GLAMOUR’S DIGITAL DESTINY: Last week, Glamour staffers gathered for their annual editorial meeting, which is usually a time for editors to draw inspiration from a speaker handpicked by editor in chief Cindi Leive before they head into the busy fall season.
On hand this year was Gary Vaynerchuk, who has been likened to a sort of motivational speaker for social media, as well as Condé Nast chairman and chief executive officer Charles Townsend and artistic director Anna Wintour, among others.
Sources said the off-the-record meeting had a “State of the Union” feel, which left some staffers charged for the future — and others worried.
Townsend opened his speech by congratulating Glamour on its progress for the year across print, digital and social. The ceo underscored the importance for all editors to create content across all platforms, a common sentiment at traditional media companies today. But some editors took his comments to mean that print-only jobs would hold less importance at the magazine.
WWD reached out to Condé Nast for clarification, and the company said the remarks referred to the general state of the media at large.
Townsend’s remarks were backstopped by a speech by the highly caffeinated Vaynerchuk, who is known in social media circles as “GaryVee.” The cofounder of Vayner Media was there to light a fire under Team Glamour, which is one of the company’s most important titles. According to sources, Vaynerchuk spoke about the importance of social media and pointed specifically to Vice and Refinery29 as two media properties mastering Facebook.
Vaynerchuk, whom Fortune called the “Tim Robbins of Twitter” and Valleywag darkly described as “a sort of Deepak Chopra of selling bulls–t with Snapchat,” addressed Glamour’s target audience: women. He said women who are in their early 40s are “growing” younger and acting like they are in their early teens. According to insiders, Vaynerchuk’s speech helped motivate the staff to focus on digital.
The meeting also included a question-and-answer with Wintour led by Leive, who opened the session by emphasizing how proud she is of her team. “Today marks the first step in thinking of ourselves not as print editors or as digital editors but as Glamour editors,” Leive added.
During the talk, Vogue editor in chief Wintour gave interview tips, explaining that she likes to ask subjects about personal interests. Wintour, who noted that her interest is tennis, also addressed the topic of perfection. An insider said Wintour talked about “not hyperventilating about perfection.” Then the notoriously perfectionist Wintour is said to have offered: “Imperfection is fine.”
Wintour also shared a story about Christopher Bailey’s trip to Spain, where he visited Zara. The Burberry ceo and chief creative officer relayed that executives at the fast-moving Zara — which is known for designing a collection and getting it into its stores in less than a month — don’t believe in meetings. Intrigued by Zara’s speed, Wintour said she planned to make her own visit to the retailer’s headquarters in Spain soon.