4 Questions With Anjali Mullany, Social Media Editor at Fast Company

“Four Questions With …” is a monthly series of interviews with different social media and community editors in the news industry.

So, what is it like to be a social media or community editor? What are the job responsibilities and how does one end up landing such a gig? The goal of “Four Questions With …” is to answer some of these questions and to give insight into what is a new and constantly evolving field.

For the month of May, we chatted with Anjali Mullany, the social media editor at Fast Company. Previously, Mullany was social media editor at the New York Daily News. She started working with the Daily News in 2009 while a master’s student at New York University’s Studio 20, ultimately becoming the Daily News’ social media editor. In April, she left to become the social media editor at Fast Company.

Here are Mullany’s thoughts on social media, journalism and how technology is changing innovation in the field.

EZ: What exactly does your job as social media editor at Fast Company entail?
AM: Right now I’m actually doing a deep investigation of what Fast Company is doing already with social media. Looking at the metrics around that. How does the audience behave socially on the site and off of the site in relation to our content and topics that interest our readers.

I’m really working on a strategy white paper so that we have a real social media strategy moving forward for the second half of the year.

So that’s a big part of my job. It’s like a digital strategy job. How are we going to use social and interactive platforms more dynamically, both as a way of building our audience and also as a muscular reporting tool for journalists in terms of improving their actual journalism.

Another part of the job is assisting people in the newsrooms, reporters and editors, with using these tools in their every day work.

Another part of the job is actually working on bigger editorial projects that are more socially minded in an organic kind of way. Where the social aspects of the project, especially editorial projects, is actually baked in from the beginning, from the inception of the project rather than tacked on as an after thought.

Another part of the job is just thinking about our actual website and how we can make our website more useful and creative in a social way. Looking at other platforms and tools and how we can be more engaged with them as a media brand. It’s actually a pretty diverse job.

EZ: How does one land a gig as a social media editor? What are the must-have skills that someone aspiring to be a social media editor needs?
AM: I think you have to be really observant. I think that’s the most important thing.

It’s obviously very important to have great technical skills and to be technically savvy and to be an early adopter when new platforms come out and think of them creatively as a reporter and a journalist. That’s very important.

Especially in this time period of great change in newsrooms, the most important thing is to be able to look at a newsroom or an organization and understand what their existing workflows are and to understand what the goals are of individual people in the organization and of the whole organization.

Really try and figure out how you’re going to insert yourself in that process, in that workflow and meet those goals, instead of trying to be somebody who’s imposing new technology on some people. What can you do to be useful?