Q&A: Delicious' Kerrie McCallum on the recipe for the perfect editor

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 23 September 2016
Delicious' October issue

In her 19 years in the industry Kerrie McCallum has held roles at nearly all of the Australian publishing powerhouses, from PacMags to Bauer and now News Corp.

McCallum became editor of Delicious magazine in 2014. Since then, the magazine has worked with brands such as supermarket giant Woolworths and relaunched its website to grow readership.

She was awarded Editor of The Year for her work across the News Life Media portfolio as editor-in-chief of Delicious and Sunday Life at last year's Australian Magazine Awards (AMA).

The AMAs recognise best in class magazine brands, editors, marketing and more. Get your entries in now - they close today. Procter & Gamble is the headline sponsor.

McCallum speaks to AdNews about what makes an award winning editor.

Kerrie McCallum 2015

Kerrie McCallum at the Australian Magazine Awards in 2015

How has the magazine and editor's relationship with advertisers evolved?

For Delicious, it has evolved significantly in the last 12 months because we launched delicious.com.au in November, and then Delicious on Sunday in Stellar in the Sunday mastheads in August. Both properties have deliberately different audiences to the monthly print brand, and hence a different client base, who have different objectives and commercial requirements and outcomes. So I guess for those existing advertisers, it has been about giving them a different cache of content platforms to use; for new clients, it's been about getting to know them, and creating different content solutions to match.

How has the editor’s role changed alongside the media industry?

My role as an editor now is not really comparable to when I first became an editor 14 years ago. It's far-reaching, more strategic, more challenging, more competitive, it's constantly changing and just as you master a new content skill set you have a new one to learn. So, let's say the change is vast. You have to be able to work faster, run your content platforms effectively and in a complementary way, and help your clients navigate these also. Content is a 24/7 job with sometimes surprising and unpredictable outcomes, and you have to keep learning and seeking advice.

How does the editor influence the commercial success of the title?

The editor is critical to the commercial success, or should be. They need to help clients (and their own advertising teams) navigate the different tentacles of the brand, to get an outcome that works most effectively for all parties across all platforms. The editor can see how a campaign can translate or work most effectively for their audience. Sometimes this is taken on board by the client, sometimes not, but the editor is always driving the conversation and they have to have a vision that clients buy into, relate to or respect.

What are the key skills you think make an award winning editor?

Flexibility, resilience, perspective and passion.

Is there anyone with NLM you’d like to see take out the award this year?

I rate all my fellow eds at NLM. They are a top tier bunch.

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