Isaac Nikolai Fox

Demo Magazine

Content strategy, editorial leadership and interviewing for the Hart House music magazine.

Roles

Content strategist and creator, co-editor-in-chief, project manager.

Goals

Rebuilding Demo's digital presence, mentoring new writers, launching Demo's fifteenth annual print issue.


Demo Magazine is the University of Toronto’s largest music magazine, based out of Hart House. After two years as a staff writer, I stepped up and co-edited the magazine in 2018-2019. That year, we successfully rebranded our digital presence, mentored a new roster of writers, and created a print issue featuring diverse voices and types of content.

I started off by presenting a case for extra funding to the Hart House Arts Committee, which supports the magazine. I won $1000 in allocations after arguing that a revamp of our website’s user experience and content management system would make it both more accessible for end users – our readers – and for the editorial staff who maintain and update the site.

I solicited quotes from several independent web design agencies, and then drafted detailed visual and structural requirements for the successful bidder. I worked with them over a two-month period and provided incremental feedback on the wireframes and prototype, before launching the site alongside our call for contributions to the fifteenth print edition. I also archived all the magazine’s previous issues on Issuu.

After launching our call for contributions and holding our annual general meeting, I sent interested writers the content breakdown document for the upcoming issue, and worked with them one-on-one to refine their angles and help them choose topics they were truly passionate about. Several writers were doing interviews for the first time, so I also helped them to structure their research and question-writing so that they were prepared to succeed in interviewing for their features. I also did our cover interview with Parkdale’s Sean Leon, which had his fans on Instagram begging for print issue copies after it was released.

My co-editor and I solicited calls for online content throughout the year, and copy-edited all the drafts until they were ready for publication. We collectively managed our printing budget and were able to fund a run of one thousand print copies, which we distributed across the university campus and downtown Toronto.


After throwing our launch party, we met with the new editors — who had been staff writers — and walked them through the steps needed to run the magazine successfully the following year. I wrote them a detailed master document outlining all the project deadlines and embedded links to all the draft emails and social media posts I had written throughout the year, so they could spend more time leading and less time administrating.



Demo Magazine no. 15 is available online.

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