3 Reasons I'm Your Next Senior Lifestyle Editor of Branded Content

By MACKENZIE KASSAB

 

Searching for the perfect Senior Lifestyle Editor of Branded Content?
I'll take the guesswork out of your candidate search with three reasons MacKenzie Kassab (that's me) is the right person for the job.

Photo: FYI Network: Tiny House Nation blog

Photo: FYI Network: Tiny House Nation blog

1. I keep a finger on the lifestyle pulse.  Over the past eight years, I've covered home décor, food, fashion, beauty, relationships, parenting, travel, and career advice. If there's something I'm passionate about, I write about it (for The Cut, The Wall Street Journal, Nylon, Jezebeland others).

Curiosity killed the cat, but it made the writer good at her job. I'm continually searching for the latest trends, whether it's the psychology of goal-setting or design solutions for tiny houses . A trusted network of industry contacts from New York to London tips me off to the next big thing before it hits. That Rolodex of sources — among them publicists, stylists, relationship experts, interior designers, and mixologists — are on call to offer insight and answer questions with Tweet-worthy soundbites.

The trick is transforming that information into compelling content that drives traffic. My track record is pretty good. At Harvard, where I dished out career advice for their DCE blog, traffic to the site increased 30% within 4 months of my consulting on strategy and regularly contributing features.

Photo: A magazine

Photo: A magazine

2. I keep publications running smoothly.  As Managing Editor of Time Out Beirut, part of Time Out International, I was responsible for getting the biweekly magazine to print. That meant editing the entire magazine, writing several sections (Home, Shopping, Health), managing in-house and freelance teams of up to 15 people, and acting as a liaison between the Sales, Art, Editorial, and Production departments. We never missed a deadline.

I later relaunched A, a lifestyle magazine in the Middle East. The English-language magazine is published by one of the leading luxury department stores in the region — and its content read like a 300-page ad. As Editor-in-Chief, my priority was refining its editorial voice and attracting a younger, cooler audience with stories they'd actually want to read. It worked: readership of the magazine's digital version doubled within three issues.

At the same time, I established Aishtiblog.com as a daily, digital supplement to the print magazine and devised a new social media strategy. Instagram followers grew organically from 1,000 to 21,000 in two years; Facebook followers grew by 22% in 15 months.

Once I revamped content, I moved on to logistics: establishing an efficient interdepartmental work flow, creating a style guide, and cutting the editorial budget by 40% the first issue. The result was a slicker magazine with more readable content, and a highly functioning office that saved the company significant pocket change each month.

I'm still in touch with most of my previous colleagues and direct reports. A productive work environment and a positive work environment aren't mutually exclusive, and as a manager I nurture both. 

Photo: Kinfolk x West Elm + Sonos

Photo: Kinfolk x West Elm + Sonos

3. I keep clients happy.  Last year, Kinfolk approached me to write a one-off series of sponsored posts for West Elm + Sonos. It went so well that we've been working together since. I've collaborated with the website on branded content for designer Jenni Kayne, The Arrivals, and a soon-to-launch fashion label based in China. One of the greatest bits of feedback I've had from the posts is that readers don't realize they're native ads. I've hit that sweet spot between authentic, engaging editorial content and fulfilling a brand's distinctive business objectives. 

A background in public relations helps. Before transitioning into editorial, I was a public relations manager for brands like Bumble and bumble, Sonia Rykiel fragrances, Ferragamo fragrances, and Agent Provocateur beauty. That experience gave me a solid foundation for writing effective branded content. It also gave me the skills to manage high-profile (and occasionally high-maintenance) clients with ease.

Looking for more reasons I'm the perfect fit? Check out my professional experience.