Senior Digital Content Leader

Summary

Michael Kress
About Michael Kress

I am an award-winning, senior-level content director and digital strategist  with a successful track record launching, scaling, and managing important initiatives. Skilled at motivating and leading high-performing digital teams with limited resources and aggressive goals.

• Highly innovative in digital, print, video, social media, mobile, and apps, with experience in media, agencies, brands, and nonprofits.
• Transforms brands by launching new products to grow audience and revenue.
• Experience in health, parenting, lifestyle, education, and personal finance categories in the fields of journalism, publishing, and content marketing.
• Adapts quickly and comfortably to change and pivots easily and nimbly.
• Adept at engaging hard-to-reach audiences.

I currently work at Teach For America as senior managing director of editorial strategy. Previously, I led several digital and print editorial teams and worked as a consultant to a wide-range of clients, offering editorial leadership, content strategy, content marketing assistance, and more.

Here is a list of some of my clients, by category:

Content Marketing
• Contently: Lead editorial teams creating branded digital content for clients including Roche, LEGO, Walmart, and Yahoo
• RevSquare: Writing, editing, email marketing, digital strategy, and content marketing for tech, media, and lifestyle clients, including The Economist and Ghostery

Content Strategy and Digital Strategy/Marketing
• Healthline.com: Strategy and analysis for planned new site launch
• Vireo Health: Consulted on SEO, social media, and digital marketing
• Scholastic: Editorial strategy consulting for re-imagining a longstanding title
• EmpoweringParents.com: Content Director, developed digital strategy, expanded editorial operations, advised on UI/UX improvements
• Guideposts: Interim Digital Content Director, oversaw site redesign, managed digital editorial team, and developed digital strategy

Digital Marketing & PR
• Oberland (http://thisisoberland.com): Digital PR efforts on behalf of a large nonprofit client
• Muse (www.choosemuse.com): Digital marketing campaign for tech start-up
• Project for Excellence in Jewish Education: Writing and editing for marketing and PR initiatives

Editing & Writing
• WashingtonPost.com: Published in the Post's On Parenting site
• Highlights.com: Contributing writer
• Scholastic: Web news writing
• Celebrity Baby Trends (www.celebritybabytrends.com): Team member and contributing blogger

Email me at michael@michaelkress.com, or use the Contact link above. Thank you for visiting MichaelKress.com.

Timeline

  1. Senior Managing Director, Teach For America
  2. -
    Digital Consultant/Content Strategist, Digital Marketing, Project Management, Social Media, Writing, Editing

    Clients Include:
    • Guideposts: Interim Digital Content Director, overseeing site redesign, managing digital editorial team, and developing digital strategy (Sept. - Dec. 2014)
    • Oberland (http://thisisoberland.com): Writing, editing, digital PR efforts on behalf of a large nonprofit client (Jan. 2015-present)
    • Contently: Managing Editor for major retail client (Feb. 2015)
    • RevSquare: Writing, editing, email marketing and related projects for content-marketing firm (Jan. 2015-present)
    • Muse (http://www.choosemuse.com): Digital marketing campaign focused on parenting media and bloggers (Dec. 2014-Jan. 2015)
    • Project for Excellence in Jewish Education: Writing and editing (Jan. 2015-present)

  3. -
    Editorial Director, Davler Media

    Led award-winning editorial team in publishing the NYMetroParents.com website and seven local monthly parenting magazines (Big Apple Parent, Brooklyn Parent, Queens Parent, Westchester Parent, Rockland Parent, and two Long Island Parent editions for Nassau and Suffolk counties). Created editorial calendar for web and print, oversee production, set and execute on quantitative and qualitative goals, and lead division-wide shift to digital focus. Serve as de facto product manager, working with technology, design and other stakeholders on site redesign, CMS upgrades, and other projects; and as de facto digital audience-development director, analyzing traffic and educating others on analytics, creating programs to grow traffic and engagement, and working with sales team on revenue generation.

