360 Immerse interview: Peter Roper, Marketing Magazine

» Posted on Aug 4, 2014

360 Immerse interview: Peter Roper, Marketing Magazine
We speak to resident marketing expert and Editor of Marketing Magazine, Peter Roper, about his day job and how he landed the role talking to Australia’s marketing community.

We turn the tables and throw a few questions his way. See how he got his start and his thoughts on the future of the journalism industry.


Peter Roper


1. Tell us about your day job.
My day job is all about content, from chasing opportunities to at some point maybe get some good content, to actually typing out words or shooting video, to massaging or completely reworking other content… that’s one half, but the other half is planning and project management.


2. How did you get into writing and editing?
There’s always been something of a writer inside me (runs in the family, I guess – my sister’s a playwright) but I got into writing professionally when I went back to uni to study business, focusing on marketing. A friend was an editor of Marketing Mag at the time and I started doing a small amount of writing for the website. That connection also scored me a job at the company, Niche Media. I was the worst receptionist they’d ever had, but after lasting six months answering phones and writing news articles I was hired to work on the magazine full time.


3. Career defining moment…?
Hopefully hasn’t happened yet, but so far it’d be taking the step up to an editor position for the first time. That’s a move where responsibilities for a title balloon outwards. The considerations change into one more like brand management, where the responsibilities for the publication are much more rounded, being more accountable for the commercial and brand health of a masthead.


4. One word of advice for budding writers…
Read. The only way to become a good writer is to read good writing. Literature, professional texts, history books, doesn’t matter… everything.


5. Is there anything you were surprised about in the industry?
Probably how much gets done in publishing companies by so few people. This is a good and bad thing I guess, being a sign of the lack of resources but also a pretty empowering realisation when you’re part of it.


6. Thoughts on the future of journalism and media…
Some of the doom and gloom around journalism is valid in the sense that publishing business models can no longer support the staffing levels they once did. But having said that, the skills of journalism, writing and editing are not going to vanish. There is a knack to telling stories, from spotting great stories to executing a piece of content, in whatever form, that tells that story. It’s not easy. Those skills are important and will be into the future, just in different contexts. Quite a few journos are moving brand side as businesses invest in in-house content creation and publishing.


The other side of that is media consumption, and to support the remaining media industry I think the move towards paid content has only just started. It’s a completely different business model, and won’t support the legacy costs that an advertising-supported model once did, but there are media brands making it work. It’s going in two directions: specialist communities with small, global, super engaged audiences, and the guys with scale. Being somewhere in the middle is dangerous. When Warren Buffet is buying up local papers, pay attention.


7. Share with us your favourite quote.
“Write drunk, edit sober.” Ernest Hemingway knew a thing or two about drinking, and wasn’t a bad writer either. I’m trying to fit this into my workflow without anyone noticing and staging an intervention.