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Work Diaries: News & Civics Partnerships Lead, working in an elections year

Brandon Feldman leads News & Civics partnerships. His team works with news organizations, political publishers and creators — along with policymakers and campaigns — on using YouTube to reach audiences online.

We’re peeling back the curtains with our series, Work Diaries, where you can experience inner workings of YouTube. How do decisions get made? What goes into a product, feature or policy? We’re asking YouTube employees to give us the low-down during a five-day period. 

Featured today: Brandon Feldman leads News & Civics partnerships. His team works with news organizations, political publishers and creators  along with policymakers and campaigns  on using YouTube to reach audiences online. 


7 a.m. - Wake up and scroll through news apps and email newsletters to get caught up on the headlines I’ve missed. Living in California and working in news and politics -- which largely revolve around New York and Washington D.C. -- means an early morning, sometimes. 

10 a.m. - Review the ways we're working with major news providers to connect viewers with key election moments. Election day is just around the corner, and our teams are working around the clock to deliver a robust, responsible experience to YouTube viewers.

4 p.m. - Huddle with the team on plans for the Google News Initiative YouTube Sustainability Lab. Supporting news organizations on their paths to financial sustainability is a big focus for YouTube, and in launching this program, we’re aiming to accelerate innovative ideas focused on advertising revenue, user revenue, and cost savings.

Today’s highlight: Several creators & partners have recently hit big milestones on YouTube -- from reaching 1 million subscribers to surpassing their own viewership records. 


10 a.m. - Kick off weekly one-on-one meetings with members of my team. They each lead their respective domain -- from left-of-center civics to right-of-center political publishers. We stay connected through group messages in Google Chat throughout the day, but this block of time, which is all over Google Meets due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is my favorite part of the week. 

2 p.m. - Finalize plans for the launch of a search experience for candidates. When a user searches for 2020 presidential or federal candidates on YouTube, we surface a panel with information about that candidate — including party affiliation, office and, when available, the official YouTube channel of the candidate — above search results. This is valuable for both politicians and users, as it helps better connect candidates and voters. 

3 p.m. - Meet with a cross-functional team to plan for the upcoming general debates. We’re working with a wide range of partners to live stream the events and coverage around them.

Today’s highlight: As the election progresses, it’s exciting to see candidates turn to popular YouTube channels to reach voters. 



9 a.m. - Morning calls with partners to walk through how we treat educational, documentary, scientific, and artistic content on YouTube. 

11 a.m. - Discuss initial thinking on 2021 strategic planning with the team. While we’re still a few months from the new year, many factors go into annual planning, and it’s important that we start laying the foundation early. 

3 p.m. -  Meet with colleagues in London and Singapore that cover our partnerships work across Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific (APAC). While time zones can be tricky, we are good about meeting regularly.

Today’s highlight: I’ve tried my hand at more serious landscaping while working from home, but seeing this garden on a trip really upped the ante. 


9 a.m. -  Sync with a team member we just hired and will be starting soon. Exciting to be growing the team!

12 p.m. - Weekly partnerships team meeting, where we share updates on our latest initiatives, wins, learnings and challenges. We’ve been hosting virtual trainings on how partners can build effective digital video strategies and we brainstorm topics and formats for future workshops. 

3 p.m. - Connect with our internal teams that work on live streaming to review how we’re seeing campaigning shift to digital. It’s been rewarding to see campaigns turn to digital platforms like YouTube to reach voters during this unprecedented time. 

Today’s highlight: Since it’s #ThrowbackThursday, I’m reminiscing on this time, four years ago, when our team was at the conventions and debates. In non-COVID times, my team is often on the ground collaborating with partners and supporting their use of YouTube.

fishing adventure

Today's highlight: After spending lots of time inside, looking forward to enjoying the outdoors. Here’s a recent snapshot from a fly fishing adventure. We released him : )


10 a.m. - Weekly operations check-in with our teams that support partners. We have an outstanding group of Strategic Partner Managers, Partner Operations Managers and Partner Technology Managers that work together to support our partners in using YouTube, and this is when we check in on how the week went, along with any issues that arose and what we can expect for the week ahead. 

3 p.m. - Join YTF, or YouTube Friday, where teams across YouTube get together weekly to welcome new employees, celebrate our accomplishments, share learnings, and host a Q&A. 

Interested in a career at YouTube? Peruse through open positions here.