The Chief Content Officer (CCO) at AccuWeather oversees all content initiatives, across all platforms and formats to drive increased digital traffic through engagement, return visits, and positive customer behavior by developing creative stories, videos and news. This person must be an expert in all things related to content and channel optimization, brand consistency, segmentation, analytics and meaningful measurement, and driving direct and indirect traffic. The position collaborates with the operational departments to create the best and most engaging content appropriate for the platforms of AccuWeather especially digital (desktop, apps, and mobile web), TV network, radio, newspapers and all related products. This person must be a dynamic editorial talent with an exceptional background in digital editorial innovation.
The CCO is the Editor-in-Chief of all content initiatives in all forms to drive and grow new and current business. This includes:
- Ensuring all content is on-brand, consistent in terms of style, quality and tone of voice, and optimized for search and user experience for all channels of content including online, social media, email, point of purchase, mobile, video, print and in-person. This is to be done for each platform within the enterprise.
- Being highly creative in developing news stories including unique tie-ins between weather and many interest topics such as food, travel, sports, activities, and agriculture to generate traffic by search, linking, etc.
- Mapping out a content strategy, both short- and long-term, determining which methods work for the brand and why. Continuous evolvement of strategy is a must.
- The development of a functional content calendar throughout the enterprise verticals and defining the owners in each vertical to particular persona groups. This includes a news desk.
- Supervising those that manage writers, editors, content strategists; and be an arbiter of best practices in video production, grammar, messaging, writing, and style.
- Directing ongoing usability tests to gauge content effectiveness. Gathering data to make content decisions. Working with Lines of Business owners on their content needs and strategy.
- Developing standards, systems and best practices (both human and technological) for content creation, distribution, maintenance, content retrieval and content repurposing, including the real-time implementation of content strategies.
- Leveraging market data to develop content themes/topics and execute a plan to develop the assets that support a point of view and educate customers that leads to critical behavioral metrics.
- Establishing work flow for requesting, creating, editing, publishing, and retiring content, to provide the latest stories and videos.
- Create compelling content through unique, insightful approaches that relate weather impact to the economy and all aspects of human activities
- Work with technical team to implement appropriate CMS.
- Conducting periodic competitive audits.
- Supervising the maintenance of content inventories and matrices.
- Participation in the hiring and supervising of content/story leaders in all content verticals.
- Creation of a strategy for developing outreach for content partnerships as needed.
- Work closely with company's Chief Design Officer to ensure a consistent message across channels.
The CCO is measured on the continual improvement of customer nurturing and retention through storytelling, as well as the increase in new customers into the enterprise through the consistent development and deployment of content on each platform. Success criteria include:
- Positive brand recognition and consistency across chosen published channels.
- An increase in defined customer engagement metrics (measured by users taking the desired action…i.e. conversions, subscription, purchase, etc.).
- Website and social media traffic growth.
- Conversion metrics definition and growth.
- Social media positive sentiment metrics.
- Customer feedback and survey data.
- Increases in key search engine keyword rankings.
- Clearly defining content distribution strategies
Primary criteria for success are customer and employee affinity. Success is measured around lifetime customer value, and customer satisfaction
- Bachelor's degree in English, Journalism, Public Relations or related communications field. Master in journalism a plus.
- 10-15 years of experience as a respected leader in multichannel digital content creation (publishing, journalism, etc.).
- Experience with creating compelling messages for different target demographics.
- Expertise in all major business software applications (Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, etc.).
- HR-related experience including hiring, managing, performance reviews, compensation packages, etc. required.
- Audience development and subscription strategies experience a plus.
The CCO requires a combination marketing and publishing mindset, with the most important aspect being to think “customer first”. In essence, the CCO is the corporate storyteller that must be empathetic toward the pain points of the customer. Specific skills required include:
- Proven editorial skills. Outstanding command of the English language.
- Training as a journalist and has a “nose” for the story. Training in how to tell a story using words, images, or audio, and an understanding of how to create content that draws an audience (it is critical that the CCO retain an “outsider’s perspective” much like that of a journalist.)
- The ability to lead and inspire teams of creative personnel and content creators to achieve company's stated goals.
- Skill at both long-form content creation and real-time (immediate) content creation and distribution strategies and tactics.
- The ability to think like an educator, intuitively understanding what the audience needs to know and how they want to consume it.
- A passion for new technology tools (aka, using the tools you preach about) and usage of those tools within your own blogs and social media outreach. Social DNA a plus!
- Clear articulation of the business goal behind the creation of a piece (or series) of content.
- Leadership skills required to define and manage a set of goals involving diverse contributors and content types
- Project management skills to manage editorial schedules and deadlines
- Excellent negotiator and mediator.
- Incredible people skills.
- Basic technical understanding of HTML, XHTML, CSS, Java, web publishing, Flash, etc.
- Fluency in web analytics tools (Adobe Omniture, Google Analytics), social media marketing applications (HootSuite, Tweetdeck, etc.) and leading social media monitoring platforms (Radian6, etc.).
- A willingness to embrace change and to adapt strategies on the fly.
- Great powers of persuasion and presentation (Visio, PowerPoint)
- Experience creating a resource or library of content organized indicating SEO, translations and version control.
- Needs to be continually learning the latest platforms, technology tools and marketing solutions through partnerships.
- Comfortable with acting as the company's spokesman and advocate via media appearances, interviews, sales calls, trade shows, etc.