In the Shoes of a Media Relations Manager
Published: Thursday, July 20, 2017 Written by Caroline Maher
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Cindy Long to learn about her background in publishing. With a great deal of experience and relevant work history, Cindy has excelled in this industry. Learning about all her different roles and what she has discovered along the way has been very enlightening.
Tell me a little about yourself. Where did you go to school, what was your degree, previous work history, etc.
I graduated from the University of Kansas with a major in Journalism and an emphasis in advertising. I worked as both the Advertising Manager and the Business Manager for KU’s school newspaper, the University Daily Kansan. Working for the school newspaper was one of my favorite memories in college. It also helped prepare me for my future in this industry. After graduating, I worked for Vance Publishing Corporation on various B2B publications. While at Vance, I became the publisher for my own magazine, Floral Retailing and later worked for the Produce News with my own monthly section called “Floral Marketing.” Both the magazine and the monthly section in a newspaper furthered my knowledge of journalism and the trials and tribulations of being an editor.
What interested you about Family Features before accepting the role of Media Relations Manager?
Family Features interested me because it was in my profession and something I love doing. When I learned of the position at Family Features I was intrigued by the position instantly. With my knowledge of both the editorial side and sales, I thought the Media Relations role would be a good fit for me. I am happy that I am a part of this hard working and very talented team.
How has your background in Journalism helped you succeed in this industry?
All my experience and education have brought me here. Working on both sides of this industry has given me a better understanding of what editors want and what I need to do to meet and exceed their expectations. Each position has helped lead me into my role at Family Features. I love working in this role every day; there is always something new to learn about and new editors to meet and assist.
What is the best part about working with editors?
The best part is getting to help someone every day. I have the opportunity to speak on the phone with the editors and get a sense of who they are, what they need and answer their questions. Whether it’s finding that perfect piece of content to go into a section or assisting with digital content that will make a publication’s website stand out, I love helping our editors find solutions and then seeing the final results in their newspaper, magazine or websites.
What is the most interesting thing you have learned so far?
I have learned about all the products we offer to Family Features’ editors. With the help of our sales, production and marketing teams, this has been an exciting experience to witness first hand. Working closely with the account managers to alert them to the media’s immediate and long-term content needs has been interesting, informing and exciting.
Tell me about some of the challenges editors face and how we solve the challenges?
Magazine editors regularly need unique formats for their publications. We solve this with our formatted content, whether it’s a spread or a press-proof PDF. I like assisting editors by showing them how to localize our content to their region or finding appropriate content for their special sections. Most editors’ challenges are time, budget, and available space. My daily conversations with editors, editor surveys and other forms of communication keep me close to any challenges they face and together I help them overcome their challenges. My goal is to make them look good!
How have your past job experiences helped you with your role here at Family Features?
I have been on the editor’s side myself, so I can take that experience and fully understand what the editors’ challenges are and what they are looking for. My experience with my own magazine and my monthly section in a national newspaper helps me relate to the editors on a personal scale. This has been a big help with my role as Media Relations Manager. Putting myself in their shoes lets me point them in the right direction.