Elizabeth Spiers

journalist & digital media expert

Condé Nast and digital media

Ravi Somaiya has a report in the Times today about internal shifting inside of Condé Nast and some of the business challenges they’re facing. Key graf:

In a separate interview, Mr. Sauerberg confirmed that Condé Nast took in over $1 billion in revenue in 2015. The company said that while its print business, spread across nearly 20 magazines, remained profitable, revenue there had been flat since 2012. Its digital business is up nearly 70 percent over the same period but that component, as with virtually every other legacy media company, represents a much smaller percentage of overall revenue, which has declined in recent years.

If you haven’t spent any time in or covering CN, you’d probably have the following question: Why can’t CN make digital work? Everybody understands why print is flat (except maybe a few holdouts at CN, to be fair). But this is a company with a lot of smart editorial people. What are they doing wrong?

I’m going to shamelessly speculate**:

If you look at the political structure of CN and the reporting lines, all editorial lines report to Anna Wintour. And when I say editorial, I also mean branded content, etc. All business lines report to Sauerberg and other CN chiefs with print backgrounds. And let’s just say they’re not averse to micromanagement.

Wintour is a brilliant editor and creative director, but you’d be hardpressed to find any evidence that she–or anyone else at CN really understand the digital business and specifically, how it differs radically from print. Too many traditional media companies think print or broadcast expertise translates directly to digital, because on some level, in the back of their heads, they assume digital is easier. Or that it should be–lower barriers to entry, etc.

And digital is different, not easier. Taking a print person and throwing them at a digital problem is no different from taking the head of NBC News and making her the editor in chief of the New Yorker, or vice versa. These skills sets are not transitive.

Digital is different in the way it is consumed, and the way it is monetized and it’s not clear that CN even really thinks about digital except in a way that pairs those elements with print analogues. It’s heavily reliant on display and despite the fact that they have the resources to develop and deploy better ad tech, they don’t. They don’t do much in the way of integrated creative services, experiential media, etc.–and what they do manage to execute is not exactly cutting edge. Inasmuch as they’re aware that their media will largely be consumed outside of a web browser, you don’t see it translating to best in class mobile apps or cross-platform experiences that really engage their readers or even better, build new audiences.

And this is partly because they still think of their brands as 99% words and photos on a page. But here’s a question: what does Vogue look like if you can’t read it in print and you can’t just go to Vogue.com? What does Vogue mean anymore without that? Are they thinking about this? As an institution? Because those of us who work in indie publishing think about this all the time. What do our publications (and content) look like for users who see them primarily on social platforms? In a message on Slack? As part of an offline experience? And how do you monetize while leveraging third-party distribution systems you don’t control? How do you build consistent engagement when the media consumption experience is so fragmented? How do you then measure than engagement across the reader’s entire experience of your brand?

I know there are going to be some people at CN reading that and saying YES, SO AND SO IS WORKING ON THAT RIGHT NOW. I’m saying that no one at CN is thinking about these things with any urgency, but if there’s anyone there over the age of 25 who really understands the implications of Snapchat and has any actual decision making power, I would be surprised. Right now any smart digital people CN does have report to people who can’t decipher what they’re looking at, and they don’t have the autonomy to really do their jobs. So let’s rephrase the question: are the people who may be thinking about and working on those problems people who have any capability to get anything done politically? Can they work without being stifled by legacy concerns? Are they properly resourced? My guess is no.

