Yanar Alkayat has been a freelance beauty, health, wellness, and fitness writer for over ten years for the national press.
During that time she worked for all the major publishing houses and set up her own digital consultancy, Trapeze Digital. She is now Digital Commercial Editor for Women’s Health, Runner’s World and Netdoctor at Hearst. Outside the office you can find her running, training for another marathon, lifting weights at her CrossFit gym, cooking, or eating!
What is your job?
I’m the digital commercial editor for health & fitness branded content at Hearst. I mainly work on Women’s Health, Runner’s World, Men’s Health and NetDoctor online but I may cover content on other titles too.
What responsibilities does your job entail?
I’m responsible for creating the ideas, commissioning, writing, editing and producing campaigns that fall under the health and fitness category. It’s a team effort with art editors and creative directors, brand managers and project managers. I may be working on anything from a Nike or New Balance campaign, a health food product or more medical such as Imodium or sexual health. It’s a very creative role, producing editorial-style content across online, video and social.
How did you get your job?
The team was looking for someone with an editorial background, specialist in health and fitness and had commercial experience. It was a specific requirement but I fit the bill, luckily! I had just left my freelance role as digital director at Healthista, and I had my own digital consultancy advising brands on their social media and digital content strategies so I was used to creating commercial content. I was also looking for an in-house, full time role so was super lucky this came up at the right time.
How does your typical day go?
Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines! A typical day might involve editing and building articles from freelancer copy, planning a shoot with an art director, and brainstorming ideas for future campaigns with the sales team. I’m currently working on around 11 campaigns and each one has several pieces of content, usually a mix of online articles, video and social media content. Everything has to be commissioned, planned and produced over a period of weeks or months – luckily we have project managers to keep us on schedule!
What does your workspace look like?
Hearst recently moved from Soho to Leicester Square and the new space is fresh, modern and quite high tech. It’s designed for hot desking and collaborative work so each team has a base but we can work anywhere including hang out zones, high tables, and stools, sofas, armchairs or meeting rooms. I really like it! All the areas are styled up and I particularly like the large, good looking plants in the welcome area overlooking Leicester Square.
Tell us about your lunch!
Leicester Square is a bit of a black hole for healthy food, sadly, unless you want to take out a loan for daily lunch at Whole Foods! I’ll try to bring in a combo of tofu, avocado, sweet potato, chickpeas, nuts etc for a hearty salad and always finish with dark chocolate. Without fail.
What are the best / worst aspects of your job?
Best aspects, for sure, is having the capacity to create cool and creative multi-media content for brands and working with super talented (and lovely!) teams. The tricky part is juggling 24 spinning plates and keeping your eye on them all.
How do you unwind after work?
I used to spend evenings catching up with friends over dinner but have recently started doing less. Less is more, right? I have one night for yoga (not a workout but a slow and meditative style which helps to settle and unwind) and one night for run training (a speed session on the track that’s challenging and definitely not unwinding!) and other nights will be spent cooking or sharing some thoughts on my blog (brightershadeofgreen.co.uk). Weekends are spent seeing family and friends who all live in London.
How do you prepare for the next day?
Well, my not-so-pleasant 5:30am alarm ( I’m at my CrossFit gym by 6:15 for a brutal workout) means I’m usually getting lunch and breakfast ready and packing up clothes the night before. Everything must be by the door ready to pick up and go because basically, very little thinking happens that early in the morning.
What mantra do you live by?
I have a few! I try to be practical and prepared, so ‘Hope for the best, prepare for the worst’ is a handy one. I see most situations with a silver lining as I feel however bad something is, there’s always a chance it could have been worse. This is probably how I’m fairly positive and upbeat about most things.
My fave and final saying, ‘This too shall pass’, is particularly good for handling emotions. Give them a try!