5 Tips on Hiring Talented Cross-Media Editors
In today’s publishing climate, successful editors need to be able to do a lot more than just, well, edit. Increasingly, editorial staffers are being charged with video production, online content production, webinars, blogs, social networks and more—in addition to their traditional responsibilities in print.
In a panel discussion held at this week’s Folio: Publishing Summit in Chicago, several publishing executives debated today’s hiring landscape, including what skill sets publishers are looking for in young talent and how to find a candidate who can excel across multiple content platforms. Below are several tips presented by the panel.
1. Reward risk and performance.
“Research shows that the journalism culture is most similar to the military and medical cultures. … We’re a pretty rigid culture and are resistant to change. … But in order to innovate … we need to make some key cultural changes. Organizations need to reward [editors who take] risks,” says Janice Castro, assistant professor, magazine and new media, Northwestern University.
“Key performance indicators are a lot more measurable with e-media,” says Jeff Giesea, president of FierceMarkets Inc., a digital b-to-b publisher. “Try to define in metrics the outcomes that you want [from your editorial staff.”
Giesea says Web site metrics like unique visitors and page views are a good start, but that his company has developed a new measurement for its e-newsletters. “A good key performance indicator [is to] multiply the number of e-newsletter subscribers by the open rate.” They call this figure “openers.”
In addition to incentivizing your editorial team, Giesea even suggests rewarding freelancers.
2. Be knowledgeable in the areas for which you are hiring.
Managers who are hiring need to understand the e-media areas they are hiring for, says Steven Baker, senior writer and blogger for BusinessWeek magazine.
When looking to improve your site’s blog, make sure you know what it takes to be a successful blogger. Giesea advises examining the blogosphere to see who the really successful people are at building communities and consider hiring them. Look for people who get a ton of comments on their blogs.