When Is An Editor An Audience Development Specialist?
Answer: Always, but Web editor Amy Pollak is defining a new role at Kiplinger.
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance is embarking on an aggressive digital and social media push this year to expand its audience, particularly younger readers (the company also expects digital revenue to be 60 percent of print advertising revenue in 2011).
At the center of the strategy is Amy Pollak, who has served in a variety of editorial roles at Kiplinger over the past five years, but is now transitioning to the new position of "audience development specialist," which combines responsibilities of editorial and the emerging discipline of audience development into one position.
"[Director of business development] Wallace Ryland definitely wanted to take advantage of the online opportunity and decided we needed to have a person devoted to those efforts," says Pollak. "We knew we wanted someone who had an editorial background, who knew what the editorial direction of the brand is. Everyone needs to know this content at some point in their life–do they wait until they have to know or will they be prepared at a younger age."
While Pollak won’t officially move into her new role until Kiplinger finds a replacement for her as an online editor, she’s currently laying the groundwork by putting analytics tools in place. "We have to know the numbers to get a better understanding of what the demographic is responding to. It’s not just ‘Oooh, here’s a shiny new object, let’s go after it.’ I may be the point person but we’ll be disseminating that information to everyone to help them do their job."
Social media offers a new outlet for editorial projects such as "Kiplinger’s Best Cities for Your Future," prompting fans to weigh in on the choices and offer their own feedback. "We’re trying to skew to younger demographics with Facebook chats, Twitter parties, online videos, there are endless amounts of possibilities," says Pollak. "In a lot of places social media is used to drive traffic, but we see the goal as creating a community where people can find answers to their questions."
Social media is becoming a point of conception for editorial and marketing, rather than an afterthought, says Pollak. "It has to be fully integrated throughout the process," she adds.