Craig Kapilow is a busy man. By day, he’s a senior account executive and associate music editor at Boston’s Weekly Dig. By night, he spins at highly marketable DJ nights, thus building relationships with venues around town — many of which are clients of the paper. One of the longest running events, taking place each Saturday night, was recently profiled in the Aug. 19 edition of the Boston Globe. Here he answers a few questions about his multiple roles at the alt-weekly and his side-career behind the turntables.
Q: What are your roles at the Dig?
A: I’ve been with the Dig since the publication’s inception in September 1999. I was hired as the associate editor with the understanding that I would assist in advertising sales. After a year, it became apparent that I had a knack for sales, which led me to being relieved of a majority of my editorial duties. I gave up the role of associate editor and switched into the role of associate music editor, where I oversaw all electronic music and hip-hop coverage. The majority of my responsibilities, though, are selling ads for the publication. I also oversee the street team program at the Dig and oversee three weekly club nights at venues that non-coincidentally happen to be advertisers.
Q: How do your different roles coincide, if at all?
A: Obviously, you have to be careful when you’re involved with both editorial and advertising. You can’t cross the line. My clients respect my integrity and the publication doesn’t have to make a decision that will be questioned by the readership. The marketing and street team elements definitely fall in line with advertising, though, and the street team and special events I manage can be used as a value added to close larger deals.
Q: Do your personal pursuits (the DJ stuff) further the aims of the Dig?
A: Absolutely. The Dig has always been extremely supportive of the staff’s artistic ventures. Regardless of whether the Dig helped support my music career, I would still perform and run nights. The fact that the publication stands behind me made it that much easier to succeed. Everyone wins because of this. The venues are happy because the nights gain extra momentum by being affiliated with the Dig. I’m happy because I get to help add to the local music scene. The Dig gets the benefit of being the main promoter of several highly successful nights around town, many of which are spotlighted in publications like the Boston Globe.
Q: In your opinion, should more publications utilize their employees’ talents to help increase the marketability of the publication?
A: Without a doubt! Certainly the fact that we are a relatively small paper and everyone in the company is friendly with each other helps, since we’re acutely aware of the side projects taking place around us. If I were a paper in Austin for example, which is noted for having one of the best indie music scenes around, I’d be reaching out to musicians on staff. Do you have a lead singer on staff that happens to be in a hot band? Could they play events at advertisers’ venues? Do you have someone on staff that does illustrations that could work to set up art shows? You help the staff, help the paper, help the advertiser — everyone wins. I also think this support of employees plays a big role in retention rate. I can’t say enough about how much it means to me that the Dig continues to support my artistic endeavors!
Q: What other seemingly disparate areas of alt-weekly publishing are in fact dependent on one another?
A: Graphic design goes hand-in-hand with advertising. Marketing should be in with street team. Editorial should work closely with marketing in terms of special issues. I think the biggest thing, though, is marketing and advertising. In a perfect world, I could set up an ad deal with a marketing element, pass it off to a marketing specialist who is a firecracker, and move on to the next deal. The marketing department will handle all promotional elements, giving me valuable time to increase revenue for the publication. Again, everyone wins. You need that separation, but it doesn’t have to be a brick wall — it can be a velvet curtain instead.