Travel Writer
I was really struck by a recent job ad on journalism.co.uk from Frommer's.

The job title is 'Editorial Manager' and it's to manage and implement the upgrading of content for a major travel brand's website.

I know Frommer's does a lot of work for BA and for Hilton hotels so I'd imagine it's probably for one of these two.

Some of the requirements are as follows (the elements I've taken out for the sake of space are mainly about softer skills like people management and getting the job done.)

* At least five years' experience of managing successful online
projects where high volume, high quality editorial content has been
delivered to specification and deadline
* Meticulous editor, responsible for ensuring quality control at every stage of the production cycle
* Technically savvy, and a whizz with Excel
* At least five years' experience at a senior editorial level in the travel and hospitality industry
* Broad destination knowledge of EMEA and APAC
* Acute sensitivity to tone of voice and brand
* Unwavering ability to ensure content connects with customers

The job requirements and the job itself are very very close to what I do for iCrossing. What is really striking is the combination of writing/editing skills and marketing, project management, technical skills.

There's no degree course or even job title that adequately covers this role - at least I don't know of one. Indeed it's interesting that the job is titled 'Editorial Manager', but the detail talks about 'Project Manager' and the email subject line for applicants needs to be 'Travel Project Manager'.

The web is constantly creating new jobs as it evolves - SEO manager is a classic example. A role like this wouldn't have even been thought of 5 or so years ago. I've no idea what this kind of role that combines writing and editing skills with detailed project management abilities and a solid awareness of more technical stuff like Excel will ultimately be called. At iCrossing I'm called Travel Editor - but I get involved in really clunky stuff like defining XML feeds, user experience and SEO. 

Will there be degrees in On-line Content Management and Creation soon? It wouldn't surprise me. Personally I'm very happy with being a 'Travel Editor' - above all else I am a creative writer and it's these talents that I think really set me apart from people competing for similar jobs in this space.

What skills do you think are needed these days for online travel content creators? And what would you call this kind of role?

Pic by Flickr User Brian Lane Winfield Moore

5 thoughts on “The future for travel editors?

  1. It's a small but significant part of my job also - wish I could spend more time on it but as a small travel company we have to concentrate on keeping the sales rolling in! Not sure I would tick all (or any!) of the above boxes and I look forward to the day I could afford someone who does.

  2. The skill that I think is really missing here is some kind of SEO knowledge. I don't think you could ever expect an on-line travel writer to be an SEO specialist too, but a basic level of knowledge about Page Titles, H1 Headers, Keywords would be pretty crucial in my opinion.
    If you're writing for on-line publications/websites... do YOU know what Page Titles and H1s are?

  3. This is pretty much the job I do at http://travelgeneration.com/blog and we call it Managing Editor; and Jeremy you are absolutely right SEO is a really important part of job. Not only understanding the headings, keywords etc - but seeing where your traffic at any particular time is coming from in terms of search phrases and either introducing more content or a competition or poll or similar to capitalise on this content.

    The actual editing of the content is done by someone else because I spend so much time actually driving the site.

  4. Hi Dan
    Thanks for your insights.
    Do you then come up with the creative ideas based on the search terms and traffic then? Which is kind of what I do much of the time in my iCrossing day job.
    What's you background - writer or web person? If you were previously a writer... do you find this less satisfying or more?

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