Content writer. Assistant Editor. Associate Content Manager. Senior Editor. Managing Editor.
He’s done it all.
If you’re looking for a person who knows the ins and outs of Brafton Editorial, look no further: Chris Hassan is your guy.
Where it all began
Growing up, Chris pictured himself as a voice actor in cartoons, a comic book artist, an actor – all careers with creative intent. While he didn’t technically fulfill those roles (with the exception of taking on some voice-over work at Brafton) he’s still a visionary for the editorial team and his career journey proves so.
Before joining the Brafton team, Chris earned his degree in English and Film during the Great Recession from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. After college, he spent most of his time picking up freelancing jobs for local publications, with work ranging from dog show coverage to carpenter advertorials.
“Oh, there was also that one time I interviewed a guy named Eric Trump about his foundation … I think his dad’s famous or something,” Chris shared.
So how did Chris manage to snag a job at this content marketing company? He worked as a tutor and conversation partner for ESL students for four years in college, and he realizes now that that job correlates rather seamlessly to his managing editor position.
“I started out going over students’ copy one-on-one and in my final year worked with entire classes of English 100 students. I never thought about it until now, but a lot of what I did was very similar to what I do now when training new writers at Brafton.”
Life outside of Brafton
When Chris isn’t advising writers, taking care of client comms or hopping from meeting to meeting, he’s letting his love for comics and writing shine as a contributor to one of his favorite creative outlets: the X-Men Monday column – a collaboration between the site Adventures in Poor Taste and Marvel Comics.
“Each week I collect X-Men fan questions from Twitter, pick the best ones, then share them with the editor who oversees the X-Men line of comics so he can provide answers,” he said.
Hear me, #XMen fans! In the proud tradition of #CyclopsWeek and #XMenWeek comes #JeanGreyEmmaFrostWeek! My very talented friends and I are hard at work prepping original articles and creator interviews about your two favorite telepaths. Coming February 24-March 1 to @AIPTcomics! pic.twitter.com/o60IPvvrMS
— Chris Hassan (@ChrisAHassan) February 3, 2020
“X-Men fans are X-Tremely passionate and opinionated, so it’s been a wild ride but also an incredible opportunity. As the column also features exclusive preview art from unreleased comics and scoops, it’s at the center of X-Men fandom and I’ve found myself the subject of other websites’ articles and message board discussions. Someone on a messageboard once called me ‘A public figure, albeit a minor one.’”
Life at Brafton
When Chris first began his career at Brafton in 2010, he didn’t know much about content marketing (along with many clients and other workers in this then-new industry). But today, he shows that commitment, passion and drive can take you from knowing little to nothing about a business to successfully managing every type of client and content that you can imagine.
“I never thought I’d have to come up with 10-plus topics about cash-counting machines several months in a row, and yet, I grew to love the challenge.”
“If the client’s based in Boston, I’m somehow involved,” he said. “In terms of favorite content … I’m going to say anything that let’s me flex my creative muscles. I never thought I’d have to come up with 10-plus topics about cash-counting machines several months in a row, and yet, I grew to love the challenge. For a time, asking writing candidates to pitch me a seasonal cash counter article topic was a go-to interview question for me.”
Content marketing is an industry that’s constantly changing, and it’s doing so at a rapid pace. When Chris started working here, content marketing focused more on quantity than quality. Brafton has successfully evolved with the industry, though, and now creates rich, wholesome and meaningful content. Still, Chris suggests that writers, strategists and all others involved in content management must be willing to continue changing and making recommendations for clients.
“We need to stay agile and not afraid to share our strategy change suggestions with clients, as what seems right may not always be for the best in the long run,” he said.
For someone who’s interested in pursuing a career as a managing editor, Chris’ advice is to focus on time management, organization, patience and willingness to be flexible. Beyond having these general skills, Chris highly recommends taking a step back and remembering exactly what management means when it comes to overseeing your colleagues. Don’t forget to offer help, highlight their strengths, respect their personal limits and understand what kind of challenges they can handle.
“I’d say never forget the human element of the job. Yes, you’re overseeing a lot of written content, but you can never lose sight of the writers producing those words. Every writer is different, and every day is unique. A good managing editor balances clients’ needs with those of the writers they oversee.”
All things considered, Chris is a Brafton legend and there’s no doubt that he’ll continue to thrive as a manager in content marketing.