An important new job role is needed. The editor and content creator who makes sense of our world.
In an increasingly saturated media space that has companies and creators vying for audience attention, companies of all natures will be looking towards Editor-in-Chief-like roles to help shape narratives and guide teams of editors and content creators.
The war for attention
With a smartphone now capable of reaching almost every song, movie or book created and its user pulled in thousands of different directions from different content creating people or companies, there is a need to deal with—and fight for—the increasingly fragmented attention of audiences. There’s more than enough eyeballs in the world, but you need their precious seconds most of all. This means companies are starting to play hard ball.
More skin in the game
Over the past decade, there are now 32% more people on LinkedIn reporting that they work as content or editor roles at non-media companies.
Here are some examples of both non-media and media companies producing new types of content to reach audiences:
- Airbnb: started a subscription print magazine that’s free for hosts.
- Bumble: the dating app launched a lifestyle magazine
- WeTransfer: the file-sharing service released a magazine to highlight movements and stories within creative culture
- Goldman Sachs: they have a talk show now.
- Verizon: hiring an “Editor in Chief-Social” to oversee high-frequency coverage of the companies activities.
- Away Luggage: The luggage company’ magazine focuses on the concept of travel through the stories of locals and influential creatives.
What this new type of role actually needs to do
Aside from simply being an effective manager that can steer teams of talented people towards goals and creating content that grabs attention, the underlying need is for these editor-in-chief-like roles is to lead by making sense of the world around them, their colleagues and their audience and turning those insights into a strong direction.
Why? If we take different media forms as diffusions of the greater narrative a brand wants to depict—what would go on the “Our Story” page of the company website—those same forms are easily imitable but worldviews are not as much so.
People will give a few fleeting seconds, maybe minutes to easily digestible content that appeals to spontaneous hedonism, but they’ll give hours—regular hours and loyalty—to platforms they can turn to for compelling original perspectives when everything else leaves them beleaguered, distracted and lost.
Making sense of the world, however, requires an always-on mentality that isn’t for the faint of heart. To see and hear as much possible is a grueling task but is a requirement of the job to help scatter and rebuild narratives that explain where we are currently and where we’re going.