You brainstorm topics that answer a customer’s need. You draft a schedule of deadlines months in advance of the “go live” date — which amounts to an editorial calendar. You marshal an army of content providers, whether they are internal subject matter experts or freelancers, and then you give them deadlines two weeks ahead of when you really need them because they will ALWAYS ask for an extension. You’re on the phone and on email following up with your writers, going back and forth on edits and revisions that make everything sparkly and smooth.
Sounds just like a managing editor’s responsibilities to me. Sounds just like the job I had at a glossy monthly lifestyle magazine except instead of a hundred plus pages due at the printer every month, we’re talking about blog posts, email campaigns, white papers, tweets and web content that all need to be submitted a week before yesterday.
Hire Content Creators with Publishing Experience
Content creators and content marketers ARE publishers, as Kristina Halvorson constantly reminds us. They’re not just writers and bloggers. Out of necessity, they have to be all-in-one managerial maniacs who can mine their networks for the best writer/photographer for a feature article, and then craft effective email subject lines five minutes later. They have to be able to manage the full content life cycle from creation and delivery to nurturing of the product. And they have to do it well. Then when something is up on the web, or sent out to a list of leads, they have to go back to the drawing board and do it all over again for a new set of deliverables that contribute to the company’s business goals.
It makes perfect sense then to hire people with a publishing background — the journalists, editors, writers, freelance reporters — who can easily make sense of the continuous demands that content providers are faced with and turn out excellent copy by strict deadlines.
IMAGE CREDITS: “Magazine Stand.” Flickr photo by Mannobhai via Creative Commons.