As anyone who regularly visits Ed’s site can attest, a magazine editor’s job entails so much more than just writing and editing. Part of the position, especially in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle departments, involves attending (or at least RSVP-ing on your supervisor’s behalf to) events—from introductory meetings with PR reps to lavish award ceremonies. Now, don’t misunderstand Ed: it’s not all schmoozing and swag bags; stopping by these gatherings is just part of the job. So what can you expect your calendar to look like as you climb up the masthead? Here’s a quick overview:
What is it? This fancy affair might be hosted by the publication you work for (ie. Glamour’s annual “Women of the Year” or Interior Design’s “Hall of Fame”) to celebrate a particular editorial franchise, or another organization, such as FOLIO:’s Eddie and Ozzie awards.
What you need to know: Of course, always dress appropriately for the occasion. And, if you’re only attending the event, jot down a few key takeaways to share with your boss the next day.
What is it? When a PR rep secures an appointment to visit an editor at her office to pitch a client. These intimate meetings are beneficial for both parties involved and take place in a convenient setting—no need to step out of the office.
What you need to know: Unless it’s under mandate of your boss, don’t ever feel obligated to participate, especially when you’re on deadline for a project. However, sometimes publicists will bring an expert along, and that one-on-one time can be valuable when mining for story ideas.
What is it? Whether you’re celebrating a new cover star or product line debut, parties are great opportunities to conduct interviews with experts, find content for a story, and mingle with colleagues.
What you need to know: Parties may be fun, but they’re still work functions. Remember that you’re there representing your magazine, not hanging out with friends, and should assume a role similar to a host.
What is it? Editors are often asked to participate in panel discussions to share expertise on their industry or particular beat. These are commonly held at universities and networking organizations such as—ahem—Ed2010.
What you need to know: It’s helpful to have a headshot and short bio on hand in case you’re asked to take part. If you can, practice major pointers on your topic aloud or in front of colleagues. Btw: Always get permission from your boss (and maybe even your company’s PR department) first before saying Yes.
Press Event (General)
What is it? PR reps coordinate all kinds of events to get editors excited about a new product launch. Ed’s seen editors do everything from taking a martial arts class to getting their hair professionally styled—all to familiarize themselves with the product and the story behind it.
What you need to know: Lots of editors are invited to these types of events, so you will likely run into your counterparts at competing publications. Don’t be shy; it’s a small industry and the more folks you know, the better. Just don’t share any story angles!
What is it? Since editors work on issues months in advance, they’re invited to press previews to view upcoming product launches that might be of interest to their magazine’s readership.
What you need to know: See tips for Press Event, above.
What is it? These are similar to a press preview, just on a much bigger scale. Trade shows bring together a large number of brands relevant to a specific type of editor (beauty, travel, food, etc.) in one place to provide samples and press materials for editorial consideration.
What you need to know: You’ll be doing quite a bit of walking and talking, so make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes! And bring lots and lots of business cards.
What’s your favorite type of event to attend? Least favorite? Fill Ed in below or send him a Tweet @ed2010news.