3 Reasons I'm A Great Fit for Head of Content, Editorial

By MACKENZIE KASSAB

 

Searching for the perfect Head of Editorial 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

I KEEP A FINGER ON THE DESIGN PULSE

Over eight years as an editor and writer, I've been busy.  I launched a home décor column in an international edition of Time Out. I interviewed emerging architects for Kinfolk. I wrote about DIY home renovations for FYI TV Networks, and I worked on an installation at the 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture. 

Curiosity killed the cat, but it made the writer good at her job. I'm continually searching for the latest trends in home décor, whether it's wallpaper patterns 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. A healthy obsession with social media offers  additional clues, if you know where to look (I do).

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. At FYI TV, where my features supported shows like Tiny House Nation and Downtown Shabby, readers responded to more unusual stories: Easy Houseplants for Every Lifestyle, 7 Things You Didn't Know About Vintage Homes, and Vintage Home Blues.

Photo: Kinfolk x West Elm + Sonos

Photo: Kinfolk x West Elm + Sonos

I KEEP THINGS 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

I KEEP BRANDS — AND READERS — 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. In 2017, 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 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 foundation in strategic communication has proven invaluable as an editor.

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