Loup Digital Co-Founder Advises Columbia Students
For the Fourth Year, Co-Founder Emily Hughes was invited to be part of the faculty of a week-long workshop at columbia university.
Since 2015, I have had the opportunity to take part in the six-week summer intensive publishing course at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Following an incredibly selective application process, about 100 participants are accepted into a rigorous curriculum surrounding book, magazine, and digital publishing. The program has earned the nickname, the “West Point of publishing,” and for good reason. To be accepted is a feat in itself, and to participate is a significant commitment with great reward.
Half of the course is dedicated on the book publishing industry, while the other half centers on magazine media. During the latter, they spend one week in an intensive workshop work industry professionals. Students are broken into 6 groups and assigned a content vertical; this year the verticals were food, travel, politics, shelter, fashion and regional.. They are tasked with developing a website, print product, and operational business plan for their new brand. To delegate responsibilities, each group member is given a real-world position: editor in chief, publisher, social media director, ad sales director, etc.
With any business, particularly magazine publishing, audience development is key to growth and success. I worked with the six group members assigned to audience development roles for five days straight, more than 12 hours per day. It was a collaborative audience development crash course reflecting the high intensity of planning a brand’s launch and growth strategies. By the end of the six-week program, nearly all of the students are placed in competitive job positions. Beyond job placements, the connections made with program peers and publishing mentors are of great value. This was my fourth year taking part in the program, and by the end of the week, I always have at least one student whose interests shift from book editing to audience development in media.
The final products presented at culmination of the workshop were jaw-dropping -- they always are. You can see a few of them in the slideshow below. Each group accounted for every necessary aspect of their brand and approached it with their own individualized flare. The results made it clear that participants in the Columbia Publishing Course are valuable to the publishing industry. I’m excited to see how the publishing industry grow by gaining some of the top talent in this young generation!