What's Hot in Content, Marketing & Publishing: Industry Icons Reveal

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  • Annie Ly

Once a month, The Dots hosts an industry specific Portfolio Masterclass dedicated to giving up-and-coming creatives the chance to get their work reviewed by some of the UK’s leading industry figures.

This year's Masterclass on Content, Marketing and Publishing was held at the pastel print dreamland MOO HQ. The event saw mentors from the likes of Marketing Week, LadBible, MATCHESFASHION.COM and more providing advice and connecting with budding young writers and content creators.
Read on for the rundown on what these industry leaders think is hot right now in the world of writing, content creation and publishing. It might just help you get ahead:
“Journalism and content means more than just writing words”
For those entering the industry, Sarah Dawood, Deputy Editor at Design Week advises to learn extra skills to make content go further. Content must be made digestable for audiences to consume on the go, as well as shareable via social media at a quick click of a button. Increasingly, with the rise of video, VR and live-streaming, people want to read less and watch more
Content roles are becoming more commercially sensitive, meaning analytics, click through rates and impressions must be considered in the way you write and develop content. With this in mind, having a little extra something to make your work stand out from just being a stream of words will make content more shareable.
Top tip: Learn extra skills to give your content an added edge; whether that’s picking up videography, photography or graphic design to translate your content into a visual format or brushing up on the basics of SEO - give your content the best chances of being picked up and pushed out.

Mentors (left to right) Lynsey Atkin, Creative Director, Havas, Will Rowe, Founder, Protein, Kate Hamilton, Editor in Cheif, Suitcase Magazine.
“Find your passion”
Mindi Chahal, Senior Writer at Marketing Week advises content creators to find their niche and specialise. Finding your own passion point and running with it will set you apart from your peers as there are more opportunities for journalists and writers who are experts in a particular topic or subject area. Likewise, if you have a strength in terms of a particular skill or interview style, “Specialists are likely to do better than generalists”, she says.
This was echoed by Kate Hamilton, Editor-in-Chief of Suitcase Magazine who adds that, “If you pitch stories you’re genuinely interested in, that really shines through”. Showing you’re passionate about a subject will not only allow you to pitch better, but readers of your content can instantly tell that your content comes from a genuine and well-formed point of view.
Mentors (left to right) Stephen Mai, Head of Marketing LADBible Group, Mindi Chalal, Senior Writer, Marketing Week and Sarah Dawood, Deputy Editor at Design Week.
“Believe in the power of great story-telling”
When looking back at some of his early heroes and inspirations, Stephen Mai, Head of Marketing, Brand and Design at LADBible Group noted supernatural vampire series, Buffy The Vampire Slayer as a key influence on his career. “I loved that Joss Whedon created a genre that on the surface looks silly but is laden with great metaphors and sophisticated story-telling”. To Stephen, who has led on amazing projects like i-D Magazine’s 35th Anniversary issue and LADBible’s UOKM8? Mental Health campaign, the ability to give extra depth to your content through powerful story-telling makes content much more hard-hitting and engaging.
There’s also something to be said about being able to transport your audience into a new world according to Kate Blythe, Global Content Director at MATCHESFASHION.COM. Thinking about taking your readers on a complete journey is integral to creating stand out content. “If you can scoop up high impact readers and keep them, you are in a powerful position in the industry”, she says.
In the fashion world, content creators must think of all aspects such as social media, video, art direction, writing and styling to create an amazing world for their audience. Take a look at the Digital Trunk Show project led by Kate in collaboration with fashion brand Roksanda, combining stunning visual imagery, video interviews and integrated shoppable content, leading customers on a fashion-story led journey to drive interest and sales.
Top tip: Consider the complete journey you want to take your audience on when creating content and telling it’s story. The best work cuts through when all factors are accounted for.
Mentors (left to right) Kate Blythe, Global Content Director, Lee McGuffie, Digital and Content Director, Virgin and Amy Nicholson, Head of Content, MOO.
Inspiration for your content can come in many different forms, whether that’s from your journalism heroes, a cleverly written article or an overheard conversation on a bus. To find inspiration and opportunities, “Network more than you think possible”, says Amy Nicholson, Head of Content at MOO. Amy advises entrants to the industry to take advantage of the opportunities they have and the people they know. Find mentorship and inspiration by putting yourself out there and making connections as much as possible.
But remember to think of your career in long term view. When networking,
“Be yourself, it’s a long game you’re in”, tells Lee McGuffie, Digital and Content Director at Virgin. Having spent 20 years in advertising before taking on his current role, Lee reminds creatives that it’s a small world so when it comes to networking, don’t tread on any toes.
To end this Portfolio Masterclass debrief, we’ll leave you this thought from Lynsey Atkin, Creative Director of Content at Havas London who reminds creatives, don’t just talk the talk. “Make things and walk the walk. If you want to do things, do it”. With these industry insights, now there’s no excuse. Go forth and create!
If you missed out this time, find out more about our upcoming Portfolio Masterclasses here.

Photography: Emily Harrison

Project Tags


  • Virgin logo


    • Retail
  • Protein logo


    • Education & Research
  • Havas Group logo

    Havas Group

    • Advertising
  • LADbible Group logo

    LADbible Group

    • Publishing
  • MOO logo


    • Design