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Dorothy Pomerantz is Managing Editor at FitchInk.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
I’ve been a journalist my whole working life. I was at Forbes for 15 years and eventually became the LA bureau chief. Today, if you work in journalism you work in digital publishing. At one point, they merged the magazine and the website and we all had to use WordPress. We all started thinking very differently about our headlines and watched our hit counts closely.
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At FitchInk, where we are all former journalists working with corporate clients, all of our work is published digitally. For companies that want to tell their own stories, it’s truly the best way to reach an audience.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I have several clients in Europe and on the East Coast and since I am based in L.A., I always wake up to a lot of emails. As a managing editor, a lot of my work is managing copy flow and editing stories. So I first deal with anything that is on deadline that day. That might mean checking in with a client to make sure they have read and approved the story, working with a copy editor on a final draft or checking a published story. Then I’ll edit anything that is due in the near future and work with the writers. My late afternoons are for working on projects with longer lead times.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE?
Our team lives on Slack. Since we are a company with people all over the world, we are messaging each other the way other people talk in an office. I also use Slack with my clients so I have channels set up for different teams. It’s great to move all of those little conversations off of email.
I use Evernote to keep track of where projects are since I can be handling a lot of stories at the same time. I use one card for each story.
We also rely on Google tools like Gmail and Google Docs. They’re fantastic for collaboration.
WHAT DO YOU DO OR WHERE DO YOU GO TO GET INSPIRED?
At the moment I’m very busy so I don’t have much time inspiration! I try to make time to walk or exercise which I find helps if I’m stuck on a problem.
WHAT IS THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM YOU ARE TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
Organizing. As our firm grows, we’re realizing that we need to have more processes in place to keep things ordered. As a former journalist, this doesn’t come naturally to me so it’s been a learning process. But I am gaining a new appreciation for things like editorial calendars, slugs, and well-organized folders.
IS THERE A PRODUCT, SOLUTION, OR TOOL THAT YOU THINK IS A GOOD MATCH FOR YOUR DIGITAL PUBLISHING EFFORTS?
When it comes to actually publishing our work, we use whatever works best for our clients. For blog posts we usually use WordPress. We use MailChimp for newsletters but we’re often working with our clients on the publishing side so we try to stay flexible.
ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS JUST STARTING OUT?
For anyone looking to go into journalism, now is a tough time. I always tell young people that they should go into it with the idea of building their own brand. Be comfortable in different media (writing, video, podcasting etc.) and keep your name front and center.
For people going into the corporate writing side, I’d say work closely with your clients. Try to understand their needs and create work that will delight them. Remember that they’re coming to you to help tell stories which is a wonderful thing.