Monday, July 29, 2013

5 Tips for Offering to Help Your Editors

Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Working at Lifestyle Mag is often as glossy as the pages of the print issue. But, it can also be VERY stressful at times, as I found out yesterday.

Around 2 p.m. I was working on a project when I heard the digital director ask the entire web team why 10 articles in the print magazine hasn’t been uploaded to Lifestyle Mag’s CMS.


The editors thought that the articles weren’t due for an entire week. As I worked away on my project, I listened to the digital director and the editors work their way through the miscommunication. The digital director was INCREDIBLY upset. The entire room went dead silent as she expressed her disappointment. It was by far the most intense moment I’ve ever been a part of at Lifestyle Mag since I've been here.

The news editor took charge and began assigning articles to the web team. Since my project didn’t have an immediate deadline I decided to stop and help the web team build the articles—I wanted to help them out in any way possible! I’m happy I took initiative and assisted the editors during an incredibly stressful time. I learned a lot in that moment about teamwork, what it means to help others out, and how to learn on the fly.

So Edsters, here are my five tips for helping out your editor during an tense time:

1. Make your presence known!

Editors are very busy, and if you don’t let them know that you have time to help out, they might overlook you. It’s important to let your editor know that you are ready to help! Send the editor an email (or tell them in person, if they don’t look too busy) to let them know that you would love to lighten their workload in any way possible.

2. Prioritize and create deadlines for yourself.

I knew I wanted to help the editors finish uploading the content, but I also had a few other tasks to complete before the end of the day. In order to keep track of everything that needs to get done, I definitely think it’s wise to make a list. This way you can be sure you won’t forget about a task. The deadlines will also help to keep you on schedule. I love to work from memory, but when it comes to assignments, I have always found that actually writing out a to-do list is key.

3. Don’t bite off more than you can chew

I wanted to help the editors with every single article…but then I wouldn’t have gotten my own work done. When your offering to help an editor out, make sure you can tackle each assignment in a reasonable amount of time. If you finish the project and have time to kill can always shoot them another email and ask for more work.

4. Think one step ahead.

Always be thinking about what you need to do next. I love this tip because it has saved me time on more than one occasion! For example, I always request photos from the photo editor as soon as I know I will be building the story—even if I haven’t started writing it yet. It can take a photo editor awhile to collect photos and size them, so I always tell them what I need ASAP. That way, when it comes time for me to add photos to the story, I have them waiting for me in my inbox.

5. If you can do a task yourself, go for it. (Just make sure it’s O.K. with your editor!)

I’ve been able to save the photo editor some time by cropping images myself (thank you, Graphic Design class!) By editing images on my own, the photo editor has time to focus on more time-consuming tasks. If you have a skill that you think would benefit your editors, speak up!

What about you, Edsters? How do you help your editors out? What was the most stressful day at your internship like? Sound off in the comments!

Ed's Women's Lifestyle Intern

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