Multiplatform display: A fun night of drinks and display writing

Last Thursday, editors gathered at The Pilot in Yorkville for drinks and discussion about a much-loved editorial past-time: writing great display. If you missed the event, here are some of the highlights. We hope to see you at the next mixer! And if you can’t make it, you can always follow along on Twitter because we live-Tweet our events!

Writing print display for the pun of it

Patrick Walsh, editor-in-chief of Outdoor Canada, kicked things off with his advice on how to write engaging display for print. Walsh’s overarching rule—to have fun with your display—was evident in his ideas for headline inspiration. Some of his best and brightest heds have come from pop culture references, plays on words and alliteration. Walsh thinks even coming up with those ideas should be a fun process: Involve your team in brainstorming. But don’t forget that whatever copy you choose should work with the art, fit with the tone of the piece and be original (so avoid those clichés). And even Walsh admits that sometimes, being straightforward or using a line from the story is most effective for enticing readers to dig into an article.

Click here to see Patrick Walsh’s presentation on print display.

A picture’s worth 1,000 shares

Next, David Topping, the executive online editor of, spoke about the newest form of display: social media copy. Tweets and Facebook posts have become some of the key ways to get eyeballs on your content. Good social media display should reflect the voice of the brand, says Topping, who explained the Toronto Life authoritative tone, but it also needs to be conversational, since social media is meant to be just that: social. When putting together a post, Topping says some of the top priorities are a good photo, the right timing and reposting to catch users who didn’t have a chance to be captivated by your display the first time around.

Click here to see David Topping’s presentation on social media display.

Hard-working heds for the web

Finally, Simone Castello,’s life and relationships web editor, took the stage to apologize to all the print editors for taking the fun out of their copy. The web, she explained, requires literal and instinctual display. Think to yourself: What would I type into a search bar if I were looking for information on this topic? You’re writing to make content accessible by search, so a little SEO (like strategically placed keywords in the hed, dek and first paragraph) will go a long way. Castello explained how to use tools such as Google Trends and Google AdWords to find keywords that give your content an edge, or even how to use Google itself to get into the brains of web users. And don’t stop at headlines: Create display throughout, by adding bolded subheads and links to phrases in order to increase your opportunities to draw readers in and to engage them with other content on your site.

Click here to see Simone Castello’s presentation on web display.

Happy display writing!

By Jill Buchner, CSME board member

April 16th event: Managing multi-platform display

A good editor knows how to use display copy to draw readers in. But what works in print doesn’t necessarily translate online and on social media. Join CSME at The Pilot for a panel discussion on how to fine-tune editorial and visual displays to capture audience attention across multiple platforms.

Our panellists include:

Patrick Walsh, editor-in-chief of Outdoor Canada, will share his tips for writing award-winning display.
David Topping, the executive online editor of, will explain how to use social media to drive traffic to your site.
Simone Castello, the life and relationships web editor at, will discuss best practices for print-to-web display writing and online tools you can use to optimize content based on keywords and trends.

When: Thursday, April 16th, 2015, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: The Pilot, in the Stealth Lounge (second floor), 22 Cumberland Street (near Yonge and Bloor)
Why: You’ll learn something, it’ll be fun, you’ll get to meet your peers… and there will be drinks + appies, too!
How much: $15 for members, $20 for non-members (or $20 and $25 at the door)

Please buy tickets now or RSVP to csmeadmin at canadianeditors dot com to secure your spot and help us manage numbers.

Buy now (members):

Buy now (non-members):

EXTENSION: Call for entries — 2015 Editors’ Choice Awards

Do you have what it takes to be Editor of the Year?

The Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME) is looking for the best work of 2014 by Canadian magazine editors. The Editors’ Choice Awards, presented by CSME, honour and celebrate the high-quality work of editors within the Canadian magazine industry.

The submissions process for this year’s awards is now open to all CSME members. Enter by 4:30 p.m., Fri., March 6, 2015, to be considered by a judging panel of your peers.

