, challenges and discuss what they are inspired by or not and why. Always asking the “why?” question. And a calendar secret, I block out 2 hours of time on Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays for uninterrupted time to focus on priorities.
7. Are there any tasks that you like to do at the end of the day? That you feel you must do before you leave?
Check in with the designers. I get the sense that some of them like this and others not so much – it may feel like I am checking up on them. In one way I am making sure we still meet the strategy but really, I like seeing where they are taking the creative before they filter out what they think is maybe not working. Sometimes it is good to ignore our filter and when I see something that may have potential, I want to figure out a plan to push it forward, get more time or save it for another project in the future if time does not allow or expectations are already set for this one.
8. How has your job changed over the last year, 5 years, if at all?
Wow – a lot really as it has for everyone. So many opportunities with technology, with stories, with branding and the importance of how brand evolves on all platforms and emerging unknown platforms. All of this with the same number of designers, well actually less than what we had in 2013. The amount of work and the immediacy of competition to get the story out there for a very fragmented and large demographic puts a lot of pressure on the teams and me. News anywhere, anytime!
Finish these sentences:
9. I can’t go a day without … my coffee and enjoying the delightful moments with my son.
10. One thing I wish I knew when I started my career is that … the hours are always long. Find ways to know your bias and how to check that your instincts and design principles are serving the audience and client, not your own preference, tastes or beliefs.
11. In my job, I wish I had more time for… planning, communicating with the design and editorial teams as a whole, really having brainstorming conversations about the daily, weekly and long-term design needs as a group. The graphic design shifts range from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m., 7 days a week and in 3 cities.
Celina recently worked on a project for CBC's "Ontario Votes":