Which is why I suggested earlier on Twitter that maybe it makes sense for CN to acquire a small agency that does 360 degree executions including great branded content instead of trying to make its existing talent base do things it can’t. (I would also suggest something that I have been suggesting every year I’ve worked in media: take R&D seriously and resource it like you’re aiming for growth and not just looking for some quick technical fix to get you out of a rapidly collapsing sinkhole. )

Of course, acquisitions are like organ transplants. The host’s first inclination is always going to be to reject the transplant on some level, but you can mitigate that. (Keep the shop out-of-house, and give it some autonomy. Don’t try to integrate it to death, just use it to do more unconventional executions and to educate people internally about how the process works and what the competition really looks like. Organ transplants: risky, but they save lives!) It’s also something I suggest as a near last resort. I don’t think that CN politics are amenable to bringing individuals in house and expecting material changes–at least not without the buy in of people at the top, who are still very print minded, even if they’re trying their hardest not to be. At some point in the future, digital is going to be their core business. Not a complement, and not a hedge. Core. Maybe not tomorrow, but when it is, who’s going to be responsible for making it work? Anna Wintour? I doubt it.***

** Though it’s not entirely speculative; I covered CN as a media reporter for a while and did some consulting to Bob Sauerberg’s then department on a tablet mag when the iPad first came out.

***I hope she proves me wrong. If big publishers learn how to do these things, I think it’s better for all of us.

How Not to Pitch an Editor, v. 9824792387429387429

Every year or two I write the same article (or blog post or whatever), and it’s usually about specific media properties I’m editing or launching or, in some cases, have only some marginal involvement with. The article is always directed to freelancers who are pitching stories to that publication and do it in the worst, most offensive, time-wasting way. (Here’s my Observer version.)

And I cleaned out my inbox today, so one unlucky but deserving freelancer got the following email after BCCing me on a publication-inappropriate blanket pitch, twice. (The blanket email ended with “Give [me] a chance,” and the freelancer is not a kid with no experience, which would make it more forgivable.)

Hi [redacted] – No self-respecting editor is going to assign you a story if it’s clear that you’re pitching multiple publications at once and BCCing everyone on your list. I don’t normally even respond when freelancers do this, but you’re the third offender in my inbox today.

Your pitch needs to be targeted to the pub you’re pitching and it needs to be clear that you read that publication. Why should I (or any busy editor) give you a chance if you’re not willing to do the minimum amount of work?

I don’t know why this is so hard to understand. All you really have to do–and I say this as someone who started in media as a freelancer myself–is imagine for five seconds what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a crappy irrelevant pitch that even more insultingly, was sent to 1000 people besides yourself. It basically says:
– I don’t read your publication, or if I do, I can’t be bothered to frame my pitch in the context of what you’re doing
– I don’t know if you’re the right person to pitch, but I’m happy to clog your inbox JUST IN CASE!
– I think you’re so desperate for stories from freelancers generally that you’d accept something that was shopped to every outlet in existence–at the same time.

The irony here is that the emails I got today were for a publication where I advise editorially but don’t assign articles for. That’s a somewhat forgivable mistake and if I got a real pitch, tailored to the pub, from someone who bothered to do the research and wasn’t spamming me and half the media industry, I’d forward it to the right person because it would seem like a good faith mistake.

But that’s not what we’re talking about here.

So here are some omnibus guidelines, freelancers:
– Know the publication you’re pitching. Make it obvious to the editor that you do, perhaps by mentioning similar coverage the pub has done, writing the pitch in the style of the pub, etc.
– Make some (tiny! cursory!) attempt to figure out who to pitch. If you spam everyone who has an email on the masthead, it’s not as if they won’t know you’re doing that. People talk to their colleagues. And when the office manager forwards you the same pitch wanting to know where it goes, you really look like an asshole.
– Do not mass email editors. No one you’d actually want to write for is so desperate that they’d take something that’s been shopped everywhere.
– Do not call with a pitch. Ever. It’s inappropriately disruptive. (And it makes you look like a technophobe.)

And some next-level guidelines if the pitch gets to the discussion level:
– If you get a pitch rejected and see the same topic covered in the pub, it doesn’t mean that the pub stole your pitch. You’d be floored at the number of times I’ve gotten pitches for stories about things our staffers would cover and are covering (I’d like to a profile of Bernie Sanders!) and then when the obvious, have-to-do-it profile of Sanders comes out, the freelancer accuses the pub of “stealing the idea”. Then you have to tell the irate freelancer that they weren’t the only person who noticed that pour-over coffee was A Thing now, or that the snowstorm might have produced some hilarious behavior from people in the outer boroughs. Does idea stealing happen? I would guess so, occasionally. But in my 14 years of working in media, I’ve never personally seen it. I have seen a lot of freelancers pitching ideas other people also had.
– The more high-concept and/or voice-driven the piece, the more of it you’re going to have to write on spec to get it assigned by an editor you haven’t worked with before. If you don’t have exclusivity or a scoop or some level of expertise, you’re going to have to actually write more of the story to prove that it works and you can do it.

