On Marketing

The role of Marketing Editor for Élan Literary Magazine comes with an obligation to understand the evolution of the magazine. It is more than seeking out ways to publicize Élan. It is sharing the continuous legacy of the publication according to the foundation that has been laid over the past three decades. At the same time, the role asks each individual to search for the spaces where there is room for expansion.

What people often don’t see about this role is the paper shuffling and calendar conniving that happens beyond the scenes. I create content for the website and all platforms of social media, which requires a lot of collaboration with the layout and design team.

This role has forced me to live in multiple worlds at once. I have to have one foot in our many community outreach engagements, another in our current publication, and another in the publication to come, all while juggling our past and our future. I have to be aware of each community engagement event Élan is a part of and plan ways in which to maximize the turn out of the event, and create opportunities in the community that fall in line with our precious legacy.

Though this role is the most hands off when it comes to the creation of the book, I have enjoyed the way this role has challenged my creativity. I always review how Élan has represented itself in the past, but brainstorming different approaches to marketing are key. When working with another organization I often have to research to understand the way the other organization has branded themselves, and activate my own strength for pattern recognition to see how the bigger messages and themes of Élan relate. It is important to understand the connections Élan already has in the community and the audience it seeks to reach. Élan has foundational marketing plans, which include Élan posters that highlight an event in detail, video content of staff members preparing for events, and a social media posting schedule which highlights Élan events as well as book content. However, the world moves fast and is constantly evolving, and Élan must keep up so the search for new ways to market is never ending. There is a constant battle to feel fresh yet familiar.

Apart from the objective of publicizing the many events Élan takes part in is actually hosting and attending them. This is by far the best part of my job. At its heart attending events is an opportunity for Élan to gain exposure and reach new crowds of people. It is true we are always considering how it could easily turn into a book selling opportunity, but even more than that, each event is an opportunity to advocate for teen artists worldwide. Each sale is their work reaching more hearts. That is why I joined Élan, and it’s the reason you’ll see me at any event with a smile on my face.

Ashley Chatmon, Senior Marketing Editor