Further to my last post, I have lined up a few client interviews to discuss their approaches to and experiences with self-publishing, and I’ll publish excerpts from these interviews in upcoming posts. In the meantime, I want to unpack a bit further this idea of book publishing as a function rather than an industry.
If, as Mike Shatzkin suggests, most organizations will need to be publishers in order to develop and disseminate content that connects them to customers, it follows that most organizations will need to have access to writing, editing, and publication management talent.
Wanted: Chief storytellers, content producers, content editors, managing editors
Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute certainly agrees. One of the six key differences in going from good to great content marketing, he says, is having a chief storyteller or chief content officer who oversees managing editors, content producers, and — with a title that outdoes even chief storyteller for most enviable-sounding job — “chief listening officers” (see Pulizzi’s full presentation for the other keys to producing great content).
We are already starting to see this kind of job emerge, albeit typically at a lower level than the “C-suite” (C as in Chief). UBC, for example, is seeking a Copywriter & Storyteller (the job closes April 4 if you want to apply!) who will be responsible for “building a storytelling culture at UBC” and “bringing our stories to life.”
For communications professionals, opportunities are everywhere
All of this makes me think that it would behoove anyone in the communications profession — editors, writers, graphic designers, indexers, you name it — to keep a watchful eye on opportunities that extend well beyond what many have traditionally thought of as the publishing industry and who constitutes potential employer or client material.
For content publishers, seek and ye shall readily find the talent and professional development you need
Likewise, it would behoove the emerging corporate publishers to tap into the professional body of publishing and communications professionals who have the experience and judgment necessary to create, shape, and polish content so it reaches its target readership and achieves the desired result.
Moreover, they will need people to manage the publishing process. As my friend and editing colleague Iva Cheung has been pointing out in her organization of the upcoming PubPro unconference in Vancouver on April 13, “managing editors” and “publication production specialists” may not have those titles — especially in corporate content publishing units, which are more likely to be found within marketing departments — but they share many of the same job responsibilities, and all would benefit from knowing more about the tricks of the trade.