Product teams should know these 5 truths about a user-centric content strategy

By Jodie Hopperton


Los Angeles, California, United States


This week Dmitry Shishkin, formerly head of the BBC World Service digital expansion and chief content officer at Culture Trip, shares his wisdom, asks questions, and gives actionable advice about how to deepen content and product alignment — something that affects us all and is critical to product success.

The INMA Product Initiative is going to spend some time looking at the relationship between editorial and product teams, so if you have a story or an opinion to share, please send it to me at

In the meantime, here’s Dmitry: 

5 things I learned about user needs in content and product alignment

User needs-centric content strategy, deeper alignment of content/product disciplines, and actionability of data have been the three hot topics of the digital news publishing sector over the last year or so. As it happens, all three themes have been inseparably connected with my career, too, in various leadership roles at the BBC first, then as chief content officer at Culture Trip, and, lately, as an independent digital consultant. I’ve been advising publishers to develop their strategy around these topics. 

Consultant Dmitry Shishkin shares five learnings about user needs.
Consultant Dmitry Shishkin shares five learnings about user needs.

Here are five most important things you need to consider bringing back to your newsrooms: 

1. User needs are central.

As digital publishers come to terms that satisfying user needs in the editorial output is as important as doing it in the product areas, it’s time to embrace user needs-based commissioning. User needs, pioneered by BBC World Service from 2016 onwards, are central to growth, engagement, and trust-building. Focusing on user needs further strengthens a notion of journalism as a service. User needs in journalism are about ... CONTINUE READING

INMA Global Media Awards case studies: Nikkei

The INMA Global Media Awards have highlighted some excellent case studies. Jodie has picked out a few that she thinks will resonate with the Product Initiative Community. This week we are looking at Nikkei’s Wave app

Dates for the Diary

Thursday, May 26: Speaking of user needs, sign up to the webinar on May 26 when The Product Doctor, Julia Shalet, will be taking us on a deep dive into testing ideas with our audience from her award winning book The Really Good Idea Test. Members can sign up free here

Throughout May: Also, INMA World Congress has started with seven sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays in May. Be sure to sign up at least to the product session on May 25, where we have an exceptional line-up of speakers. More here.

About this newsletter 

Today’s newsletter is written by Jodie Hopperton, based in Los Angeles and lead for the INMA Product Initiative. Jodie will share research, case studies, and thought leadership on the topic of global news media product.

This newsletter is a public face of the Product Initiative by INMA, outlined here. E-mail Jodie at with thoughts, suggestions, and questions. Sign up to our Slack channel.

About Jodie Hopperton

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