**Please note: Due to popular demand we have extended the deadline for submissions to Fri., March 13, 2015. We’ll be accepting entries until 4:30 p.m., that day.**

Download the entry form here.

Winners in each of the Small (under 50,000), Medium (50,000 to 149,999) and Large (150,000+) circulation categories, as well as the Trade and Custom magazine categories, each earn the right to use the Editors’ Choice Award logo on their cover for a year. There are also awards for Best Tablet, Best Website Editorial, Best Front of Book, the Jim Cormier Award for Display Writing, Best Art Integration and, of course, the coveted Editor of the Year.

Entries are free with your 2015 CSME membership. Visit to become a member, for complete entry guidelines, and to download your entry form.

Winners will be announced at the Editors’ Gala event happening on June 3rd, 2015. Venue and time TBD.

P.S. Interested in judging? Get free magazines and help choose this year’s winning magazines! To become a judge, email

Multiplatform assigning: 4 key takeaways from Sasha Emmons and Lisa Murphy

At the first CSME event of the year, members gathered at Nespresso Café in Yorkville, Toronto, to hear from two experts on multiplatform assigning: Sasha Emmons, editor-in-chief of Today’s Parent magazine, and Lisa Murphy, a digital strategy consultant. They brought their combined decades of experience in print and digital publishing to the topic of how to assign for both.

Here, our top takeaways from the discussion:

1. Move away from assigning stories at a rate based on the platform. Rather than paying one rate for print and another (lower) rate for web stories, assign stories based on the amount of research and reporting they’ll require. For instance, at Today’s Parent, Emmons’ team assigned a web-only package on miscarriage that needed a lot of time and care put into the reporting, so they paid that writer a higher rate traditionally reserved for print stories. Likewise, simple lists and roundups, whether for print or web, take less time to produce and can be assigned at a lower rate.

2. Audit before you assign. Well before the story is assigned to the writer, editors (and, in fact, the entire team) should have a clear idea of what stories are performing well online based on web traffic data. Avoid repeating mistakes by knowing the stories and formats that aren’t gaining traction with your audience.

3. Ask yourself: if you couldn’t use words, how would you tell the story? Answering this question will help you decide which extra elements you’ll need to assign for the story to enhance your web version and social media promotions. Murphy offers a helpful checklist of options to get you started, with some helpful hints for low-cost options.

4.  Mine interviews for extras. Part of the assignment letter should include instructions for gathering materials that will help create bonus material for telling and promoting your story. For example, even if the story is on parenting, have your writer interview your star subjects on extra topics: meal planning, fitness, their daily routine. The extra materials will come in handy for sidebars, web stories, and social media. Also, use your best quotes to create visual memes for sharing on social media, like Buzzfeed did with their interview with Margaret Atwood:Multiplatform assigning
Want more tips? Download the slides from our speakers’ presentation for more on multiplatform assigning.

Click here for Sasha Emmons’ presentation.

Click here for Lisa Murphy’s presentation.

Follow CSME on Twitter for live updates from all our events.

By Braden Alexander, CSME board member

January 21, 2015, breakfast mixer: Multiplatform Assigning

Kick off the new year with a discussion that’s key to the future of magazines: How do you assign for multiple platforms?

Sasha Emmons, editor-in-chief of Today’s Parent magazine, and Lisa Murphy, a digital content strategy consultant with years of experience assigning, editing and curating for various mediums, will join us for a breakfast panel discussion on multiplatform assigning for an ever-changing industry.

We’ll tackle issues, like: What exactly is multiplatform assigning? Should story concepts begin with print or the web? How do you break down the budget for a piece that shows up in various mediums? How should the editing process work, and what exactly is required from the writer? Our experts will be discussing these questions, offering best practices and providing helpful tips that you can use at your own publication. You won’t want to miss it.

