PPA Master Class: The Marketing One Summary



The PPA recently launched a new series of half day conferences specifically for senior professionals, and last Friday was one for Marketing.

A range of professionals from across the industry came together to share their experiences in a morning ably chaired by Ruth Mortimer, Content Director, Centaur Media. The first panel focused on the key skills the panel of Caroline Hird  (BMJ), Kendal Mott (Procurement Leaders), and Ian McGowan, (Merit Group) felt marketing professionals needed. Marketing automation, data analytics, and strategic thinkers were all things the panel felt were crucial. Indeed, these three things were mentioned repeatedly throughout the morning.

Nick Varney and Amanda Munoz of Dow Jones, then led a panel discussing subscriptions, using their experience with the Wall Street Journal as an example to illustrate how membership can revitalise revenue streams. The importance of personalisation, exclusivity of content, and engendering a sense of customer loyalty were the key take-aways from this panel.

Caroline Hird, Marketing Director of the BMJ spoke on the importance of community and driving customer engagement to increase revenues, build customer loyalty, and drive innovation. Caroline’s three key points about communities:

1)    Be clear why you are doing this – and be able to report on your successes (and failures)

2)    Have a unique value proposition – know your niche and offer them something they cannot get elsewhere

3)    Be focused – just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should

Nik Dinning, Marketing Director of Retail Week/New Civil Engineer explored how using targeted content strategies – both exploiting back catalogue content and developing new partner content – to drive revenue and substantial return on investment. Again, Nik talked about the importance of knowing your niche and doing your research to find out what the market wants.

Lastly, Ruth Mortimer looked at the difference between customer engagement and customer numbers, driving home the message that a targeted group of engaged consumers can be vastly more valuable than a high CPM. She also talked a little about the importance of measuring the right things to help make fully informed marketing choices.

All-in-all it was a fascinating morning, and if you get the opportunity to go to the Tech & Data one in November, do so!

Make sure to let us know if you attended the conference on twitter @AtwoodTate 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am off to read Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends  because Ruth Mortimer told me to!



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Welcome to the team David!

There are more then just Editorial, Marketing and Publicity jobs in Publishing and for that reason we’re are thrilled to welcome David – the newest member of the Atwood Tate team who shall be handling all our  IT & Data roles!


David is a Senior Consultant at Atwood Tate and has extensive experience in both the publishing and recruitment industry with a key focus on business areas such as: Digital, Technology, Change & Transformation, Information Security and Data & Analytics.

He started his publishing career as a Corporate Project Leader for Swets Information Services who were a subscription and information agency that worked on behalf of a multitude of publishers. He then went on to work for NLA media access as a Senior Account Manager where he provided collective licensing solutions in order to protect publishing industry’s copyright. In June 2014 he left the NLA to pursue a career in recruitment and worked as a consultant for a Digital, Technology and Change & Transformation agency before joining Atwood Tate.

You can contact him here:

Telephone: 020 7034 7850
Email: davidmartin@atwoodtate.co.uk
Or on LinkedIn

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OPuS Event: Careers in 21st Century Publishing


The other week our Oxford-based consultants, Claire Louise Kemp and Lisa Smars, attended the Atwood Tate sponsored Oxford Publishing Society (OPuS) event Careers in 21st Century Publishing. OPuS invited four industry professionals to share their career stories and their top tips for getting into the publishing industry. What we learned was that there is no one career path you can take in publishing – and often what you thought you’d be doing is not where you actually end up!

The speakers:

David Spencer, Publisher Social Sciences at Elsevier

When starting university, David hadn’t really considered a career in publishing. He taught in Australia for a year, and completed a master’s of sociology in sport, before starting to apply for jobs. He landed his first job in publishing in the editorial department at Taylor & Francis. From there he advanced and got his own list responsibilities, and he recently joined Elsevier as Publisher.

Emily Brand, Managing Editor at Bodleian Library Publishing

After studying history at university Emily started working at Osprey Publishing as an Editor, stayed there for a couple of years before joining OUP as a Production Editor. Recently she started working at Bodleian Publishing as Managing Editor. Emily has been working as a freelance writer and historian alongside her full-time roles, and have published several books.

 Robbie Cooke, Marketing and PR Manager at Rebellion

After finishing a Master’s in Publishing from Oxford Brookes, Robbie started his first job in publishing as Marketing Assistant at Taylor & Francis.  Following on from that he worked at Boardworks, and Pearson Education before getting a job at Rebellion as a Marketing and PR Coordinator. Rebellion is primarily a games company, so not a traditional publisher as such, and when Robbie joined them, he was their first ever marketing person.

