Thursday, February 25, 2016

So lovely

I follow up a link for a job with the New Yorker as Associate Director, Audience Development. Am immediately blasted with a lot of language that would never be permitted in the pages of the, erm, New Yorker except possibly in a quirky little piece on corporatespeak.

  • Collaborate cross-functionally with editors, publishers, product development, and sales & marketing groups to develop and execute data-driven audience-growth plans across all content distribution platforms and maximize customer monetization
  • Develop and experiment with new content executions in emerging distribution platforms
  • Project-manage all audience development touch points and their associated components, from inception to successful completion
  • Measure the performance of audience development initiatives and optimize them according to business goals
  • Identify new growth opportunities and best practices based on emerging digital trends, competitive business intelligence, and consumer insight
  • Manage overall audience development testing strategy—including funnel optimization, distribution channel mix, and headline and image optimization
  • Work closely with digital leadership to determine and meet growth KPIs and insure that they align with revenue strategy
  • Apply SEO initiatives and best practices to the content strategy that will strengthen and optimize both website and keyword rankings

Cross-functionally!? (or possibly ?!)
Customer monetization!?
Content executions!?
Project-manage (wha-? new verb to me, and while there ARE publications that embrace the new, the type of person who would embrace this one would never get a gig as editor at the, erm, New Yorker). Moving right along to the object, Project-manage all audience development touch points. OK, or, as the New Yorker would put it, okay, I take it, having read this text, that there are people out in the world who know what an audience development touch point is, and if you know you can probably swan through "associated components" without driving yourself insane by asking what it would mean for something to be a component of a touch point. If you are such a person you are, I can't help feeling, unlikely to warm to the, erm, New Yorker, let alone subscribe to it. And yet YOU are the person whose job is, I gather, to get more readers AND get them to pay for something you think is a load of bollocks.

It's as if a 3-star restaurant thought it could best be promoted by someone who ate Pedigree Chum in the home.

An agent told me last year he could get me a 6-figure deal on work in progress + rights to The Last Samurai. Had his reach not exceeded his grasp, I would naturally not have been exploring careers at Condé Nast. If I did not have credit card debts that weigh on my mind I would have stopped at "cross-functionally."  Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been.

I clicked on Continue, and was asked to complete a profile including a menu on Career Focus. The options:


Advertising
Corporate 
Editorial
Entertainment
Technology

Hm.

I selected Entertainment.

And it was at this point, cats and kittens, that I decided to write a blog post instead.




3 comments:

Rohan Maitzen said...

That really is appalling. It exceeds any similar nonsense jargon I've seen so far in my own line of work (academia), which is saying something. On the bright side, it gave you a good excuse to quote Whittier?

Steve said...

I really hoped that that text would contain a word like 'cooperate' so that we could see whether their corporate talk followed their odd house style, which always distracted me when I was young. Coöperate!

William Boyd said...

That PD list reminds me too much of the PD I and others had to compose when I worked at the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. That is, it is typical bureaucratic verbiage without a cause. I'd suggest another new verb: to verbiage.

(I'm now enjoying your "Last..." Thank you for such fine, fun fiction.)