Pro-level: Ask upfront about payment terms and read your actual contracts. If the publication pays “net 60”, don’t call them in two weeks wanting to know where your check is. But I’m all for holding their feet to the fire on day 61, btw. But also understand that your editor doesn’t necessarily control the checkbook, and if the company is late, your editor is probably not the person being negligent or making a conscious decision to pay you later. With very few exceptions, they are going to be on your side in that situation, because only an unprofessional jerk would assign something, knowing or believing that the freelancer probably wouldn’t be paid or wouldn’t be paid in a reasonable period of time.

I had a freelancer at the Observer who had done work for the paper before I got there and who called up and practically threatened to kill my first child because the paper was late paying him. I had never even worked with this guy** and I was just as upset and infuriated that people weren’t being paid on time as he was, but he didn’t care about that, ignored my explanation that I did not actually manage cash flow for the company; that the accounting department told me they had just processed the check; and told me that he’d call my boss and get me fired. I explained to him, diplomatically, that my boss was precisely the reason why he hadn’t been paid on time, and happily gave him my boss’s telephone number, should he feel inclined to complain to the right person.

I was sympathetic to that guy’s situation, but I will never, ever work with him (and ironically, didn’t in the first place!) Know where your bread is buttered–and isn’t.

Another pro-tip, same level: if you need a payment expedited, that’s sometimes negotiable, especially for a something that’s particularly valuable to the publication. But you have to negotiate it up front. (I also tell publications I advise that there’s a premium for paying faster. Most people are willing to do things for lower fees if you can pay faster than industry standard. Even freelance writers understand the time value of money, and reliability is just as important for publications as it for freelancers.)

So end of rant. But I’m just going to auto-send this link to the next TK/infinity number of people who inappropriately spam me with pitches.

** And FYI, I approved all payments to freelancers that were outstanding the day I got the job. One high profile columnist repaid me for making sure he got paid immediately by resigning publicly in the New York Post, having never spoken to or worked with me at all. I’m sure it made him feel good to publicly tweak the owner of the paper, but it also ensured that I’d never work with him in the future. I was collateral damage in that situation, but it doesn’t excuse the behavior.

On New York Values

I grew up in a small town in Alabama (Wetumpka, pop. 6,528), and lived there until I went to college at Duke in 1995. The area was and is overwhelmingly conservative, not very diverse and most of the people I grew up with would self-identify as evangelical Christians. (My family was Southern Baptist.)

I had a fairly happy childhood and have many fond memories of friends, family and the teachers and mentors who helped me develop into my adult self. We were taught to value family, work hard, be polite.

I went to college in the South, enrolling at the only school I applied to. I had a partial scholarship and a lot of financial aid. I’m still paying off the loans. (Would be nice if they gave me a discount when I go back to talk to students, hint, hint.) By my count, there were fewer than 10 people in my graduating class from Alabama and more than 250 from the New York metro area. Duke was a southern school in geography only, and the students were, for the most part, incredibly well-off. I grew up in a working class community–my dad was a local lineman for Southern Company–and any idea I had before Duke about what truly wealthy people were like was quickly dismantled, for better and for worse, after four years there. On the upside, I had some culture shock going from Alabama to Duke, but none from Duke to New York.

So I’m very familiar with the heartland values that Ted Cruz thinks he’s representing: the far right constituency that’s still futilely fighting against gay marriage, equal pay for equal work for women, family leave, reproductive choice, and voter rights laws that don’t disenfranchise minority populations. Among other things.

