A Day in the Life of Latina's Director of Digital Operations Dan Koday

For our new series on Latina.com, we’re giving you an inside look into the day-to-day lives of the Latina magazine staff – what they’re reading, what they’re doing and what they’re loving right now. This week’s day in the life comes from our Director of Digital Operations, Dan Koday. Here’s a look into his day:

As the Director of Digital Operations, it's my responsibility to make sure all the moving parts of Latina's digital properties are, well, moving! My time is really split up amongst three properties – Latina.com, Latina Magazine and our sister food & entertaining site The Latin Kitchen. On both sites, I work with all the editors and guide the daily digital process while making sure there is synergy between what we're doing in print and what we're doing in digital.

So, what does a day in my life look like? Well, just like my colleague Samantha Leal, there is no typical day. For example, some days I am in front of my computer all day long, checking and replying to e-mail, making and receiving phone calls, editing, giving direction to the staff, pulling reports/watching our Chartbeat (an online tool that shows how many people are visiting our website & interacting with our content) and sometimes even writing (Like today!). Other days, I can be at an event making important connections for our brand, at meetings with partners or vendors all across the city, or interacting with all types of people, from writers, bloggers, influencers, celebrities, publicists, chefs and other journalists to real, inspiring Latina women such as yourself.

So for the purposes of this day-in-the-life, I chose last Thursday, March 6th. Most days, I hit the ground running at 7:30am. I like to think of it as the quiet before the storm. I wake up, check my Instagram feed (which helps inform me if there are any new cute baby pics of Baby Milan) and Facebook feed. Facebook is usually a good place to see what stories have popped up or started to gain popularity since I went to bed. I then dive straight into the news - everything from CNN.com, Google News and MSN Now to Perez HIlton, Gawker, Refinery 29, Fox News Latino and Hispanic Tips. After a good 30 minutes of reading/liking, I start to get dressed for the day or make my way to the gym downstairs in my building for a quick 30 minute workout. Today, I chose not to work out and cooked myself an omelette instead.

By 8:30, I'm back on my computer or phone waiting for our trending e-mail to come in. From this trending e-mail, I then start to formulate which pieces of content we need to cover for the day versus the ones we don't. At about 9:00am, Samantha on my team puts together a proposed lineup for that day's content. Since she's a shark, I normally agree 90% of the time, but the other 10%, both Damarys (Our Editorial Director of Content) and I are helping to develop story angles or flesh out ideas for coverage on the site and social properties. It's at this point that I actually start to make my way into the office - lucky for me, I'm a quick 20 minute cab or subway ride away. Today, I choose the subway. Fine, a cab, most always a cab.

For the next hour or so, I answer all the priority e-mails I possibly can. My inbox is a scary place. Right now I have 6948 unread messages and almost 100,000 emails in it (from about the last year). I average anywhere from 200-400 e-mails a day, depending on the day. Following that, I start a quick meeting with Latina's Product Director Paul to discuss enhancements to our websites. We officially redesigned our site in December of 2013, but just like a baby, websites need to be nurtured in order to grow. We spend some time chatting about the way things look and work and how we can make them better for readers like you.

At this point, a package arrives for me. I get all types of stuff in the mail each day - everything from vitamins to women's shoes (Unfortunately I do not wear a women's size 6...). Today, I've recieved some cool new styling products from Rusk, which I quickly unpack and add to my chest of "Beauty Products to Road Test". Usually at night, I bring home and try out these products right before bed so that when you see something like "The Best Beauty Products You Need to Know This Year," you can rest assured that someone on staff has checked them out. And yes, somewhere mixed in there is a hot sauce which I've been meaning to try too. 

Speaking of hot sauce, I'm starting to get hungry, but because I skipped the gym this particular morning, I'm meeting a freelancer for a new spinning class called CYC. We're checking it out because it's the trendy new workout in NYC and we want to get in before all the celebs start to go - that way we'll know what to write once Selena or Naya decides to hop on a bike.

As soon as the class is over, I start looking at Latina's Twitter feed because a Disney Twitter chat has just begun. I'm not running the chat - our Editorial Assistant Cristina is - but I like to see what's going on so I participate during my cab ride back to the office as I sip on a smoothie and scarf down a power bar. I do fifteen quick minutes of e-mail and move directly into back-to-back meetings during the early afternoon.

My first meeting is for a top secret project we're working on, but the gist of my paticipation in the meeting is that myself and our Entertainment Editor are trying to figure out which celebrities we could potentially invite to an event when it happens. After this, I switch gears and talk with our Food Content Director and a partner about potential ways we can get some of The Latin Kitchen's amazing recipes into grocery stores.

It's about 4pm at this point. I've officially got about two hours worth of time to get a LOT of work done. For the next two hours, I read all of the content that went up that day on Latina.com & The Latin Kitchen, occasionally editing a word, photo or optimizing the text for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I follow up on a ton of e-mail to parnters about our latest cover, Shakira, which has been getting great pickup. I also review potential recipes that could end up either on The Latin Kitchen, Latina.com or eventually in the pages of the magazine.

Before I know it, it's 6pm and I'm already late for that evening's event. At least three nights a week, I am usually committed to a work-related event that starts anytime between 5-8pm (depending on the event). Sometimes there are four events in one night, so I'll hop around, but tonight, I've just committed myself to one - seeing Rocky on Broadway with the publicity and marketing team for Visit Philadelphia.

What does Philly have to do with Rocky and Latina, you might ask? Well, we're always working on stories highlighting Latin restaurants and chefs on The Latin Kitchen and doing travel features on Latina.com, so tonight I'm getting all the details on what's new in town including Jose Garces' highly-anticipated new restaurant, Volver (opening in April), and the largest collection of art outside Paris - Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Who knew? After a cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, we head on over to the Winter Garden theater to see the show about one of Philly's most famous fictional residents, Rocky (If you get a chance, you've got to go - the show is great!).

I stumble out of the theater at 10:30pm. Sure, the last few hours have been half-work, half-play, but my day is officially over! Time to get up and do it all over again tomorrow...

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About this author1

Dan Koday, Executive Content Director

Dan Koday is a New York City based writer, editor and digital content expert. His work has been featured in SeventeenLatina, Logo’s NewNowNextCosmoGirl and The Latin Kitchen, amongst many other prestigious publications. Dan currently holds the title of Executive Content Director for Latina, responsible for overseeing its digital and print content strategies for Latina – the #1 entertainment, fashion, beauty & lifestyle brand for acculturated U.S. Hispanic women – and TheLatinKitchen.com – a recipe, entertaining & how-to site that celebrates Latin cuisine.

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