A day in the life: Marketing in Academic Publishing

I am Sophie Eminson, a marketing assistant at Springer Nature, and a book blogger at www.romanticsrebelsandreviews.wordpress.com, where I also share insights into the publishing industry and job hunting tips. I am also the Communications Officer for the Society of Young Publishers 2019 committee. I currently work on the biggest journal in the world, Scientific Reports, and am looking forward to sharing my experience of marketing in academic publishing with you.

So, how does academic publishing work?

In academic publishing, there are big journals or smaller journal series which receive article submissions from academics and researchers all over the world. These are divided into specific subject areas/collections which will have individual editors working on each collection or subject. The submission-to-publication journey entails a rigorous review process either by academic peers or an editorial team.

How are journals marketed?

Depending on the size and type of journal, they can be promoted differently. As Scientific Reports is a huge journal, it is promoted as a whole, with individual collections and articles promoted through the main journal website, and follows one marketing message. Other small journal series will have individual messages to promote articles in the key areas. For example, the Nature Partner Journal series are promoted in specific areas; npj Quantum Materials for example. This allows each smaller journal to go more in depth with the promotions of these specific subject articles.

A day in my life…

As a marketing assistant for Springer Nature, my daily activities are focused mainly around the digital marketing for Scientific Reports. I am in charge of internal email marketing, from writing the copy to setting up tests and reporting on the performance of the campaigns. I also handle all of the organic Twitter promotions and placing e-alert advertisements in the monthly newsletters for other Nature-branded journals.

As well as this, myself and our team’s marketing executive divide the collections between us. I will then conduct research for the social media marketing and banners advertising for my collections. I write copy for each different platform and find people to target on Twitter, decide which journals to place our advertisements in and which correlating subject areas I can see our collections being well-promoted in. I will then create paid Twitter, Facebook and Google Adwords promotions for the collections I look after and monitor these, ensuring to update copy that is underperforming, and make note of well-performing ads so I can use similar strategies in future promotions.

For these activities, I liaise with editorial and design teams to create copy which accurately communicates the intention of the journal and to create good-looking banners and social media cards to share the collections. I am often locating images, ordering them, designing emails, banners and occasional marketing material such as postcards. For everything, I must get approval from editorial and marketing management.

Finally, there is a lot of data analysis and reporting within my job. I use Twitter and Facebook analytics for basic statistical data gathering, then use Google analytics when I want to find out more information, such as how long people are spending on each website page when they click on the link from my tweet. This allows us to figure out what works in terms of creatives, as well as which locations we are mostly reaching, which gives us the information which influences future campaigns.

Key highlights

  • Fast job progression
  • International conferences (I’m attending a conference in Vienna in April)
  • Working with a variety of products, including books and journals, online and print
  • Lots of training opportunities and resources
  • Generally good budgets for campaigns

I would recommend working for an academic publisher because you can learn so much in the role. There are so many different training resources, which can help you to grow and develop personally. Marketing in publishing is also a great place to be in, as everything you learn in one place can be transferred to another place. If you would like to learn more, my Twitter handle is @polesofie, and my blog is www.romanticsrebelsandreviews.wordpress.com.

Sophie Eminson is a Publishing Ambassador for The Publishers Association. The Publishing Ambassadors Programme is a volunteer scheme for publishing professionals consisting of a network of publishing professionals who are passionate about their jobs and interested in opportunities to promote careers in publishing. The Publishers Association receives a lot of interest from people trying to get into the publishing industry, and questions on what specific roles in publishing consist of. By making routes into the industry more transparent, and by putting people and their careers at the heart of this, the Publishers Association hopes to attract a wider variety of people and skill sets to the publishing industry. To become a Publishing Ambassador click here.

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