Those people do exist and they’re just as real as the New Yorkers Ted Cruz thinks he’s talking about: the New York liberals who are pro-choice and support gay marriage.

RE: the latter, I should know; I am one. I would self-identify as a New York-based, pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage liberal. I’ve lived in New York for 16 years, which is only two years less than I lived in Alabama. We’re raising a child here, and our primary reason for doing so is that we want our kid to grow up in an area where almost no one thinks that people who are not white, not straight, not male, not economically well off, don’t deserve the same rights as people who are. I should note here that this is not everyone in the heartland, or even everyone who’s a conservative. But we all know who he’s talking about.

And certainly there are some bigots and elitist assholes in New York, too. But it’s a lot harder to maintain bigotries in a place where segregating yourself into little silos of people who are exactly like you is nearly impossible. By virtue of living here, you live and work with people who are racially diverse, economically diverse and have a range of gender and sexual identities. In fact, you live on top of them. You’re sandwiched in between them on the subway in the morning. You interact with a few thousand of them every single day.

And somehow we mostly get along. So I don’t worry that if my son turns out to be gay that it will be terrifying for him to come out of the closet, or that he’ll be threatened by the neighbors for having the temerity to be gay in public. I don’t worry that if we have a daughter and she happens to need the services of Planned Parenthood–where I purchased low-cost birth control for a year when I didn’t have health insurance–that she will be harassed by protesters en route to their facilities. I don’t worry that some theologically illiterate person will distort Biblical scripture to justify their own feelings that the poor deserve what they get (and that people on welfare deserve derision instead of help), that God frowns upon inter-racial relationships, that women always belong in the kitchen instead of the workplace, and are only self-actualized as wives and mothers. With the exception of harassment en route to Planned Parenthood (mostly because there are only two clinics in AL and the closest one was two hours away) I saw all of these things happen where I grew up, and I don’t want my son to be exposed to them.

We also live in a safe neighborhood where kids walk to school and pretty much the only people who have concealed carry permits are law enforcement officers. I don’t worry about my kid getting shot either.

But the irony here is that Cruz doesn’t even know his own party well, because it’s changing. Most Americans (in both parties) support gay marriage, so when he sneers at New York for doing so, he’s demonstrating not only his homophobia, but his own political stupidity. I predict that anyone still doing that in another generation is going to be completely unelectable to any major national office, and Cruz will have some regrets.

He may also have some regrets the next time he comes to New York with his hand out and Republican New Yorkers decide they don’t need to fund him. And Donald Trump is right about one thing (god, I hate saying that): nothing is more emblematic of New York values than the way the city pulled together after 9/11, an event that neocons love to cite to buttress their warmongering, and that New Yorkers wish they’d shut up about. After all, the terrorists didn’t target god-fearing people in small town heartland. They targeted liberal New Yorkers. Nothing raises the ire of a fundamentalist terrorist like a bunch of sexually liberated heathens who have the temerity to be successful and influential on the world stage.

All of that said, I’m sure if my son grew up in Alabama there would be some good values he’d pick up, too. I’d like to think that there were things I learned growing up that shaped my character in ways that were positive. But if I have to choose, I’ll take New York values any day over the particular strain of heartland values that Cruz is talking about.

Okay, Internet: make me breakfast!

I made a New Year’s resolution to avoid carbs and sugar before 6pm and the toughest thing is figuring out breakfast. (VB6 worked for me for a while and I still do it every now and then, but tend to feel more energetic and satiated during the day if I don’t totally rule out animal protein.)

Some of this is because the Western idea of breakfast is pretty much either pastry/sweets/cereal-oriented or some type of egg dish. Years ago I spent a couple of months in Cambodia and Thailand and enjoyed eating the same things for breakfast that I’d eat for lunch–noodle dishes, spicy salads. I’d just do that now, but sadly, my favorite salad places aren’t open yet, and between managing a baby until his nanny arrives and trying to get out the door as fast as possible, I’m terrible about preparing food at home during the week.