    •. Relaunched website with fresh design, modernized logo, and streamlined navigation.
    • Directed front- and back-end digital product development, design, and technology to grow audience, deepen engagement, and improve overall quality.
    • Introduced new engagement-driving offerings, including quizzes and ebooks, resulting in 50% growth in newsletter subscribers in 18 months.
    • Introduced new revenue-generating products, including native advertising.
    • Lead digital marketing via social media (organic and paid), newsletters, SEO, and partnerships.
    • Managed team of 3.5 staff members and 8 contract editors; oversee tech, design, and traffic teams; collaborate closely with 15-person sales team.
    •. Refreshed visuals and improved readability of print magazine, including introducing a new logo and cover design.
    • Won 17 Parenting Media Association Awards for Excellence for print, digital, and social media in 2016-2017.

  4. -
    Executive Editor, Parents.com, Meredith

    • Led all aspects of editorial development, managed 7-person editorial staff, and oversee content budget for premier parenting website that averages 10.5 million monthly users (via Omniture).
    • Grew Parents Network from #13 to #5 in comScore’s Family & Parenting category, including more than 30% year-over-year expansion in the past 12 months.
    • Managed creation of 300 how-to videos per year and grew organic (unpaid) video views to over 500K per month.
    • Transformed Parents into the category leader in social media, with more than 1.4 million Facebook “likes,” more than 873K Twitter followers, and more than 137K Pinterest followers. Launched and grew new presences on Tumblr, Flipboard, and Instagram.
    • Boosted content production from a few dozen to more than 500 articles, slideshows, blog posts, videos, and quizzes per month.
    • Managed product releases, working closely with the technology, design, sales, and audience engagement teams to create traffic- and revenue-building tools and apps.
    • Led major site relaunch/redesign project, which debuted in July 2012. Became first site in our category to be responsive, leading to more than 120% year-over-year mobile traffic growth.
    • Maximized revenue opportunities by creating sponsored programs, launching highly sellable new initiatives, and educating sellers on upcoming Parents.com projects of interest to advertisers.
    • Guaranteed that Parents.com reflected the quality and vision of the Parents magazine brand as well as digital best practices, serving users and business needs simultaneously.

  5. -
    VP, Editorial & Managing Editor, Beliefnet.com / News Corp. Digital

    • Developed and implemented editorial strategy in coordination with companywide goals and business objectives, and set short- and long-term goals for editorial team.
    • Directed editorial development and managed 12-person content and community staff for a news and lifestyle website that attracts 3 million unique visitors per month and has received multiple awards, including a National Magazine Award, an Online Journalism Award, and several Webby Awards.
    • Managed editorial budget, including staffing decisions, 40+ bloggers, dozens of freelance writers, and partners/vendors.

  6. -
    Freelance Writer, Various Publications

    Published in Newsweek, The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning News, Slate.com, Salon.com, The Forward, and many other leading websites, magazines, and newspapers.

  7. -
    Editor-In-Chief, MyJewishLearning.com

    • Head of content for award-winning, mass-market educational website.
    • Conceived site architecture, editorial approach, brand voice, and user experience, shepherding the site from idea to reality.
    • Managed all aspects of the editorial process: set editorial policy; negotiated content agreements; designed content approach; oversaw budget; set scope of coverage.

  8. -
    Assistant Editor, Beliefnet

    Channel editor for VC-funded web start-up. Joined pre-launch.

  9. -
    Reporter, The Saratogian Newspaper

Education Highlights

  • BA, English
    Yale University
  • Master of Theological Studies
    Harvard University

Blog

The Other Heroes of 'Selma'

I finally got around to seeing Selma and was moved, inspired, and as baffled as anyone else by its relative snubbing by the Oscars. I’ll leave the historical, political, and cinematic commentary to others for now, as I want to focus on a little-discussed but, in my mind, absolutely essential aspect of the story: the role of the press. Selma was nothing short of a love letter to the media. In these days in which our industry is challenged and hurting, it’s worth contemplating that for a few...

Location

Greater New York City Area

Interested In

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