Membership renewal reminder
A gentle reminder that it’s membership renewal season. If you haven’t yet, please click here to renew your CSME membership, and stay in the know about upcoming mixers, industry news and relevant information. Plus, keep in mind that you need to be a CSME member in order to enter our annual Editor’s Choice Awards.

As a bonus, CSME members can attend this breakfast mixer at no cost. That’s right! if you’re a member and register for the event ahead of time, you can attend for free.

When: Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 8:30 to 10 a.m.
Where: Nespresso Boutique Bar, 159 Cumberland St. (in Yorkville), Toronto
Cost: FREE for members, $10 for non-members (with registration) / $10 for members, $15 for non-members (at the door)

Members, please click here to register for the event via email. Note: make sure you mention “Jan 21 member registration” in the subject line.

Non-members (buy now):

See you on January 21st!

Save the date: Next CSME mixer on January 21, 2015

Happy holidays, everyone! Here’s wishing you and all your loved ones a very bright holiday season that’s filled with lots of rest, special moments, delicious food and all the comforts of home.

Save the date: We’re looking forward to our first mixer of 2015, set to take place on January 21st, 2015, at the Nespresso Toronto Boutique Bar, featuring digital consultant Lisa Murphy and editor-in-chief of Today’s Parent magazineSasha Emmons.

Topic: Multiplatform assigning

It will be a breakfast event from 8:30 to 10 a.m., so please save the date in your calendar and watch for further announcements in the new year.

Until then, happy holidays and an even happier New Year! See you in 2015.

Reminder: 2015 membership renewal + a bonus for one lucky member

Have you renewed your CSME membership yet? Take a few minutes and renew or sign up as a new member. It’s $100 for the year and your membership gives you access to awesome networking opportunities, various CSME mixers throughout the year, and even discounted rates for our annual gala in June. Patron members can sign up for $450 and are eligible for additional perks.

Bonus: One lucky member’s name will be drawn for a full pass to the FIPP World Congress in Toronto, worth $2,500. So what are you waiting for? A strong editorial voice starts with you and your membership.

Click here for more information and to renew/sign up for your membership.

Video: Anything can happen at a magazine stand

Magazines Canada has released a new video in partnership with a team of Ontario filmmakers that shows all the things that can happen at a magazine stand. The concept? What you read tells the story of who you are. Enough to make you skip out on the first date if you don’t believe you’re a fit, right?

Anything Can Happen at a Magazine Stand explores the stories we can discover with magazines,” says Barbara Bates, Executive Director of Circulation Marketing for Magazines Canada, in an interview posted on the Magazines Canada website. “We hope multiple generations will enjoy this fun approach to reminding us of our love affair with magazines.”

Join the conversation about this video online at #magazinematch.

November 26: Boost your career

How to enhance your professional image: tips for the job you’ve got and the one you want

Come kick off the festive season by raising a glass and enjoying some snacks with CSME. We’ll hear from a panel of speakers about how to put your best foot forward as an editor and how to up your appeal whether you love the job you’re in or you’re looking for a change. Then, stick around for networking and socializing as we celebrate the upcoming holidays. This event is open to non-members, so you’re more than welcome to bring your magazine-loving friends!

Speakers will include:

• Christine Felgueiras, associate director with etiquette and leadership training firm Corporate Class
• Sharon Alderson, global lead for media-focused recruiting agency Creative Niche
• Steve Maich, head of Rogers Publishing

When: Wednesday, November 26, 5:30 to 8:00 pm
Where: The Pilot, the Stealth Lounge (second floor), 22 Cumberland Street (near Yonge and Bloor)
Why: You’ll learn something, it’ll be fun, and there will be drinks and appies, too.
How much: $15 for members, $20 for non-members ($20 and $25 at the door)

Please buy tickets now or RSVP to csmeadmin at canadianeditors dot com to secure your spot and help us manage numbers.

Buy now (members):

Buy now (non-members):