But I’m also short on creative ideas that would be easy to put together and portable (given my perpetual quest to head out the door as quickly as I can). I’m also ambivalent about eggs, and shamelessly and spitefully buy my friend Bryan’s idea that American breakfast is a construct invented by Big Egg–the obviously pervasive and all-powerful egg lobby.

I think my palate is no different at breakfast than it is the rest of the day: I like spicy things, garlicky things, and sour vinegar-y things. So of course I love authentic Thai food, Sriracha on everything, and these things, which I could eat a barrel of. I would also love those flavors in a breakfast dish.

So what should I start making for breakfast? (What does Joe Weisenthal eat for breakfast? I feel like he would have similar protein and spice requirements.)

This is where we are, Internet. Blogging about breakfast.

Digital Media Slack

Like everyone else in digital publishing, I put all of the teams I build on Slack, if they’re not already on it. Sometimes there’s a bit of resistance at first, but everyone eventually falls in love with it, especially when they begin to understand all of its functionality and what it can actually do.

So I’ve been thinking about things we can do at Everup on the platform, especially given that a big topic on the site is productivity (both individually and institutionally.)

I’m also starting a digital media channel on my personal Slack for industry news, commentary, etc. If you want in, email me. (Espiers at Gmail.)

 

List.me

I assigned an essay on list-making as a form of self-expression (pegged to B.J. Novak’s recently launched The List app) and mentioned to the writer that I made lists as a kid to sort out what I liked and didn’t, which she wrote into the piece:

The CEO of this site recently confided to me, “When I was a kid, I loved to write lists of ‘Things I Like’ and ‘Things I Don’t Like.’ It was satisfying.”

Which makes me sound even more Rainman-ish than usual. But it’s true. I think I was eight or nine and the lists were what you’d expect: “I like… the color blue. Kittens. Pizza. Science.” If the internet likes it now, I probably liked it at 8.

I expect if I sat down and did the same exercise, I’d still find it satisfying, though. (I like… the writing of Edward St. Aubyn, the flank steak salad at Pok Pok NY, James Bond movies, game theory, Spanish wine, and the color blue still holds up.)

It seems a little childish, but I’m not the only one who enjoys it. Susan Sontag made these kind of lists in her journals and notebooks. A sample from the collection As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh:

2/21/77

Things I like: fires, Venice, tequila, sunsets, babies, silent films, heights, coarse salt, top hats, large long-haired dogs, ship models, cinnamon, goose down quilts, pocket watches, the smell of newly mown grass, linen, Bach, Louis XIII furniture, sushi, microscopes, large rooms, ups, boots, drinking water, maple sugar candy.

Things I dislike: sleeping in an apartment alone, cold weather, couples, football games, swimming, anchovies, mustaches, cats, umbrellas, being photographed, the taste of licorice, washing my hair (or having it washed), wearing a wristwatch, giving a lecture, cigars, writing letters, taking showers, Robert Frost, German food.

It’s almost worth buying the journals for the lists alone.

Blogging in 2016

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to give blogging a shot again in 2016. (I don’t anticipate having any babies this year, so it seems more do-able.) So here are my guidelines for myself:

  • Five posts a week, but they don’t have to be expansive. I have a tendency to want to write 2,000 words every time I write something these days and that’s the biggest reason why it feels daunting. By contrast, I find it easy to Instagram and Tweet, so it’s not a publishing inhibition.
  • I might cross post to Everup and Medium where appropriate.

I’m also toying with the idea of setting up staffer and contributor blogs on Everup as subdomains.

Everup Is Live!

So we went live with Everup on Monday, and the first week was pretty smooth as these things go. There are still a lot of kinks to work out, and because we had a launch sponsor and by extension a hard launch deadline, we have a little more minimum a minimum viable product than I would like.

But we ran some good stuff, and are now working on ramp-up and expansion. Things you may have missed:

We sent a writer to camp for grownups. He danced; he cried; he learned about the importance of contracts.

