Over the last decade, information has moved from print to pixel — people now go online for news, opinions, and entertainment. Print media like newspapers and magazines have struggled, not always successfully, to figure out how to translate their traditional rules and practices to this new space.
Not everything needs to be reinvented for the online world, though, and there are a few things that digital media can usefully borrow from print media. One of these is the role of managing editor.
The managing editor is second only to the editor in chief in the hierarchy of a print publication. The editor in chief is responsible for the overall vision of the publication, but the managing editor is the one who implements that vision. She oversees and coordinates all logistics, including scheduling, staffing, and payment.
Every blog should have a managing editor, whatever title you want to give that person. She will:
- Plan content strategy
- Develop content ideas and either execute or delegate them
- Develop a content calendar that outlines the details of how and when content will be produced, published, and distributed
- Build an audience
- Measure results
Your managing editor doesn’t have to do all of the work herself, of course – a wide variety of people may be contributing blog posts, for instance – but she should be responsible for setting goals and developing the strategy to achieve them. If that function is split among several people, you risk duplicating content, completely missing other necessary topics, and presenting an inconsistent brand message.