Emily Pigeon-Martin, Online Consultant at Lidl

Like Robbie, Emily also has a MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes, but so far her career has been very different. She started her publishing journey at Haymarket as Direct Marketing Executive, before working in marketing at News International and Sunday Times. After that she left more traditional publishing and joined the supermarket chain Lidl as Digital Marketing Manager.

Thing we learnt, important advice, and interesting facts:

  • When you start applying for you first job in publishing, don’t be disheartened by job rejections – we all get them!
  • When companies are recruiting new staff, it’s important to remember that they often look for candidates that can progress within the organisation.
  • Show enthusiasm in job interviews.
  • When you start your first job in publishing, remember to show initiative, manage your time properly, try your best to understand the day-to-day challenges of the people around you, get out of your comfort zone, and never stop learning.
  • Don’t be afraid of maternity cover contracts – they can be a great way to gain valuable experience and to get a foot in the door of a company.
  • A lot of the skills you’ll pick up are transferable.
  • Networking is a key part of every job – so get good at it! (read our blog on the topic!)
  • Believe in yourself.

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PPA Business Class: Marketing Conference


The PPA has launched a new series of half day conferences specifically for senior professionals – this one on Friday 21st October is for Marketing and one in November for Tech.

See: www.ppa.co.uk/events/businessmedia2016 for more details.

Here’s a taste of what will be covered:

Shiny Happy People

Faced with an increasing array of new marketing tools and the requirement for smarter, savvier marketing to cut through the noise surrounding customers, getting the right skills has never been more important. Our panel of experts tackle the key issues:

  • Business strategist…customer insight expert…innovation leader…what is the role of a marketing director in 2016?
  • What marketing skills are needed right now?
  • How do you address the digital skills gap?

Other sessions on:

  • Subscriptions
  • ‘Community’
  • Putting The Commercial Into Content Marketing

Speakers include:

We’re pleased to be an official sponsor for both events and Olivia Constantinides from our London office and Claire Louise Kemp from our Oxford office will be attending the Marketing one, so do request a meeting or get in touch on the day.

Let us know how if you’re attending by using the PPA twitter hashtag #PPABusinessClass. Don’t forget to add @PPABusiness and us too @AtwoodTate!



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How to Keep Your Skills Relevant – The Galley Club


Last week I was delighted to open the talk season at the Galley Club. They invited me to share my experience about changing skillset in publishing. I focussed on production skills but really we could apply the tips and advice below to any job in publishing. Here is a retranscription of what my presentation.

Before I start, let me tell you just a little bit about me: I studied Spanish and Publishing back in France and I worked in trade publishing in Paris for a few years. I was Editorial and Legal Assistant for a pocketbook publisher there. Three and a half years ago I moved to London because I wanted a life and career change. I’ve been working at Atwood Tate for three years now. At Atwood Tate we cover all kinds of roles at all levels across all publishing sectors, from academic to STM, B2B, trade or professional. For three years I’ve been working on production and production editorial roles, amongst others. So I will focus on changing skills set in publishing and more particularly in production, and will tell you how to keep your skills relevant and adapt to changing roles.

  • Context: changes in publishing and production

This is not breaking news, publishing has been through many changes over the years. Proof of that is the invasion of “metadata” and “content” in the headlines of conferences and seminars. Publishing has changed, whether it’s in STM, academic, professional or educational and of course trade as well, which had perhaps been a bit slower to adapt than many other sectors, in terms of innovation and digitisation of content. As I’m sure everyone is aware, sales of digital products, whether that be eBooks, online journals, databases or online platforms have grown considerably. And publishers developed new systems and workflows to enable their content to be published in various formats.

This obviously has affected all roles within publishing and the skills required to do those jobs. The same goes for the printing industry. In three years at Atwood Tate, I have seen a huge variety of new job titles, most including the word “digital”, but this has changed again actually, as digital is now entrenched in all that they do and it doesn’t need to always be highlighted.

In terms of production, we’ve seen a change in workflows and methodologies, with for example a move to xml first workflows. New products, formats and technologies means new systems being put in place, whether that be overhauling production workflows and peer-review processes or outsourcing the digital conversion of files to specialist suppliers. As a result we’ve noticed a demand for more project and programme managers, both on a permanent and fixed-term contract basis. Professionals need to be able to review and master workflows and processes.

