Skyword Content Editor Scott Greenan on Becoming a Content "Triple Threat"
Storytelling Communications

Skyword Content Editor Scott Greenan on Becoming a Content “Triple Threat”

Over the course of Q1 2015, I’ve introduced you to two Skyword colleagues and fellow Content Standard contributors: Anne Handley-Fierce and Braden Becker. This third and final piece hits a little closer to home; although content editor Scott Greenan only started as an editorial manager in October 2014, I’ve known him since 2010, when we were classmates in Emerson College’s Master of Arts in Publishing and Writing program.

You may have seen his name around these parts before, too. His blog series on the Content Standard focuses on “the psychological, physical, and emotional connection a person can have with a specific piece of content, be it visual, literary, or auditory.” His goal with these pieces is “to know not only what inspires someone to open a piece and react to it, but more importantly, why some content inspires more than others.”

How It All Started

Scott GreenanA couple of years before Scottie and I met over beers at a grad school party in Somerville, Massachusetts, he earned his BA in English literature with a minor in journalism and mass communication from St. Michael’s College in Vermont, where he also edited the student-run literary magazine. His experience between then and now was incredibly varied, and he eventually settled in at an educational publisher, where he grew to be an associate acquisitions editor before making the jump over to Skyword.

“My experience in publishing opened the door to so many different audiences, different writing styles, and different production cycles,” he says. “Combined with my education, I have learned the specifics of classic publishing coupled with new-age technology and communications.”

Sky’s the Limit

When considering a content editor job at Skyword, Scottie was trying to decide how to expand his editorial skills “in a way that would solidify my marketability for the future.” So far, he’s loved the “intensely creative” role of editorial manager—including partnering “with brilliant marketing teams, both in-house and with my clients, all while I practice mastering my editorial craft.”

Some creatives still associate content marketing with content farms, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. “The trend is turning back toward the quality of content and editorial finesse,” Scottie says. “Writers and editors are increasing in importance, though the traditional means of publishing and disseminating information has changed. Content marketing, in my opinion, couldn’t exist without the backbone of traditional publishing backing it up.”

While copy editor Braden Becker attested wholesale to being a marketer, Scottie sees it a little differently: “I never thought of myself truly as a marketer, but content marketing has made the role of editor more necessary in the marketing realm than ever before.” There’s so much truth in that. Storytelling is an integral part of modern-day marketing, and according to Scottie, “being an editor means drawing exceptional stories out of your writers, delivering must-read content to your audience, and elevating your writers’ talents to the next level each time.” The goals of both groups are more than aligned regardless of job title. (Except, let’s be fair: A content editor is much more likely to get upset over pop-up subscription boxes than a marketer is.)

He also loves his aforementioned work with the Content Standard, claiming, “It reminds me of being back in school, writing my thesis, only TCS has nothing to do with Virginia Woolf, and there is no panic-inducing thesis defense at the end.”

In terms of career goals, Scottie is ultimately “looking to become a triple threat when it comes to content: animator/graphic designer, editor, and writer.” He’s also hoping to write a book someday—just like the rest of us.

After Hours

Besides going to grad school together, our jobs have paralleled each other for some time: We worked in the same building for a couple years before either of us started at Skyword, and we both attended (I use this word loosely—I simply took a tour then hung out at the juice bar without ever touching a piece of equipment) a nearby gym. In contrast to my lackluster physical showing, Scottie has been taking boxing classes for the past six months, an activity he calls “a transformative outlet.” He spends his summer weekends on Block Island in Rhode Island, a spot he calls his “literal happy place,” and uses any extra time to build his personal drawing and animation portfolio.

He’s read The Great Gatsby every summer since high school, and his copy—which “is torn, highlighted, marked up, spilled on (once a margarita, and two different times it was coffee), and chewed up (don’t ask)”—shows it. In grad school, he “loved reading about Max Perkins, the editor of writers like Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Max coached his writers through some of their most cherished works despite the jazz, the booze, the torrid love affairs, the wars . . . you know, everyday problems.” He enjoys both Jurassic Park and The Lion King, a motion-picture juxtaposition close to my own heart. In terms of music, Scottie likes Counting Crows and “the usual poppy music all the kids are listening to,” but he puts on Chet Baker while he’s editing.

Travel is another big goal: He intends to visit at least one new country each year. “In 2014, I spent two weeks in Colombia and Brazil and plan on visiting Japan and Taiwan this year,” he says.

What qualities make you a creative “triple threat”? Join Skyword’s network of content contributors and put them to work.

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