Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Kiron Heriot-Darragh, Global Editorial Lead at Apple

July 31, 2019

Kiron Heriot-Darragh is the Global Editorial Lead at Apple, where she is responsible for leading social editorial content at the company.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

Broadly, I design cultural content programs for brands. I’m a hybrid visual creative and editorial strategist.

I trained in Journalism and completed an MA in Communications in Australia, but after working in music PR (for a distributor and later the Red Bull Music Academy) I decided creative storytelling was my calling.

I packed up and moved straight to New York. I started working as a creative agent on brand projects with talent.

I must have worked on over 100 collaborations with entities like the [Bob] Marley Family, Mister Cartoon, Estevan Oriol, Snoop Dogg, Mobb Deep and brands like Major League Soccer, the National Hockey League, UNDFTD, Universal and Warner Bros.

I was also curating talent for the Branded Entertainment department of Complex Media.

In 2016, I got a call from Nike to set up the first editorial platform for a Nike Brand at Nike HQ in Oregon. This was a pretty incredible opportunity, setting up a visual and editorial tone of voice for Jordan Brand.

I spent my days designing content around Jordan Brand athletes – from Michael Jordan to Russell Westbrook – and entertainers like Travis Scott and DJ Khaled.

I built a creative influencer network and art directed photo shoots for Jordan Brand’s limited edition collabs (from Just Don to Virgil Abloh/Off-White, Aleali May and PSNY), which would get picked up streetwear/lifestyle media.

Some of the content I created ended up being adapted for major campaigns. From there, I moved to my current position as Editorial Lead at Apple, which has been amazing.

2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I like getting up early these days, around 5am. I’ll listen to the news or a podcast like the Harvard Business Review, if I’m feeling awake enough to retain the info. I start work around 8am and work a full day.

3) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?

I love any apps that help with admin. An app that aggregates travel plans, or helps sort email, is golden. I also need to block out time during the day for the bigger project, ’thinking’ work and try not to get distracted by email.

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4) What does work life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance to me means retaining the head space to be able to approach work in a fresh way. If I start to feel a bit stuck at work I know it’s time to do a personal project.

A few years ago I started to feel work was getting repetitive. I took some time after hours over a few weeks and worked on a story for The Guardian on the original team from Supreme New York.

It was a creative reboot, and it set in motion an idea for a bigger project that is currently in the works.

5) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

I try to keep Saturdays as a complete day off to unplug and get fresh air. I also need to set aside time to listen to music – loud – with quality headphones.

6) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

There is one I’m reading right now – The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Ben Zander.

7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

I try to tackle the hardest creative work projects first thing in the morning and leave the more administrative/process tasks for later in the day.

8) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

So many people these days live to work, so it’s important to try to make it work you love. And if it isn’t something you love find a side hustle you do love.

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