A day in the life of Dialogue’s Content Director

Zoe discusses content strategy, planning and measurement

A day in the life of… Zoë Francis, Publishing and Content Director at Archant Dialogue

With 17 years’ experience in the content marketing industry, Zoë’s variety of knowledge in the strategy, planning, creation, delivery and measurement of content is exercised on a daily basis at busy agency Archant Dialogue

Arriving at the office…

It’s rare I make it to my desk on time, despite my best efforts; this morning is no different. An email while I am walking from the car park sends me straight to a meeting with our Editorial Director to discuss a few priorities for the day: a proposal required for a new client that wants to take their current printed magazine into the digital space; one client’s cover story has been pulled at the last minute; and our Italian automotive client wants a conference call to discuss rolling out the next issue into another 10 languages… just another day in the office, then!

Arriving at my desk…

A few conversations en route to my desk (which, to be fair, is the furthest point in the office so I have to walk past everyone to get there) means I finally sit down and pour the first mug of tea for the day at 9.45.

I’m in the midst of preparing a marketing plan for the Harley-Davidson Owners Group, to take content from the current membership magazine into an interactive digital product and promote it to the wider Harley-Davidson community. Exciting stuff – and I just know it will work, as they have such a huge audience outside the membership that we can target through eComms and social media. They are a passionate bunch who engage massively with anything related to the Harley-Davidson brand. We’ve just invested in some very cool insight tools too, which will be invaluable in measuring this campaign.


We’re working with one of our clients to launch a new exhibition in early 2015. It’s an extension of their printed magazine brand and takes their AGM to a new level. After a catch-up with the team, I have a call with the client to update them on progress – the number of registrations via the website to date plus general site traffic data; social media activity update; exhibitors confirmed; plus great news to report on the amount of external PR we’ve secured for them. A happy client!


A chance meeting in the canteen opens up an opportunity – one of Archant’s specialist newsstand magazines wants to do a contra with one of our clients. Result! I immediately brief the account manager to get an editorial plan in place and some content repurposed.

Early afternoon

This afternoon is taken up with several meetings – firstly, briefing the Jeep magazine team on the next issue, looking at how we’re going to use and share member-generated content now we’ve launched the magazine, as well as brand extensions into the Jeep Owners Group’s social and web presence. We also discuss the logistics of adding another 10 localised and translated editions to the schedule; the production editor reminds me that we used to publish a magazine for Saab in 22 languages. Simple, then.

One of our clients wants a brand-new approach to its annual magazine. I gather the team for a brainstorm on creative and editorial ideas for the new look, feel and direction. We spend quite a bit of time going over the detail of the brief to ensure we all feel we fully understood the new objectives. Everyone got quite excited when we started talking about marketing the magazine in a completely new way. I love it when a creative meeting gets the juices flowing – it creates a buzz in the room that then spills out into the studio. I then sit with the account manager looking at different publishing models and creating a structure for our proposal.

I stop by the visual content department on the way back to my desk to see how we’re getting on with the post-production on the last event video we did for another of our clients… progress is good, and on schedule, although music licensing is proving a bit of a challenge as usual.

Late afternoon

I head off a little early as I’m travelling to the other side of the country for an evening meeting with our Harley-Davidson client to discuss the event comms strategy for 2015. It’s a nice day, and I’ve got my Harley-Davidson Fat Boy in the car park. Helmet on. Enough said…