December 22, 2018

What does a Digital Producer do?

Reading time: 2 minutes

You know, we like, produce things… digitally.

A duotoned dark purple and beige version of the Apple emoji of a woman with her hand out, in front of a bright green circle

This reminds me of the line in Reality Bites when Lelaina is asked to define irony and says “well, I can’t, uh, really define irony… but I know when I see it!”.

The role of a digital producer is multi-faceted. You’re likely to be responsible for project coordination and delivery, including internal scheduling and external client relationship management. On top of that, you may find yourself providing counselling and advice to your team members, summarising project status updates and issues for your managers, crafting proposals and quotes for new work, or teaching clients how to use their new website.

The shape of the role depends on the size of the studio, types of projects, and a million other things (!). It’s hard to describe a typical list of responsibilities, but there are some things you’re likely to spot on most digital producer’s resumes.

Things you might find on a digital producer’s CV

  • Project management from inception to delivery
  • Strong writing skills, including proposals, statements of work, and functional and technical specification documents
  • Strong communication skills — for example to lead a team, and liaise with clients
  • Base understanding of HTML/CSS/JS and Ruby on Rails, as well as WordPress, Shopify, SquareSpace and other common CMS platforms
  • Experience delivering UX-led solutions (including user journeys and user stories)
  • Confidence in leading meetings, training sessions and workshops
  • Ability to manage competing jobs and priorities
  • Ability to select the appropriate methodology to suit the task at hand
  • Ability to think creatively to resolve issues, plus when and how to source help
  • Ability to spread a sense of calm in a crisis
  • Understanding of web usability and accessibility standards
  • Understanding of Google Analytics and SEO best practices
  • Attention to detail

A good digital producer will have a combination of people-skills, communication-skills, problem-solving skills, and organisational skills. You’ll be able to level with your teammates as their confidant, then hop into a meeting with your manager to Report High Level Project Status Facts. You’ll be comfortable discussing a new client’s project with them, then translating their requirements into a formal quote. You’ll repeatedly find that the initial budget isn’t going to cover the requested scope of work, and need to look for creative ways to reshape the project or explain why they should consider spending more.

It’s a juggling act. But when you gracefully keep those balls in the air while your projects tick along, there’s an unbeatable sense of satisfaction, and recognition from all around. It gets easier with practice, I promise.

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Jess Allison

Optimist. Traveller. Dreamer. Doer. Delivery Manager (ex Digital Producer). See what else I've written here.

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