Editing – some background

Although these days he is usually found with pen in hand (figuratively speaking), Will Strauss has spent a good proportion of his career editing and commissioning other writers.

His first job in publishing was as an assistant editor where he learnt how to manage magazine budgets, flat-plans, production cycles and forward features schedules as well as cut and shape copy to make it appropriate for its designated audience.

Of course, proof reading and fact checking were an essential part of this process along with the ability to abide by libel law.

From there he honed his editing and organizational skills at Emap where he ran a technology supplement (called B+) that saw him commission, manage and edit copy from 5 to 15 contributors per month, balance a fixed financial budget and work hand-in-hand with the design team to come up with the most visually appealing publications possible.

From there he ran the technology desk, managing less contributors but dealing with more regular news and features copy and increased layout and design responsibilities. At that time he also looked after various one-off supplements, reports, awards brochures and surveys. It was a busy old time. And way before “the cutbacks.”

By the time he left Emap Will had also spent three years editing websites. This required a similar but somewhat more complex set of skills that include everything from web layout and picture manipulation to SEO and traffic building strategies.

Currently, Will provides occasional copy editing services for Emap’s commercial team and edits various websites for corporate entities.

One day he hopes to once again edit a physical print magazine, although this does seem hugely unlikely in today’s current financial and online-focused climate.

Website for Leeds band

Will Strauss is currently designing and building a website for the Leeds-based ‘Hindi Indie’ band Maggie8. The site is still work-in-progress but you can see where he is with it by going here: Maggie8.

The design has been put together to reflect the mix-and-match nature of the band’s sound, which fuses Western sensibilities with Eastern harmonies. You could describe them as a Bhangra Belle and Sebastian. Others might call them a Hindi Housemartins. Either way, there is a certain ‘patched together’ feel to the way different influences have come together to make-up the band’s unique sound.Maggie8 website

With that in mind, the concept is simple: it is a deliberately ‘cobbled together’ site. Built from brown paper and old cardboard, it is stuck together with masking tape and gaffer tape and elements are held up by drawing pins. It’s not so much grungy as ‘homemade.’ I think it works well.

As you’ll see, the site focuses on the main elements that the band want to emphasize: their upcoming live shows, their latest releases and news and their most recent videos. It also acts as a hub for all their social media feeds and links to (and from) any blogging or other online activities they undertake.

I’m still deciding on how to incorporate a ‘call to action’ though, as it’s all quite subtle at the moment. This may have to be looked at in more detail when I get some feedback from the band.

In web terms, the five-page site is built in html and css with some javascript thrown in for good measure. The complicated bits (like the pretty video player) and the basic structure were borrowed from a free white label template. But the concept, the look and feel, the skin and all the design work is original.

Along with some handcoding and html, Photoshop was used for the majority of the imaging work.

Once the build is done I will do some basic SEO, ensuring metadata meets best practice, submitting sitemaps to Google and doing a bit of inbound link building.

As the site does not have a CMS, I will also offer to update the site on behalf of the band.

Press Release Writing

Will Strauss has recently swapped his journalism hat for a (temporary) more corporate one, writing press releases for various technology and facilities companies working in TV.

Press Release Writing

Press Release Writing

In all cases, the client provided the bare bones of the story and Will found the angle, asked some questions and wrote it up. Once approved the release was then distributed – by a third party – to appropriate publications.

Most got picked up. Some were published as is, some were re-written into house style and some were used as a starting point for further research. In all cases, the tone was considered appropriate for the audience.

Topics covered this month include iPad apps, radio programmes, high-end digital film cameras, broadcast tape/disc archive and transfer, radio jingles, storage technology and more.

I won’t embarrass the companies involved by naming them but – suffice to say – if you work in television or radio you’ll have heard of them.

At the same time, Will has also done some corporate writing work for a couple of companies in the construction market and completed articles about DIY.

In the New Year, Will’s booked-in projects include corporate articles about video editing, asset finance, superstar radio DJs and TV drama production. Doubtless there’ll be some more leftfield stuff too like roofing in Leeds or dishwasher spares to add to the mix too.


Reporting on BVE North

Will Strauss was recently hired to provide eZine and social media content for BVE North, the broadcast industry trade show that took place in Manchester during November.

BVE North 2011 logo

BVE North 2011 logo

Putting both his journalism and corporate copy writing skills to the test, the work consisted of rapid news gathering from exhibitors and visitors and quickfire reporting on seminar and other speaker sessions.

The resulting copy was included in an email newsletter that was sent to all pre-registered visitors during the two days of the show (16-17 November 2011) .

In addition, tweets and photos were posted to Twitter on the same two days plus the day prior to the show while the halls were being readied.

BVE North is a sister event to BVE, the long established London-based broadcast technology exhibition.

In total, more than 2400 people attended BVE North in 2011. Dates for the 2012 shows are still to be announced.

You can see examples of the eZine copy by clicking on the links below.

Will Strauss eZine copy Day 1

Will Strauss eZine copy Day 2

For examples of tweets see http://twitter.com/willstrauss

Recent design work

Will Strauss is not a designer by trade but he does do a bit of design work from time-to-time. Usually this is web based but as you can see from the examples below, some work is html (like the Soho Square Studios newsletter), some is for printed flyers (eg HotCam’s MBS) and there’s even the odd t-shirt (ie Huawei Symantec.

[button size=”medium” color=”teal” url=”http://willstrauss.co.uk” icon=”email”] Content [/button]

Click on the thumbnail to see the whole thing.

What North West Skills Gap?



Published in Broadcast magazine 27 October 2011

The north-west of England has more than enough television skills and production talent to cope with its current media boom and the expansion of BBC North, writes Will Strauss.

As legend has it, when medieval mapmakers charted unexplored territory at the edges of their known world, they would inscribe it with the words ‘here be dragons’.

If huge swathes of the TV industry have scribbled the same words on maps above Greater Manchester, no one would be surprised. That’s the fearful impression of the north-west they might have if they believe everything that’s been written in the press since the BBC announced in 2004 it was to relocate thousands of jobs and various channels and departments to Salford.

To read the full article visit Broadcastnow.