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Survey: B2B Editors Poorly Trained to Handle Digital Publishing

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Despite the increasing importance of digital media for all kinds of publications, many editors of B2B publications consider themselves relative luddites, according to a recent survey.

The American Society of Business Publication Editors along with the Medill School at Northwestern recently asked 273 B2B editors how well they thought they were keeping up with digital innovations in publishing. The results were not exactly encouraging. Eighty percent of respondents said that they took part in one day or less of corporate-sponsored digital training during the last year. Thirty-six percent said they received not a lick of such training.


Two-thirds of the survey’s editors checked the “very inadequate” or “somewhat inadequate” boxes when asked their opinion of the digital training they did receive. The failure of publishers to bring their editors up to speed becomes more alarming when one considers that 38% of those surveyed said they spend at least half working on digital publishing.

What’s worse, these aren’t lowly comma jockeys, either. A full 88% of the editors who identified their roles called themselves executive- or senior-level editors.

Abe Peck, director of B2B communication for Medill, says the results of this survey means publishers need to change how they equip their editors for the digital world: “As the editor’s job sheds pro forma tasks in favor of cross-platform leadership, it is crucial for content leaders and publishers alike to maximize new skills alongside their traditional ones.

The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 7%. More info on the survey’s methodology is available at the ASBPE Web site.

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