Content insight / Content Strategy

Just how thick does an Editor’s skin need to be?

Elena Plaiter

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are panicking about a looming deadline and blaming it on you,
If you can trust your editorial instincts when the suits doubt you,
But educate them too;
If you can’t wait for  late content,
Or being lied to about IT fixes, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, when you reject someone’s submission,
And yet strive to make the site look good:

If you can use a CMS – and not make the CMS your master;
If you can write – and not make drivel your aim;
If you can meet with low page views and low conversion rates
And take measures on both, just the same;
If you can bear to hear criticism on your choice of homepage content,
Twisted by colleagues who think they’re the most important,
Or watch the articles you toiled over, disappear and throw 404’s,
And stoop and re-write ’em:

If you can spend days on your copy
And watch no one give a toss,
And get other’s copy on brand
And correct the same grammar mistakes again and again,
If you can leave your nephews birthday party
To  change a sentence at 4pm on a Saturday
Because your someone doesn’t like it
And have the will to hold on

If you can talk with techies, designers, agencies, and PMs and keep your virtue,
‘Or work with writers, subs, proofreaders, editors – and keep your creative touch,
If neither analytics nor words can bore you,
If all men count on you, but none will help too much;
If you can change the site in an unforgiving minute
With six hundred key message and calls to action,
Yours is the Editor’s job and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be thick skinned, my son!

Completely made up by Elena Plaiter, using Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’.


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