Ever wondered what it's like to be an Editor? We caught up with Liz Darke, Editor of Journey magazine for Princess Cruises at the Hearst Content Agency who talks us through a diverse career, some exciting plans in the pipeline and advice for anyone that is looking to work in content creation...
What do you do within the agency?
As an editor, I get my hands dirty with lots of different projects within the agency. I develop content concepts and executions for new briefs, help define strategy and audience for pitches, commission writers and edit our content output to best fit our client's needs. At the moment, I'm mostly spending my time editing the print magazine and microsite that we produce for Princess Cruises. With that, everything revolves around travel, so though it's an ever-changing industry right now, it's a pretty covetable subject matter. The more time spent looking at Caribbean beaches, the merrier, I say.
Tell us how you got to where you are now…
I started out in consumer publishing, writing and curating digital content that covered lots of life's best bits – food, drink, travel, events, One Direction… As job opportunities in that area began to diminish, I stepped into the world of content marketing, which was then flourishing, becoming more innovative and looking to up its game in terms of quality and integrity. Cue several years working at some of the capital's content agency giants, where storyboarding burpee workout videos for Fitness First, writing poster ads for Schwartz and scripting a video of animated yoghurts for Arla was all in a day's work. If there's one thing I can say about my job now, it sure is diverse.
What does a typical day look like?
Currently, I'm knee-deep in putting together our latest issue of Journey magazine for Princess Cruises, which means my day is filled with commissioning and editing copy, co-ordinating subs, liaising with the art team, signing off layouts to send to the client and then crossing all my fingers that they like everything. No day would be typical without a curveball brief thrown in on top, though. Ideas for a new washing detergent social campaign, anyone??
What is the most challenging part of your role?
Although I've been doing it for years now, I still find flitting between projects and brands, with their different objectives, audiences and stylistic requirements, hard at times. But hey, it keeps me on my toes.?
What is the most rewarding part?
It’s rewarding when you finish the day having made your client happy, but it's most satisfying when a piece of work really resonates with people. It's all well and good fulfilling a brief, but the end product has to be something that evokes a reaction. With all this lovely travel content that I'm currently working on, I want people to see it and be inspired to explore our beautiful world again – when it's safe to do so, of course.
What’s next for you and your team? I imagine there are some exciting plans in the pipeline…?
Next up is to grow the Journey microsite, adding to its already varied base of travel features and enlisting the help of our audience and insights team, as well as some very SEO-savvy people. There are some exciting projects for P&G scheduled, plus I hear there's a new pitch on the horizon... Sorry, if I told you any more about that, I'd have to kill you.
What advice would you give someone trying to get into this industry?
Hone your skills (my first and last love will always be writing) but be prepared to be flexible. These days, it pays to be able to multitask as most jobs require a broad set of skills. Lastly, get in touch! I got all of my jobs except for my current one by either contacting an HR department directly, emailing people I'd seen on LinkedIn or tweeting companies to ask for work experience. You may cringe when doing it, but who knows what response you might get?
Finally, when you’re not at work, what would we find you doing??
Eating pasta, swigging rosé with friends, quite literally Netflix and chilling.