Monday, February 28, 2011
6 Value-Added Skills For Every Editor
Being an editor these days is no longer just about editing and writing print copy. Now you have to blog, make presentations and appear in videos, among other "additional duties as required." In order to rocket to the top of the industry and stay ahead of your class, honing your skills in these areas will help make you stand out.

As an editor, you are responsible for the content for your brand, not just the ink-on-paper version of it. You will be asked to blog, tweet and write for the web. If you don't know how (or if you do it badly), you will get left behind. Bonus: advanced knowledge in the digital arena makes you a candidate for web editing jobs – practically the only area of magazines that is growing right now.


That blog you're writing? If you can do the photography for it, you're worth more. More photos make for better blogs, especially when there's variety other than just product shots supplied by PR people and the quality is better than a basic snapshot. (Yes, I acknowledge the fact that I rarely post photos on this blog.)

Know photoshop? Now you can resize and edit those photos for your blog without bugging the art department. Understanding the basics of design will also help you better communicate with the art department (just remember: they still know more than you – respect their expertise). Plus, being able to think visually and explain it will help you develop and execute editorial packaging concepts, which depend on a successful marriage of text and images/layout.

If you can troubleshoot email problems and get the AV equipment running at a meeting, you portray an overall air of capability. Plus, you don't have to bug IT as often. (But again, respect their expertise.)


Editors are brand ambassadors and one of the more powerful tools in a magazine's marketing arsenal. Excel at making presentations (at a consumer show, for example) or doing demonstrations (for that web video, say) and you may find yourself one of the public faces for your magazine.

You do risk pigeonholing yourself, but being an expert in a particular area, for example beauty or environment, will make you a top candidate for positions requiring knowledge of that subject.

Any other skills you would add to this list?

- Corinna vanGerwen
About Me
Corinna vanGerwen


Corinna vanGerwen is a freelance editor and writer. She has worked as senior editor at Style at Home, senior design editor at Cottage Life and is the former Canadian Director of Ed2010. She has also held the position of operations manager at a boutique PR agency, where she handled strategic planning and daily operations.

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Thank you, Alicia!...
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