Erin Bury is the Managing Editor at Eighty-Eight Agency.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
I’m a journalism grad and both my parents are too, so I’ve always been interested in the world of media and publishing. I graduated in 2007, just as social media and digital journalism were on the rise. I started my career in PR and marketing — and still work in that field — but I spent over two years running the publication BetaKit, which was a digital publication that focused on startup and technology news. The impetus for launching that publication was to provide a new take on startup reporting that wasn’t supported by ad revenue, it was supported by market research reports. As we know, media companies are struggling with how to monetize outside of advertising, so I like that BetaKit took the approach of monetizing in a different way.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I now run Eighty-Eight, a creative communications firm that works with startups, tech companies, and Fortune 500 brands who are looking to reach an SMB audience. There is no typical day for me, but my days are usually filled up with meetings with my team, who I spend time coaching and helping with client issues; new business meetings with potential clients; meetings with existing clients; speaking engagements (I’m a professional speaker with Speakers’ Spotlight); events; and working on the operations/finance/HR functions at the agency.
WHAT DOES YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE? (YOUR APPS, PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS, ETC.)
We use G Suite for email, calendar, and documents, Dropbox for client file-sharing, Zoho for project management, Zoho’s Cliq tool for internal chat, Freckle for time-tracking, and Collage for HR. I also use the Productivity Planner to keep my life organized — I like pen-and-paper to-do lists! One tool I’ve also recently implemented is Inbox When Ready, which allows you to hide your inbox so you can be more productive.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET INSPIRED?
I read business books — my favorite business book of all time is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, and I’m currently reading Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss. I’m also a voracious podcast listener — I probably listen to two hours of podcasts a day, and the one I listen to, to get inspired is NPR’s How I Built This, which features interviews with prominent entrepreneurs. I also love Planet Money, Reply All, and Criminal.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
I recently heard a quote from Mike Maples, a prominent VC, who said: “Ego is who’s right, truth is what’s right.” I really loved that. I also love a quote my mom told me when I was little — “Happiness is a choice.” I’ve always been a very optimistic, positive person, and I’ve made a choice to be that way.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING/INNOVATIVE THING YOU HAVE SEEN ON ANOTHER OUTLET OTHER THAN YOUR OWN?
I love what the New York Times is doing with video & interactive content — specifically the Ed Sheeran Shape of You content they produced recently. Such an amazing way to communicate a message.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM THAT YOU’RE PASSIONATELY TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
Poor storytelling. Too many entrepreneurs and companies don’t know how to tell their stories in an articulate, meaningful way that goes beyond why THEY think they exist to address the problem they’re solving.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT?
Be a voracious consumer of media — we used to have a news quiz in my first year of journalism class that asked us 10 questions about the past week’s news cycle, and it was always so tough but it was a reminder that if you want to be in media, or even just a conscious consumer, you need to stay up on current events and consume the media you want to create. That’s why I recently invested in Pressed News, a company that makes the news easy to understand and consume — specifically for young millennials, who have very different consumption habits than I did in my early 20s.