Now don’t hate me, but there is also a lot of demand and opportunity for people with strong technical skills: knowledge of mark-up language such as html and xml is often required, as well as basic coding and analytics. Everybody should be comfortable reading and manipulating simple data. Because it’s all about data and metadata nowadays! And being able to deal with suppliers and control the quality of the data received. Highly technical roles are still relatively rare in publishing, because the majority of platforms and systems are being developed and built by external suppliers, but this could change, and larger publishers do already have teams of developers working on bespoke software in-house.

But there is a good news! Publishers are not just looking outside the industry for people with skills that are missing. When I joined Atwood Tate, I worked on Digital Producer or Video Producer roles and our clients were saying that they were open to hire people from outside of the industry, because they felt that existing publishing candidates lacked the experience and skills required. However I’m pleased to say that this has changed, and in the majority of cases, the online/digital aspects have been integrated into the traditional positions. Bringing new people in is good for diversity but often very techy people might not fit into the creative world of publishing. Now this brings me to my next point, how do you build up on your skills? How do you keep these relevant?


Karine speaking at the Galley Club

  • Get to know your skills and your career options

Traditional skills are still key in publishing. The profile of production and production editorial people have not really changed. The “hard skills” used in production are still the same. Yes, you need to be able to deal with suppliers but it’s nothing a production controller is not used to be doing. You need to be a good project manager to master workflows? Well again this is a core skill of production people, organisation, time-management. You need to be able to work comfortably with data? Production professionals were always required to have a good head for numbers and a keen eye for detail. I realise I sound a bit like a job description but what I want to say is there is nothing unachievable here!

Before updating your skills though, I would advise to get to know them. Assess your experience and see what you’re good at, what you’re missing. You need to be able to identify a skill you don’t have by talking to colleagues and competitors. If you work in a very small company, maybe go to seminars to identify the latest trends in the market, talk to fellow production people. If you need advice on your options, talking to a recruiter is also a good idea. Recruiters will be able to tell you where there is a shortage of skills in the market and where you will have more opportunities. You can also have a look at some job adverts to identify the requirements of publishers.

It is important for you to be aware of your options. The days of keeping one job for life are long gone. And there are many different paths a production candidate can take, whether it’s managing a production team, or becoming a project manager. It could be working in Operations where production profiles are often required or managing relationships with suppliers. There are multiple careers available for production candidates. So ask yourself: what are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Where do you want your career to go?

  • Keeping your skills updated

Now once you’ve identified which of your abilities and skills you would like to develop, how do you get there? How do you gain new skills and update your existing ones?

One way is obviously through training.

As I mentioned earlier, publishers do understand the importance of experience and publishing knowledge. And they are now training and reskilling people rather than bringing in new people for the sake of it. A lot of our candidates are sent on training courses or in-house workshops. There are several training organisations out there and hopefully your company will back you up. It’s worth having a look at the benefits of a publisher before accepting a new role there, to see if training is provided on a regular basis.

Publishers are making an effort to retain their staff and train them for different roles. A lot of our clients are encouraging people to move into different roles or even different departments within their organisation. It’s a massive benefit and in the long term can save on time and money. They would rather develop their employees than getting some new people on board who would require a lot more training and might not be the right fit in the end.  Some of our clients also organise shadowing days where you sit next to a colleague to try and familiarise yourself with a new way of working and new workflows. If you don’t think your employer is offering this, there is no harm in suggesting it yourself!

Attending classes and getting a professional certification can be useful too. I’m thinking of Prince 2 or Agile certification, for instance, which is sometimes required for Project Manager or Product Manager roles. And it’s always a bonus on your CV and a plus for your organisation. So again, do not hesitate to ask your line manager for training. If you can’t get backing from your company then there are free online courses like the MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) offered by universities to help individuals to develop. Or affordable workshops and seminars you can go to. But you need to be ready to teach yourself new skills.

No matter how you chose to update your skills or what opportunities you are given, there is one thing you will always need, and it’s the right attitude.

  • The right attitude

Something that we hear HR and in-house recruiters say all the time is: you need to be adaptable. The industry changes constantly, roles don’t tend to stay the same, there are so many factors impacting your professional career, politics, economics, etc. So the one thing you need to develop is your adaptability. Be curious and resilient. Be flexible. Don’t be put off by change, embrace it! It’s not always an easy thing to do. Some people are open to change naturally and actually really like it, for some others it’s more difficult to adapt. But if you want to evolve with the industry, you have to be flexible. The pace is fast. If you can’t demonstrate your willingness to move with the times, to upskill and learn new tech, understand new business models, then you won’t keep up. Your experience and the skills you already have are gold for publishers. But you need to be eager to learn more every day.

