As Editorial Manager, Stephanie Castellano works every day to shape the American Press Institute’s (API’s) editorial direction and write the morning newsletter, Need to Know. She also edits and revises API’s research reports and manages the company’s website and social media accounts.
What brought you to the news media industry and API?
I didn’t really have a background in journalism practices. I graduated with a Creative Writing degree and started working as a writer and editor for a professional association magazine. I wasn’t really passionate about the work I was doing there, so I found a job at the Newseum, where I took care of communications and marketing, as well as their newsletter. That position gave me the insights and passion in journalism to apply for a job at API.
What are you working on to help API’s membership?
The Need to Know newsletter, definitely. I spend most of the day searching for the best articles to send out to our members. They not only consist of news, but tips to help journalists perform better in their jobs. I have also included a Net Promoter survey in our newsletter, which helps me to get a better understanding of our readers’ satisfaction and possible ways to enhance their experience. So far, we’ve gotten good results, so I think we’re doing a good job at keeping them happy.
What do you consider to be the biggest challenge facing the news media industry in 2019?
The business model aspect of it, of course—especially now that we cannot fully rely on advertising revenue. Another challenge that we are facing is battling against the growing distrust and negative perception of the public against media. I think we are making a mistake by not working harder to address this issue.
What is the most promising opportunity for news publishers in 2019?
I think a lot of it depends on the publisher, but definitely implementing sustainable platforms like newsletters, subscription models, etc. I think that one of the most important things a publisher should consider right now is choosing a very particular audience to satisfy their needs for certain information.
What are you most excited about in your role at API for the rest of this year?
I am really looking forward to analyzing the readers’ feedback and coming up with new ways to re-design the newsletter to give it a fresher and more engaging look. I also want to come up with new, innovative ways to promote API in our communications. I think we’ve been missing a big opportunity in the Need to Know newsletter.
Arantxa Hernandez is a Venezuelan writer, copywriter and designer currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Savannah College of Art and Design.