18 Apr Three Questions with Original9 Senior Editor Maeghan Ouimet
Name: Maeghan Ouimet
Job Title: Senior Editor, Original9 Media (LaunchSquad’s sister agency)
Time at LaunchSquad: Three years
How did you get into content?
Content is such a buzz word these days — it still makes me cringe a bit. Writer. Editor. Those feel more real to me. I always loved to write and had gotten enough positive feedback in high school to realize I was pretty good at it. When I went to college I got lucky. I initially went to Boston University to play ice hockey and was less focused on what I’d major in. When the time came to choose my major, I saw “English” and I saw “Journalism.” Most colleges don’t offer Journalism as an undergraduate degree—so that’s what I mean when I say I got lucky. I chose Journalism as my major and It was amazing because my professors were also staff writers at The Boston Globe or editors at Boston Magazine or creative non-fiction authors. We were in the middle of this city full of stories and my task at school was to go find them and tell them. After internships (through BU) with Rolling Stone and Boston Magazine, I knew this is what I wanted to do—to tell stories from a journalistic point of view.
How would you describe what you do at O9?
My parents ask me this question every few months and my answer is different every time—once they think they get it, there’s something new. The simple, though nebulous answer, is a little bit of everything. Recently, I’ve been working closely with our media partners on sponsored content efforts (here’s a good example of a program we’ve run with Nokia and Wired’s Brand Lab). This work includes everything from story ideation (another word I dislike) to writer management to writing and reporting myself to editing. Since I’ve moved back to Boston from SF (in November), I’ve also been focused on creating connections with businesses and publications in the area. My goal is for Original9 to be a recognizable name in the east coast market when it comes to content marketing and brand journalism. There’s a huge need for the work we do, people just don’t know where to find it.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from a LaunchSquad or O9 coworker?
I tend to say yes a lot—to projects, to edits, to meetings. I’m a classic over-committer. I always want to say “I’ve got this”—even when I definitely don’t. Jeff Davis, probably because he saw how much of a toll my yes-ing was taking on me and my work, really helped me realize two things around this: 1. It’s okay to say no (actually it’s healthy and feels pretty good to say) and 2. Ask for help before you need to. He’s encouraged me to be extremely honest and communicative when it comes to my work. If I’m going to miss a deadline (which happens) or if I can’t get a source to talk to me (which also happens a lot), he’s taught me to communicate that immediately rather than internalize it and try to figure it out alone. Asking for help and owning up to things I can’t do on my own has been really empowering and a huge opportunity for growth for me in my career.