It’s not easy for everyone. It was certainly not easy for me. When I came to London, I knew nothing about recruitment. I had worked in publishing, I knew the industry quite well, yes. But recruitment doesn’t exist in France. So when I got hired at Atwood Tate, I had everything to learn. And I was really eager. I moved to London because I had in mind that things are different in England and that transferrable sills are actually a thing. And they are! In France it’s very difficult to move to another industry, if you studied Spanish, then you can be a Spanish teacher, or live in Spain, but that’s pretty much it! In England I do really think that we have the chance to move to different roles using these so called transferrable skills.

Of course I received a lot of training at Atwood Tate. And I keep getting training every step of the way, because if the publishing industry is changing, my job is changing too. And it’s all about keeping up-to-date and adapting to the market really. When I started three years ago, we didn’t need to dig out candidates, we had plenty of applications for our roles. It’s very different now. The market is very fast-paced and we constantly need to head hunt some candidates for some roles like Junior Production Controller for example which is a level where it’s really difficult to find people. So we have had to adapt too. Claire sends us on courses and we go to seminars, we talk to our candidates, our clients, we listen and we try to evolve. Some of us took a recruitment qualification recently. I’m not a person who loves change. But I had to learn to be more flexible and to be fair, I’ve only be more successful since then. More confident as well as I have developed a lot more skills than I thought I had.


To sum up I would say that you need a positive attitude and an open-mind to keep on top of things. More than a skillset, it’s a mind-set. You need to take ownership of their careers and be proactive. Jobs are changing and so is the industry, but it’s really up to you to keep learning and be open to trying new things.

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ALPSP Conference 2016


Three weeks ago Claire and I attended the annual ALPSP conference, which brings together a large number of scholarly and professional publishing professionals from across the UK and overseas. The conference was hosted over three days (14-16th September) and delegates were treated to a packed schedule of presentations, panel discussions and networking opportunities.

The key discussion points at the conference were:

  • The disruption caused by digital developments, which affect the publishing industry as a whole, and how companies can future proof their brands and products. We should let technology lead, not disrupt.
  • Metrics and the ever-expanding range available. How can Metrics be used to measure publication performance as well as other research outputs and activities. What is the future of research evaluation?
  • The evolution of peer review and its relevance today. How can peer review be used effectively in different communities, if at all. How is peer review used outside of scientific publications and what specifics should it address.
  • The data revolution and the implications this has. Publishers can’t solely be content businesses. They need to be innovative and become technology companies to stay relevant.

On the second night of the conference the ALPSP Awards were hosted. The Award for Contribution to Scholarly Publishing was given to Alice Meadows, Director of Community Engagement and Support at ORCID. Awards for Innovation were given to Cartoon Abstracts by Taylor & Francis and Wiley ChemPlanner.


The ALPSP Winners – Image attributed to ALPSP – http://alpsp.org/ALPSP-Awards

You can download the full conference programme and view the video footage at http://www.alpsp.org/2016-Programme.

Next year’s conference is being hosted in the Netherlands. We’ll see you there!

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Careers in 21st Century Publishing


Atwood Tate are pleased to be sponsoring the OPuS event tonight, Careers in 21st Century Publishing.

In the fast-moving world of publishing, “jobs for life” are an anomaly and transferable skills essential. But how easy is it to progress in publishing and move between market sectors and different roles? What are the key elements you need to build your career? Is it possible to succeed outside traditional publishing companies?

Focusing on their own specific work experience in moving onwards and upwards from entry level jobs, 4 speakers from a wide range of companies will give a unique insight into the diverse profession loosely referred to as “publishing”.

Confirmed speakers:
• David Spencer: Publisher, Social Sciences, Elsevier
• Emily Brand: Managing Editor, Bodleian Library Publishing
• Robbie Cooke: Marketing and PR Manager at Rebellion
Further speakers to be announced.

Drinks & Networking from 6.15pm
Presentations 7-8.30pm
Willow Buildings, Oxford Brookes University
To register, go to http://www.opusnet.co.uk/events/forthcoming-events/careers-in-publishing

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Brexit & Recruitment


It’s been 3 months since Brexit and as a recruitment company we’ve yet to see any apparent changes within our business, or indeed the recruiting business as a whole.

