A Day in the Life of a D Custom Managing Editor
Here’s a secret about our managing editors: None of us expected to end up in the throes of #AgencyLife. Our backgrounds are in magazines, newspapers, and reporting, and in the beginning, we never expected those skills to cross over into the marketing world.
Yet here we are — a crew of writers, editors, and journalists bringing journalistic standards to the emergent world of content marketing. And we really like it.
The way we do our jobs is what makes our agency different: We’re not copywriters, but trained storytellers with backgrounds in magazines and newspapers, books and blogging, and we bring that journalistic integrity to every piece of content that goes out the door. The day-to-day requires creative, consistent, strategic work — the kind that’s always changing — and that’s just how we prefer it.
But First, Coffee
There’s always a fresh pot of Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters available throughout the day, because, like most journalists, the D office runs on the stuff. We congregate around the kitchen counter to caffeinate around 9 a.m. each morning, swapping weekend stories or plotting our next team happy hour before settling into the grind.
Get It Together
D Custom is owned by D Magazine Partners, so we share the 21st and 22nd floors of our building with the people at D Magazine, D CEO, D Home, D Weddings, and People Newspapers (Park Cities and Preston Hollow). Monday mornings sound off at 9:30-sharp with a quick, company-wide meeting that herds us all into the same room and keeps us up to speed about what’s happening across the company.
A Case of the Meetings
D Custom gathers as an agency every Monday morning as well to share major updates and announcements for the week, like new clients or sneaking deadlines. Aside from that, we collaborate weekly with clients, our editorial department, and internal account teams to map out and execute everything we do for each client.
That’s another challenging perk of how content marketing works: Every editorial calendar is different. Since editors craft the voice, tone, and style of our clients, we spend significant chunks of our time researching and getting to know them, putting in countless hours of up-front research to thoroughly understand their audience, pain points, and wants and needs.
From there, we come up with an intricate and strategic plan to satisfy those things. And whether the approach is custom publications, company-wide rebranding, a revamped website and blog, or something else, the foundation is the same: stellar content.
As a client-centric company, our mission is to guide them on everything from SEO best practices to social media to harnessing the power of digital transformation. If it sounds like a lot, that’s because there’s a lot going on: We’re a fast-paced agency and we thrive on being nimble, flexible, and easy to work with. That means consistently delivering exceptional content to our clients on budget and on time and sometimes editing late into the night to get it done.
Every day is different, so part of the job is staying on our toes. That’s why every editor you meet here always keeps a notebook on hand. There’s always something to do and something to cross off the list.
Hello, We Work Here
We routinely unplug our laptops to write an article, edit an e-book, organize an outline, or brainstorm an idea somewhere away from our desks. We’re on the top floor of St. Paul Place, the downtown office building located across the street from the Dallas Museum of Art. It’s a fabulous setting and the wraparound views — which are truly spectacular — are a serious perk. We take calls in the light-filled lobby, host brainstorming sessions on the second-floor terrace, walk to Klyde Warren Park for lunch (a regular for the editorial team), sneak down the street to write at Starbucks, or utilize one of several conference rooms as needed.
Plays Well With Others
When we’re not roaming the office or its surroundings for creative Zen, there’s a good chance we’re scouring the country for writing talent. The only thing we editors like more than writing is working with great writers. We recruit, develop, and manage writers who specialize in our clients’ industries and grasp their niche needs. Our varied editorial backgrounds, not to mention connections from our friends downstairs, have enabled us to cultivate a top-notch pool of writers, and we’re constantly growing our resources to ensure we have the best of the best.
Vetting writers is a joint effort and involves a lot of sharing: Some are better equipped for pharmaceutical reports for AmerisourceBergen; others have a knack for the punny, playful web content of Avocados From Mexico. We do our homework — that means scouring their clips and sometimes having them complete a short editing test — to figure out who’s suited for what and to ensure they know the ins and outs of our and our clients’ respective house styles.
We like to think of ourselves as the directors of our clients’ newsrooms: seeking out writers with proven credentials; assigning relevant, untapped stories; cultivating razor-sharp reporter instincts; and ensuring we meet every deadline and exceed every expectation. Don’t get us wrong, we’d write all day if we could — but we find that it’s a more effective use of our time to cultivate great writers who can deliver knockout content so that we can focus on big-picture editing and strategizing, ensuring that every piece of content is consistent and right on target.
It’s Five O’clock Somewhere
The D Custom environment accommodates managing editors alongside production and design teams, account services and the administrative gurus who keep this operation in check. The people here, who congregate around the kitchen counter or walk across the street for lunch with you or listen to both the airing of grievances and singing of praises — on top of generating remarkable content — they’re the ones who turn the space into an atmosphere.
However you want to characterize the way this content marketing agency works — our ambiance, our culture — here’s what matters: At the end of the day, happy hour is always on tap and you’ll never be a party of one.
Think you’d fit in with our crew of managing editors? Good news — we’re hiring!