Diversified Editorial Job Descriptions: Enough Is Enough
Next April’s MediaGrowth Summit 20/20 includes a workshop of note for Editorial Solutions readers: “The B2B Editor As Strategic Asset.” Anyone concerned with the well-being and future development of business-to-business editorial should certainly consider attending.
According to the workshop presenter, Putman Media’s Tom Wilk, “editors are being asked to balance their core content development responsibilities with a variety of other tasks, from sales-enablement and marketing execution to 24/7 engagement across social platforms.” While such diversification has its merits, however, the rationale for this workshop hardly reflects new thinking. Indeed, the call to action may be arriving a bit too late.
Perhaps editorial job descriptions could have been stretched during the print-only environment. But even in those days, editorial jobs required wearing at least a dozen hats well. Today if we just consider how editors could assist in marketing efforts (many already do so), their editorial wardrobe might include an extra ten hats. What’s the likelihood an editor could do all this and more while still turning out a regular flow of top-notch, high-enterprise content?
10 Marketing Roles for Editors
To illustrate, let’s consider the possibilities listed in the Editorial Marketing Arsenal self-scoring profile included in my book, Get Serious About Editorial Management. How many of these activities requiring editorial involvement already are part of your marketing agenda?
- Competitive analysis reports covering print and online platforms are distributed.
- A weekly or monthly promotion newsletter combines ads with late-breaking exclusive articles.
- Slide shows presented by an editor/publisher team give vendors and ad agencies a special advance look at key industry trends.
- An updated editorial portfolio confirms your publication’s superiority.
- Editors play a major role during special calls on key accounts with or without the publisher or other sales staff members.
- Ideas for revenue-producing projects such as advertorials, supplements, and webinars are suggested frequently.
- Convention issues offer superior, unique content rather than run-of-the-mill show previews and regular monthly departments.
- Editors are reliable problem-solvers when fielding advertiser complaints.
- A standard feedback system keeps salespeople advised of editorial contact with key advertisers.
- Editors prepare and regularly update a “First and Only” media kit insert documenting their publications’ unique achievements.
How well do you fare in fulfilling these activities? You can find out by awarding yourself a maximum score of 10 points for each of the above tools that you use often use, five points for those you sometimes use, or zero points if you never even consider them. You need a total of at least 90 points for a passing grade. My favorite items in the above list are the editorial portfolio, industry trends slide show, and the “first and only” insert.
The Existing Job Is Sufficiently Challenging
Providing just the editorial marketing support outlined above could become a major time-eater for already busy editors. In many cases, attempts to stretch editorial job descriptions beyond these existing challenges underestimate the multiple roles already required. This reality prompted me to create and introduce my first multi-hat profile at a Folio conference some years ago. The Editorial Miracle Worker profile I offered covers 10 roles built into every editorial management job description.
For those managers eager to embark on a more vigorous “editor as asset” quest, the evidence I’ve presented here should suggest that existing job descriptions already are sufficiently demanding. Hopefully that reality will not be overlooked during the upcoming MediaGrowth workshop.