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) have been a steadying hand in this time of insecurity and have recently released a Brexit Bulletin informing recruitment businesses about the steps they are taking to ensure a continued stability within Britain’s job market.

The most recent bulletin was positive!

  • Hiring for Permanent Positions is on the rise

After a slight decline pre-Brexit, the evidence of post-Brexit suggests that the rumour of businesses planning to keep jobs on hold following the vote has fallen through! Many businesses have moved ahead with making permanent positions and continue to do so 3 months on!

  • Demand for Temporary staff is especially high

Demand for temporary staff has risen every month within 2016 and continues to rise after Brexit, particularly within the private sector.  This is true for us as we’ve got our highest ever number of temps out (well done Kellie, Alison and Michael)!

  • The National Living Wage & National Minimum wage still apply

There has been no change to either wage since Brexit. From October 2016 there will be new National Minimum Wage rate for those under 25, increasing to £6.95 an hour, with the National Living Wage possibly increasing in April 2017.

  • All regulations regarding EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU have not changed!

There has been no change in status for either UK or EU citizens and, according to the REC, it is unlikely to change during the two year period in which negotiations for the terms of withdrawal from the EU are made. This period of discussion may also be elongated depending on the outcomes of the talks.

  • The number of people currently in employment is at a record-high!

Currently 74.4% people in the UK are in employment, with the unemployment rate being the lowest it has been in 10 years! And still more jobs are coming in.

Atwood Tate, as a specialist publishing recruitment company, want to reassure our candidates and possible future candidates that we have roles coming in from every sector throughout the publishing industry, in every mode of employment. From permanent, contract, freelance and temporary roles we are at a steady rate of vacancies and are continuing to help people find the job that’s right for them.

Whilst the lack of surety with Brexit is scary we are reassured that there has been no detrimental effect to the publishing recruitment market over the last 3 months. It is business as usual.

Here are a couple of infographics from the REC:

EU – What Happens Now – Candidates

EU – What Happens Now – Clients

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Our Autumn Reads (part 2)


Our Autumn Reads continue with three more groups of suggestions and current reads.


I am planning to read American Gods by Neil Gaiman over the next few weeks as I’ve heard a TV series is coming out and I can’t remember what happens!



This Autumn I plan to read Where am I now? the newly published memoir of Mara Wilson (aka Matilda!)  I also plan to read something horror-filled or thriller-ish – not The Woman in Black! – but perhaps Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. I am currently trying to finish The White Princess by Philippa Gregory which is a monster of a book but one that I’ve been meaning to read since last year!



I am currently reading Curtain Call by Anthony Quinn. It is set in London and revolves around the theatre and Soho, so it’s fun to read about places I know. It also has prostitutes and attempted murder so it’s pretty fun stuff!


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Our Autumn Reads (part 1)


We’ve been so busy in the office lately we’ve hardly had any time to read at all! So instead of a Summer Reads we’re going to recommend our Autumn Reads – although it still feels like Summer to us!

Claire Louise

This Autumn I am going to be reading The Good Immigrant, a collection of essays edited by Nikesh Shukla, published by UnBound. I also have The Cursed Child (J.K.Rowling) lined up, and Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. A somewhat eclectic mix, I will admit, but I like to try new things!


Claire Law

I’ve recently finished The Circle by Dave Eggers

This was an interesting book but a bit exhausting to read as it was all about social media taken to extreme levels with no switching off time! The Circle is an imaginary internet company, but rather like a combo of Google, Facebook, Apple with the aim of having one central online identity for everyone (meaning they have control over your email, social media, bank accounts, shopping, voting etc). The main character Mae Holland is likeable with some faults and you follow her journey from first day of work where she feels so lucky and learns the ropes quickly. But things soon start to spiral out of control and she becomes a willing pawn in the ever more scary Circle bid for transparency (or world domination!). It’s an unsettling read and ultimately a bit of a moral fable, but definitely a story for our times.



An Extraordinary Theory of Objects: A Memoir of an Outsider in Paris by Stephanie LaCava is an absolutely lovely read about a young American girl’s coming of age in Paris. As an adolescent in a foreign country, the author found an unconventional way to deal with her social awkwardness and feelings of uncertainty about the future. She takes solace from the strange and beautiful objects she came across in her daily life.


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