20-Factor Test Shows How Well You Fulfill B2B Editing’s Key Mission

by Howard Rauch, President, Editorial Solutions, Inc.

What is the key mission of today’s B2B editors? Obviously, the current emphasis on digital editing expertise is overwhelming. We are caught up in the excitement of delivering content to our readership in a host of new formats. And the web has facilitated our ability to be timely, as evidenced by our reliance on social media potential and increased frequency of e-newsletter delivery.

But in the course of putting finishing touches on an ASBPE editorial performance webinar presentation, I became aware of a consistent cautionary note expressed by my sources. That is … we are doing a great job quantitatively; however, this achievement is dimmed by an accompanying qualitative shortfall.

In fact, several editors have expressed this concern during the past year. There’s not enough time to engage in thorough research. Squeezed travel budgets have put a damper on our ability to expand our industry knowledge via productive field trips. There’s no time to adequately train new recruits so that they become star performers quickly.

All this and much more has been complicated by a tendency in our hiring practices – when hiring is allowed – to place highest priority on digital skills as opposed to editorial reporting/story-gathering/field presence potential.

All this mulling reminded me of a workshop I conducted periodically for new editors who joined the B2B organization where I spent 13 of my 21 years as editorial VP. The session – “Becoming Someone in Your Industry” – used a 15-factor self-scoring profile to emphasize techniques designed to enhance one’s authoritative visibility within the industry served.

The original profile was totally focused on print. I’ve updated it slightly to reflect digital considerations and invite you to check out your current performance in terms of delivering top-quality content while simultaneously maintaining high personal visibility. I’ve increased the number of factors considered from 15 to 20. Rate yourself on a Yes/No basis. Award five points for every Yes, zero points for every No. If you have a “No” overload, consider how you might turn each negative into a positive.


Field trips include reader visits rather than just show coverage. SCORE: _____

I write a feature article in every issue. SCORE: _____

I write at least one high-enterprise e-news article per week. SCORE: _____

I am conversant with every new industry trend. SCORE: _____

My blogs reflect insider commentary rather than just blurb thinking. SCORE: _____

Whenever possible, my blog is presented in video format. SCORE: _____

I respond regularly to important blogs posted by industry experts. SCORE: _____

I have no problem writing a statistically-oriented article. SCORE: _____

I generate a constant stream of personalized correspondence. SCORE: _____

It’s not all e-mail; I keep in touch with key players via phone. SCORE: _____

I have no problem making a speech and am in demand as a speaker. SCORE: _____

I get involved in association affairs and volunteer for committees. SCORE: _____

I constantly suggest publicity angles to our promotion department. SCORE: _____

I wield a mighty tennis racket, golf club for whatever else it takes. SCORE: _____

I know my reporting is 100% accurate. SCORE: _____

I regularly exchange business cards with important show attendees. SCORE: _____

I keep abreast of what other departments do. SCORE: _____

I read competitive magazines constantly. SCORE: _____

I always match strengths/weaknesses of our e-news vs. competitors. SCORE: _____

I look like “someone” when I go into the field. SCORE: _____

How did you make out? As a scoring yardstick, you need at least 80 points to be considered an effective mission-sensitive person.

As an aside, I am a big believer in the value of self-scoring profiles. During my VP/editorial stint, other profiles used involved complaint-handling, personnel management, feature writing, trade show coverage, and editorial marketing. I will be making references to these other useful training tools in upcoming Twitter posts. Keep in touch via www.twitter.com/editorialtype.

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