The Editor / Account Director
Everyone at our client is an expression of our brand. So it’s important all roles are positioned within our brand essence – who we are, what we do and how we do it.
The purpose of this document, is not to set specific objectives, but to guide Editors on what we want and expect from them. Some Editors will specialise in a specific area (e.g. new business focused, or more focused on managing the team and facilitating training). As such this document needs to be viewed as an overall framework, as opposed to a literal job specification. Your line manager will set specific objectives which will be reviewed formally every 6 months, as well as there being a regular performance discussion between you.
Who we are
We fuse the creativity of an ad agency with the dynamism and speed of a PR agency to make our communications cut through with relevancy and impact
Trying to catch lightning in a bottle.
It takes all of us: jockeys, poets, soldiers, hacks, fashionistas, bartenders, historians, rappers,
homemakers and philosophers who’ve all been ‘round the park
And all our frictional forces to create stories that make a bright spark
To conduct it straight to the minds of audiences and everywhere it’s shared, leaves an indelible scorch-mark
It takes our quick, cool, fearless judgement to channel the story and steer the arc
And it takes our conviction and courage to lead clients, blinking, into the light from out of the dark
We can only succeed in delivering our brand promise with our amazing team. We are frankly, nothing without the people who work here. So, we put a lot of value on our team, and a lot of emphasis on how we recruit, support, develop and reward.
How we act and behave, is as important as our skill-set. Everyone should…
be dynamic in how you work & communicate
be ambitious for yourself, your Clients
be brave because learning from a failure is better than never trying
try harder for your clients and the competition
be united knowing our combined effort will be more successful
Editors– role definition
In a nutshell:
The Editors will craft the story for our clients and strategically direct the campaign approach, managing the publishers and other team members to ensure success. The Editors will lead in content creation, define the multi-channel approach and tactics needed to deliver really successful and compelling communications that cut through the noise and generate excellent ROI.
It is the Editor’s responsibility to ensure that the agency of choice across the whole communications arena, by leading and managing the delivery of high quality content, timely client work, realising new business opportunities, sharing best practice and developing high performing teams.
A day in the life of…
• Responsible for planning and strategising the editorial narrative for clients.
• Planning campaigns and stories that will work across the whole channel mix – social, digital & traditional in an integrated way.
• Lead on content creation for clients.
• Manage, mentor and coach the publishers to become experts in media relations (across all media).
• Lead the publishers in the early morning news monitoring & manage the creative thinking about how stories can be made relevant for clients and offer consultative guidance to your clients about this based on the news agenda.
• Deliver excellent account management. Ensure that you are seen as an expert counsel to your clients; someone they can trust and rely upon to give them sound and honest advice.
• Manage and run client budgets to ensure value.
• Review and manage client account reports ensuring that all activities and results are reported correctly and that all the KPIs are being met. Reporting back to senior management if these KPIs are not being met and problem solving during difficult times.
• Assist with new business when requested, including pitch prep, leading new biz proposals and creating creds documents. Editors should also be mindful of the agency’s PR/ marketing strategy and ensure that they are networking with the right people, telling the story and attending relevant industry events.
• Establish your team’s goals. Flag any team or performance issues to senior management quickly and efficiently.
• On occasion you will be asked to get involved in the recruitment and selection of new staff/ interns.
• Line management of publishers, including conducting bi-annual reviews, providing performance objectives etc
Skills for Editors
• An expert understanding of the communications mix, from traditional, to online, social and paid for.
• Understand the different forms of content, not just in the written form, but also to have a deep awareness in planning creative content, from infographics to video animations.
• Ensure sector expertise across your accounts and also a general knowledge of the PR and communications industry.
• Demonstrate an understanding of the key skills your team will use on a daily basis (such as forward features, Gorkana, social media platforms and industry trends, etc.)
• Ensure a strong understanding of client revenues and budgets. Keep track of and manage client profitability, tracked against the client plan and initial proposals.
• Demonstrate an eye for detail and, more specifically, quality work. Ensure quality standards are being maintained in the team and that this outstanding work is highlighted to clients regularly.
• A strategic vision will be key to the editorial role. Editors will need to get under the skin of their clients and write/plan their communications strategy accordingly, both for the here and now and on a longer term basis to tell the master narrative. This will also need to be communicated to all other members of the team in a way that resonates with their skill set and temperament.
Behavioural aptitude for Editors Energetic and hard-working.
• Passionate about the agency and its journey. With this passion, an Editor should inspire others.
• Natural interest in media, communications, storytelling and the news agenda.
• Your role as an Editor is to stay positive and keep the troops going, if you have concerns, talk to a senior manager. Always ensure your team feel like you are in control.
• Confidence and credibility in an editorial role is essential. Sometimes this will mean taking risks or pushing back on your clients or even the senior team. As an Editor, you must be confident in your ability to do this, whilst also taking into account specific personalities/ agendas of other parties.
• Empathy is seen a key attribute for a good Editor. Your role is to listen to your team, empathise with them and work with them to create the best result for the client and your team.
Head of Editorial
A Head of Editorial is someone who is very competent at the skills detailed above. You’ll know you’re ready for this when:
• Your written work is right first time, all of the time, and your copy editing skills are spot on.
• You intuitively know the best tactics to drive your client’s strategic comms plan and can communicate these to your team effectively.
• You have very strong client relationships, based on trust, and consistent performance of great work that they value. Your clients will be leaning on you and asking for your counsel.
• You understand that management is a two way thing, with a deeper focus on you getting it right. As such, you have communicated to your team how best to work with you and you understand how to get the best out of them. You know you are a good HoE when your team is performing well and they enjoy their role.
• You are proactive with your clients about aspects that affect their market, you are confident in your management of them and you have started to influence them.
• You know your team and your accounts inside out. So much so, that you know when to pull in additional support and resources to ensure the client is getting the best out of the agency, whilst also ensuring you are not over-servicing them at the same time, you also know when to pull people off the accounts and so forth.
• You can co-ordinate and manage client budgets, delivering quality and value, but ensuring increased agency revenues.
• You have a solid understanding of the communications industry, regularly attending relevant events, following industry trends and awards.
• You are aware of the brand and how to PR/market this to clients, prospects and influencers. This includes writing blogs to PR the agency and attending events to ‘shout’ about what we do.
• You understand all the ‘other’ services we offer and regularly try to cross-sell these to clients. Alongside this you will take a strong interest in new business, assisting the senior management team with pitch prep, chemistry meetings and tender applications.
And when you’ve been doing this till you’re treading on the toes of your Head of Editorial and able to become an invaluable member of the account team and a true confidante to your client, you’re probably ready for a promotion.
It is really difficult to give time lengths for progressing between Editor and Head of Editorial. It really depends on:
• Potential and commitment of the person to push themselves, hand-raising to get experience in other areas.
• Passion and dedication.
• Gravitas, behavioural maturity and profile with clients & internal team members.
Below is a minimum time-frame that an absolute star could feasibly progress (although will be an exceptional all-rounder):
• Editor to Head of Editorial– minimum 1.5 years