The Importance Of Diversity To BuzzFeed’s Creative Services Team
You know about BuzzFeed's award-winning journalists and hilarious pop-culture writers. You even know about BuzzFeed's awesome tech team and our user-friendly CMS. But who is the Creative Services Team?
Who is the BuzzFeed Creative Services Team?
The BuzzFeed Creative Services Team creates all the branded content that you see on BuzzFeed.com. Instead of slapping banner ads or intrusive material in your face, we create fun, shareable content in collaboration with our advertising partners. We make posts like How Would You Die In "Game Of Thrones"? and Which Barbie Doll Are You? We are a team solely dedicated to making innovative web experiences and telling compelling stories in tandem with our business partners.
You may have heard the term "native advertising" thrown around. This is what we do. We understand that ads can be annoying when they interrupt an article you're reading or when you're watching a video. BuzzFeed's Creative Services Team exists to create awesome content with our partners because we believe that advertising needs to be better. Advertising does not need to be intrusive to get the message across. In fact, advertising can even be fun.
Why is diversity important?
We think of our team as an R&D lab that's experimenting with social content on the web and incubating great talent. Diversity is an important goal and pillar in how we operate as a team, and we are always looking to improve it! In order to be the leaders in native advertising, diversity is vital to our success, and in order for us to be a global media company, we need a diverse workforce. It will be a continuous journey of learning and growing, but the only way that we can authentically create shareable content for BuzzFeed's audience (as it is a diverse audience!) is to have diversity of thought and life experience in our team.
In the fall of 2014, Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith wrote a blog post about diversity in BuzzFeed Editorial, and he gave a great definition. He said, "BuzzFeed's working definition of diversity is this: enough people of a particular group that no one person has to represent the supposed viewpoint of their group — whether ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, gender identity, socioeconomic background, or disability."
Not only does the BuzzFeed Creative Services Team want no one person to represent their group, but we strive to have no one group be the majority of our team. Yes, we have a lot of work to do — but who says we shouldn't aim for the highest of goals?
So, why does all this matter?
1. It’s an ethical imperative.
We believe that, as an industry, advertising can and should be better at making ads that appeal to many different types of people without seeming dishonest or disingenuous. It's easy for ads to show caricatures of people or rely on stereotypes of women and minorities, but we at BuzzFeed Creative have the power to shape a new, authentic kind of advertising. We have the chance to hold the advertising industry to a higher standard while paving the road for more innovation in native advertising. Our hope is to break the mold of the homogenous-seeming, familiar advertising industry model to showcase how ads are best created with diverse talent.
2. We will broaden our reach.
Without a diverse staff, our reach is vastly hindered. We pride ourselves in making content that people want to share. Diversity will allow us to write stories that are relevant to a lot more people, and that's a win for everybody!
3. We can hire the best of the best.
Social publishing is a new form of advertising that BuzzFeed Creative has pioneered. We not only want to continue being the industry standard, but also be innovators in the digital ad space. The only way for us to take it to the next level is to hire the very best people from a diverse group of backgrounds. It is our goal to build a pipeline of people who are interested in making innovative and exciting ads on the internet.
Here are the steps we need to take in order to increase diversity in BuzzFeed’s Creative Services Team:
1. Educate people about our department.
The average person knows about jobs in Editorial, but fewer know about the exciting opportunities in Creative. In order for people to want to work in Creative, they need to first know what we do. (Writing this blog is a start!) You can find out more about our day-to-day activities by visiting our Instagram (BuzzFeedArcade and BuzzFeedCreative), following our Tumblr, and our Vine.
2. Create long-lasting partnerships with diversity associations.
A great way to widen our talent pool is to create relationships with diversity organizations, whether it be through professional networking groups or through student associations. By partnering with these organizations, we can discover the talent in communities that normally wouldn't consider applying for BuzzFeed. We need to build a better network that includes more variety.
3. Build and grow the BuzzFeed Creative Fellowship.
Since native advertising is so new, many people do not have the experience in writing sponsored content. The Creative Fellowship has been our greatest tool in finding the best raw talent. Because the fellowship does not require any prior experience in advertising, it opens the talent pool significantly. In order to expand our fellowship program, we need to be hiring people who may not fit the typical career track of an advertising copywriter. The most important aspect we need to be looking for when we fill our fellowship classes is if applicants are hungry to learn. Because at BuzzFeed Creative, all of us are learning every single day!
So, if you think you have a unique point of view that would make BuzzFeed Creative even more awesome, apply within! We’re hiring constantly.
All data from February 2015 and reflects 68 employees in Creative Services in the United States.