ONNE on Onne With Tara Francis, Editor of Collective Hub
Earlier this year ONNE collaborated with the Collective Hub for the 'From Practice to Purpose' events. After such a great time working with this wonderful team, we took some time out for a Q&A with the incredibly witty and talented Editor of Collective Hub, Tara Francis.
Let’s start with you as an editor. How did you get into this line of work and did you always see yourself as an Editor?
While I definitely see myself as an Editor currently, it definitely wasn’t always that way. It’s different to being a writer or a designer at heart, who can just create from nothing. An editor first needs someone else to create something and then trust you enough to help create something better. But as difficult as it is to feel inherently an editor, I’d always felt like I’d love to help create the vision and content of a media company. Plus, there’s few things more satisfying than picking up a typo. Originally I studied biochemistry and science communication and had dreams of making documentaries and hosting workshops and traveling the world. I ended up working at a fantastic science magazine and then ventured overseas to Scotland, working at zoos, science festivals – even the 2012 Paralympics. I kept freelance writing and just as I returned to Australia, Collective Hub launched.
Most of us are very familiar with your publication! Tell us about your role as Editor at Collective Hub and what your day to day entails?
Every day is so different! There’s emails (many, many emails!) from people who are pitching stories to us, emails from our fantastic writers about commissions, there’s always something new launching that I need to look over… And then there’s the magazine so I work with our Art Director to ensure a fantastic design and then edit, oversee and proofread every word that you see.
How far in advance do you and your team have to work?
Working at a start-up media company it really varies. For the most part, we’re working two to three months in advance in terms of planning future content, we’re working about 4-8 weeks ahead on the issue about to hit the stand, and then there are always last minute things that pop up and need to be addressed immediately.
What excites you most about your role?
I still get such a buzz from covering such incredible companies, brands, and people. There are great things happening and we’re so lucky that we can bring good news and encouragement to our readers. I also love the process of creating: you come up with an idea for a story, assign it to a writer, wordsmiths, and wonderful designers create it, and at the end of the month you see – and hold – fully formed, and often better, version of your idea.
You must have interviewed some amazing people over the years. Who is your favourite and why?
I couldn’t choose just one. I was pretty jazzed to interview astronaut Chris Hadfield – the perspective he has on leadership and challenges is pretty rare to come by. Misty Copeland’s honesty about the reality of her life growing up taught me a lot about myself as an interviewer, while no interview could ever leave as big a mark on me as Richard Bourke, a death penalty lawyer who spoke of the failings – and real people affected by – the capital punishment system. I was honoured to interview Zander Lurie, just months after he took on the role of SurveyMonkey CEO following the tragic death of his close friend (and Sheryl Sandberg’s husband) Dave Goldberg, as he spoke on grief and compassion in the workplace. And I thoroughly enjoyed turning the microphone around to Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind Human of New York, and immediately came to see why people open up so instantaneously to him.
What’s your secret to a good interview?
Research, research, research.
When you plan for features, for example, how many elements are taken into consideration?
We look at the whole package – who is this person, what do they stand for, what can they talk about, what imagery is available. In terms of how we use content, we try and publish as much content across as many appropriate platforms as possible, whether that’s social media, collectivehub.com, videos, etc.
What are your tips for young girls wanting to get into this industry?
Find a niche. I worked hard to have a strong science journalism background and that made me stand out when it came to journalists who needed to understand the tech industry and now, the entire start-up scene.
A little bit more about you…
I can make a really great paper plane.
If you could have dinner with any three people in history, who would they be?
I prefer my dinner companions alive. But thank you for the offer.
What/who inspires you?
The people and companies we cover every day.
How do you keep motivated?
Covering a mortgage is a pretty great motivation. I highly recommend it.
What are your top tips for health and wellness?
Eat food and listen to your physio.
What do you do to stay fit?
Tennis, and I walk to and from work every day. I also walk from the couch to the fridge a lot at nights and on weekends.
Favourite holiday destination?
Iceland for quirk, Spain for tapas, Portugal for its beaches and Vietnam for those rice valleys, delicious food and traffic anxiety.
Best skincare advice you have ever been given?
You can follow Tara on; Tarafrancis.com
Twitter: taramfrancisOr read all her articles at collectivehub.com