I republished Leslie Jamison’s “The Immortal Horizon,” a brilliant story about the Barkley Marathons, a race that traces the route of James Earl Ray’s prison escape in Tennessee.

Melissa Lafsky Wall wrote a difficult and moving piece about why it’s hard for Western societies to accept that there are no easy ways to heal after traumatic events.

James Altucher (who’s writing a weekly advice column for us) answered the question of whether you should quit your job to pursue your dreams.

We also made an argument for selectively being unproductive in “Upon a Friday, or Thoughts on Freedom’s Sexually Generous Cousin, Caprice” by Dana Vachon.

Design and architecture critic Eva Hagberg Fisher, who’s become an unintentional expert on going to the doctor after eight years of endless tests and misdiagnoses offers hard-won advice on navigating the American healthcare system and your own health issues in the first of her columns, “The Five Types of Friends You Should Bring with You to the Doctor.”

And we aim to be helpful, so we told you how to run a turkey trot if you haven’t trained, how to spend your five minute breaks if you’re using the Pomodoro Method, and how to stop procrastinating.

We also found the best subscription boxes for you, told you what you need to do to be a good first-time manager and gave you a few exercises from artist and author Adam JK to help you figure out your personal brand.

What I’m Doing Now, Etc.

[FROM THE LAST EDITION OF SPIERSLIST:]

The last time I sent out a newsletter, I think I was working on a new launch unlike any I’ve done before. There were some complications, but I was very happy with the end product:

fordbunny

Our son, Ford Philip Sederstrom, was born on June 9th, and I was on maternity leave until the beginning of September. There have also been other new developments.

I left my job as editor-in-chief of The New York Observer in 2012 because, among other things, I wanted to start a company. I have an entrepreneurial gene that constantly needs itching and I had done a startup before and it felt like it was time to give it a shot again. So I left the NYO and started setting up meetings with potential partners and investors.

And then things happened. Or, as it does, life happened. I got married and we decided we wanted to have a kid–sooner rather than later–and suddenly, it didn’t seem like the right time to start something from scratch. (I know people who’ve done it, and know it’s possible, but it didn’t seem right for us.)

But the idea kept brewing in the back of my head. In the meantime, I consulted on new launches and was a part time editorial director for Flavorpill Media, a company that I love. I’ve been an advisor to them in some capacity for close to eight years and have watched it evolve over time. So I had talked to co-founders Mark Mangan and Sascha Lewis about the startup idea on many occasions, and slowly we all came to the realization that the property could work at Flavorpill.

So we’ve decided to do it together. Everup.com launches on November 16th. (More about the site below.) It’s a new company, majority owned by Flavorpill and I’ll be running it as CEO. I’ll be winding down consulting / advisory work over the next quarter or two and am already working on the site in a full-time capacity. We’ll do a bit of fundraising for it in the Spring, once we’ve had time to build an audience, and I’m excited about what the possibilities are. So what is it?

everuplogo
Everup is a new publication majority owned by Flavorpill Media about lifestyle design and related topics. It’s a digital destination that covers all aspects of personal and professional development, with a focus on creativity, productivity, and wellness. We help you be more creative, do more, and live a healthier and happier life.

Content published by Everup will consist of short-form articles, long-form reported pieces, essays, and video (short documentaries and instructionals). Staples will include service-oriented pieces designed to help the reader with their own personal development—hacks, advice columns, and how to’s. It will also feature narrative storytelling, including first-person essays and reported explorations of topics that broadly fall under the site’s three pillar topics. Sample stories might include a look at the muddy genesis of Tough Mudder, an examination of how Holacracy works in large organizations (or doesn’t), a first person account of a week at a lucid dreaming workshop, an oral history of Esalen, an exploration of how gut bacteria can affect working memory, a story about robotic augmentation and real life cyborgs, or a column on healthy delusions and when you should lie to yourself. We’ll also include actionable prompts that encourage the reader to continue or expand existing personal development projects.

We’re launching with a sponsorship from Microsoft and are holding a series of events around creativity and productivity the week of the 16th. You can register here.

