Congratulations to Alison Caporimo, who just started her role as the Director of Content & Community for the Utah-based photobook company, Chatbooks. Alison has a fascinating and varied career path, starting as a research assistant at The New Yorker and moving on to editorial roles at Allure, Reader’s Digest, Buzz Feed, and most recently Seventeen.com where she served as Deputy Editor. For Chatbooks, she will head up a small New York-based branded content team, working closely with Chatbooks CMO Rachel Hofstetter, also a former magazine editor (CosmoGirl!, O, The Oprah Magazine, Reader’s Digest). “We are so excited for Alison to join us at Chatbooks,” says Hofstetter. “Her strong experience building out content that resonates in a certain moment and for a certain audience deeply impressed our team. Alison’s years in media have trained her to look around the corner and see what’s coming next, and we’re looking forward to what she’ll dream up that speaks to our community of parents in 2020 and beyond!”
I caught up with Alison quickly about her new gig, what it’s like move to branded after a career in editorial, and why it’s the right move for her right now.
Talent Fairy: What was it about this job at Chatbooks that was so appealing to you?
Alison: As I moved from print to digital, my day-to-day became much more about strategy and audience development. Rather than thinking micro about specific stories or packages, I was thinking macro about the brand as something beyond just editorial and how we could work with and simultaneously disrupt various platforms to truly reach our reader. This retooled way of thinking made me more and more curious about the brand side of content, but the question remained: How do I know what’s the right brand for me? Having been a Chatbooks customer for years and loving everything from the product itself to the lifestyle associated with it (aka making memories that you can hold onto), it became clear that this role would be an exciting challenge. When you go brand side, you really have to believe in the product. The fact that the Chatbooks tech is the best of the best (seriously, you can make an entire photo book in minutes on your phone) makes it that much easier to dream up crazy cool content.
TF: Why go to “branded” after working in editorial for so long?
AC: It’s been so fascinating to see iconic magazine brands expand into lifestyle beyond content. From titles that make apparel to those that are now hosting events, media today is all about fleshing out a brand to be a 360 experience rather than just a print or even web product. Up until this point, I’ve been on the editorial side of that equation, but I’m really excited to come at it from a product angle. I’ve been in chats with editors where they’ve said things like, “Wouldn’t it have been so crazy if a fashion magazine made Rent the Runway? Or if a food magazine made Yelp?” Now, I’m working backwards from the product, thinking: What kind of editorial brand and voice would have made Chatbooks and what does that content look like?
TF: Why is this the right move for you right now?
AC: I recently did a maternity leave fill in for my editor in chief, and being in that director role just really clarified for me that I’m ready for a new challenge. I’ve been so curious about the brand side because I love thinking up those creative, splashy campaign moments that editors just have a knack for. I think creativity with constraints can be a very important exercise, so I’m excited to think outside the box but within a brand.
TF: Anything else you want to convey about the brand / the job, etc?
AC: Someone once told me to choose a boss, not a job, and when I’ve followed that advice, it’s really worked out. One of my favorite former editors, Rachel Hofstetter, is the CMO of Chatbooks, and the idea of working for one of my heroes is pretty exciting.
Chandra Turner is founder and CEO of Ed2010 and Talent Fairy. She is a talent recruiter specializing in the content and media space. She also offers personalized career coaching for media professionals at all stages of their career.