Editor in Chief as a Service
Editing is a key ingredient to perfecting brand messaging. But how to edit?
I want to kick this off the episode with a quote from the controversial but often very on-trend Gary Vee. Not the first time I have quoted the man. Whatever your opinions might be of Gary Vee’s personality or work/life recommendations, his business ideas are almost always ahead of the curve. He called it early on re-marketing on social media for example. And he’s been bullish on NFTs and TikTok.
It’s been a while since he pushed content marketing, but I think this is one of the best ideas from his thinking around that era. Let me just read this quote:
Every business will have an editor-in-chief, and as journalism changes and recalibrates, that just like a chief marketing officer and a chief brand officer — I absolutely believe this — that in 15 years, every Fortune 1,000 company will have an editor-in-chief. Because it won’t be good enough to just advertise. You’re going to have to act like media.
This is true. I don’t know if it makes sense right off the bat. If it does, perhaps it’s inspiring to you.
If it doesn’t, let me just say a few words about it before I go on.
But I have a question here - how does one act on this recommendation? How do you hire an editor-in-chief salary?
Because it only applies to a small minority of very large companies. Let’s take a company with a typical payroll budget of 10 million a year. That’s about 100 full-time US salaries give or take. In this scenario, your budget can’t justify an editor-in-chief.
In fact, for most businesses, this advice makes no sense literally.
But maybe an editor-in-chief does make some metaphorical sense. So there are a couple of ways to approach this.
For my tiny world, mostly consisting of tech entrepreneurs, and fellow freelance consultants and content creators, it probably means adopting some kind of editorial habits in your content creation.
I’ll just give one common example that most of us know from school - bang out the rough draft then revise it after at least one night’s sleep.
This can apply to anything - email communications, important meetings, marketing content, pitches, etc. Create the rough draft, or conduct the rehearsal, at least one day before editing it, then edit it.
Writing is editing.
The second approach is to actually hire an editor-in-chief. If you listen to the podcast, I riff on this at length, but the gist of it is that you should hire an actual editor, with professional editing background at a publisher, newspaper, or magazine. This person will contribute not just editing services but ideas and processes.
The goal here is for you to become an edited company.