My original plan was to add a commerce layer, and we may do that later down the road. But I think the category opportunity is big. The health and wellness sector is very interesting right now, and we’re not the only ones who think so. Thrillist is launching a health vertical and so is Boston Globe owner John Henry.

And So I’m Hiring…

Job listings are here. I’m also taking freelance pitches for long form stories and essays. My email is elizabeth AT everup.com.

In addition, one of my advisory clients, Casper.com, is looking for social media and partnerships talent for VanWinkles.com. Here are two jobs they’re looking to fill:

Social Media Editor

Van Winkle’s is the first website of its kind dedicated to the science, culture and curiosities of sleep. We’re hiring a social media editor to ensure we reach the best audience across the right social media channels. The winning candidate has hands-on experience with both organic and paid growth, and knows how to maximize both. Van Winkle’s needs a sharp, creative individual who understands how to share editorial in dynamic ways. You must come prepared to dig deep into the Van Winkle’s inventory, come to understand our voice and market position, then aggressively grow the audience. With your help, Van Winkle’s will own the conversation around sleep and wakefulness.

Requirements:
At least four years’ experience in a full-time social media position, preferably for a media organization; Vanguard knowledge of new social media channels and, crucially, the strengths and weaknesses of each vis-a-vis editorial distro; Hands-on experience with paid social campaigns (Facebook, Twitter) and complete confidence with related analytics (GA, SocialFlow); The highest journalistic ethics and grammatical standards, and a fierce dedication to the stylebook;

Desire and ability to work collaboratively on a small team; and
Hands-on skills with Photoshop and whatever other software you need to create social editorial. This is a full-time, NYC-based job with a competitive salary and wonderful benefits in a lively, energetic atmosphere. The Van Winkle’s team is ensconced within the Casper offices, where no one goes hungry for lack of snacks.

How to Apply: Send your resume and cover letter to koyen AT vanwinkles.com; include “Social Media Editor” in the subject line.

Include a few examples of your personal or professional social media victories, as well as examples of one story you’ve told (or helped to tell) across different channels. Tell us how and why you told this same story in different manners. Include salary history and/or salary requirement.

Partnership Manager

Van Winkle’s is the first website of its kind dedicated to the science, culture and curiosities of sleep. We’re hiring a partnership manager to help distribute our original journalism with external partners. The winning candidate has hands-on experience with distributed content models.

Syndication is a key component of our publishing strategy, and Van Winkle’s needs a smart, resourceful individual who can create new and grow existing partnerships. Whether it’s building awareness of an in-depth investigative report or syndicating a fun top-10 list, you must come prepared to identify the right outlet for the right story. You should have existing contacts at other online media properties and also a knack for making new friends. Taking charge of and growing our email list is also a critical part of the job.With your help, Van Winkle’s will own the conversation around sleep and wakefulness.

Requirements:
At least two years’ experience managing and developing partnerships at an online media property or a digital-first brand; Proven track record of proposing and finalizing syndication and partnership proposals; Contacts at other media properties and willingness to “cold call” with ideas for new partnerships; Experience growing a newsletter audience through organic outreach, promotions and partnerships;
Urge and ability to work collaboratively on a small team; and
Complete confidence with related analytics (e.g., GA).

This is a full-time, NYC-based job with a competitive salary and wonderful benefits in a lively, energetic atmosphere.
How to Apply: Send your resume and cover letter to koyen AT vanwinkles.com; include “Partnership Manager” in the subject line.

Include a few examples of your syndication and/or partnership victories, and tell us how you made them happen. Include salary history and/or salary requirement. About Van Winkle’s: Van Winkle’s is a new lifestyle publication dedicated to exploring our relationship with sleep and how our daytime hours can be improved by examining the nights. It is published by Casper (casper.com), and edited by veteran journalist Jeff Koyen.
And that is all for now!

New Moves, Hiring

I’m sending out an edition of Spierslist with some hiring needs and new developments on the professional front. Subscribe here for [very occasional] updates.