On a good day, I am out the door by 8 a.m. If I've worked until early in the morning the night before, 10 a.m.
Leadership

A Day In The Life: Digital Media Publisher

Digital publishing is rapidly changing. Ever wonder what a digital publisher actually does? Today we take a look at the day in the life ...

I love digital publishing. It gives you such an interesting space to be innovative. I’ve been in the news business since I was 23 years old. However, my role as reporter, and later, editor, had a different nuance. When there was an issue, you looked above you to the top for help. Now, I look across my office to my business partner like a deer in headlights. HA HA! I do miss the print newsroom, but as we grow, I look forward to building our Lioness newsroom and having our writers together. For now, we have a digital newsroom where we work with our writers. We tested a few websites and apps and settled on Asana. It’s addictive. Ever wonder what a digital publisher actually does. Here’s a day in the life …

6:30 a.m. – News. In. Bed. I’m one of those people – you know, the kind that sleeps with their phone. By seven I’m already taking in the days news on my Apple News app. All of my favorite news outlets are in one place and I can cruise headlines and check social media for overnight happenings and the top business topics of the day.

7:45 a.m. – If I haven’t gotten around to scheduling the news item of the day for daily Lioness subscribers, I’ll send it from my iPhone while I’m still in bed right from my Mailchimp phone app. I’m also anal about going to our website to make sure any pre-scheduled news has posted without any issues.

9:30 a.m. – Caffeine, YES! If I’m not brewing a fresh cup in our office. I’m grabbing one on-the-go from Dunkin Donuts. They’re on the first floor of Tower Square where our office is located and they always make my coffee perfect. By 9:30 I’m usually sipping and cracking open my email. 

10 a.m. – Editing news articles requires my full attention. So on days when our writers turn in articles, I try to edit in the morning rather than in the evening when I’m gassed. And, HELLO, NEWS! From news on the wire to going through story pitches to assigning interviews to writers, to responding to publicists, I’m in full-fledge editor mode and sorting out daily news from monthly features. I’m also already texting my business partner Dawn about lunch around now. HA HA HA! And then back to email because there’s just so much of it but I’m NOT complaining. Wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

11 a.m. – The news process is usually in full swing. I am checking photos for the news site or communicating with Allison, our art director, about the cover. Photo approval and photo credits are necessary. Plus, if someone wants to guest write an article, I need to verify their credentials and the articles.

12:45 a.m. – Lunch Mashup. Dawn and I usually have lunch or dinner together several times a week. We talk about business, go over upcoming events and usually take a bird’s eye view of the week and month. If it’s a nice day, we might even walk to do some shopping along Main Street.

We never take a day off for advocating for female founders. Dawn and I talk female entrepreneurs in Massachusetts with future gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren.

2 p.m. – EMAIL and more email. Some days I can clear through half of my inbox. On mighty days, I will get through one inbox. There are amazing female entrepreneurs launching some wonderful companies and while we can’t feature them all, I still get the pleasure of learning about and communicating with so many of them via email. Simply brilliant women.

2:30 p.m. – Intern check-ins. We make it a habit to talk to our interns daily, but 30-minute Friday check-in sessions are a requirement. It allows us to dedicate time to each intern, help them with areas of improvement as well as celebrate their wins for the week.

4 p.m. – Managing social media is a beast in itself. Throughout the day our team, including Dawn and I, will pop onto social to see what’s happening and to either share interesting news or fun behind-the-scene shots in the Lioness office.

5:30 p.m. – Depending on what the event is either Dawn and I will go or we both go. I usually pop about to represent the editorial portion, while Dawn as CEO represents our brand as a whole and events surrounding personal and professional development. Their are times when both of us are required – which makes it double the fun.

7 p.m. – Lately, I’ve become obsessed with making sure I have a book with me at all times. I actually got the guts up to get rid of my car this January and started taking public transportation to work. This has now become coveted time. I get to sit and read or listen to music and by the time I arrive home, I’m ready to unwind.

9 p.m. – Late night social check. I’ll see what’s scheduled for tomorrow and if there are any lingering conversations that may need responses. I’ll also take some time to see what’s trending or if we missed any important conversations involving female founders.

10 p.m. – Our umbrella company, The Lioness Group, also handles public relations for some women-led organizations and companies. It’s not unusual for me to respond to any emails I may have missed around this time.

10:45 p.m. – Me time. Reality TV (yep, I catch up on all the juice), cozy socks and twisting my hair up for the night.

11:30 p.m. – I’ll read until I’m drowsy and then it’s lights out.

About the author

Natasha Zena

Around age eight Natasha Zena was told it was a woman’s job to take care of the home and since then she has built a career out of telling women they can do whatever the hell they want to do. She is the co-founder of Lioness, the digital magazine for female entrepreneurs, and the first media outlet solely dedicated to helping women launch and scale high-growth startups. Natasha was recognized as an emerging leader in digital media by The Poynter Institute and the National Association of Black Journalists. She has mentored women entrepreneurs at a number of accelerators, Startup Weekends and conferences, including The Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco, Calif. Natasha is also the author of the popular whitepaper, "How To Close The Gender Gap In Startup Land By 2021." In her spare time, she writes short fiction and hangs out with her son, Shaun.

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