Editor of the Year (2023)
The 2023 Editor of the Year brings exceptional editorial flair and real gravitas to the content she creates. She goes beyond merely reporting on business matters, using her skills as a master storyteller to craft purposeful content that makes a meaningful difference in the lives of readers. Her heart-led and deeply empathic approach to her work – combined with a sophisticated understanding of complex business dynamics – gives her enormous range, making it possible to edit several publications simultaneously, always attuned to the requisite nuance of each.
Senior Content Officer
It is the pleasure of the SAPF to introduce the 2023 Editor of the Year, Samantha Page, senior content officer at the agency Machine_. Sam, as she is fondly called by colleagues, is a seasoned expert with an incredibly calming presence – something we all know is key as an editor for corporate clients, where pressure is ever present and credibility is key.
“We are lucky to have her at Machine_ and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this accolade. She juggles an extraordinary amount of responsibilities at the highest level overseeing internal communications at Sanlam, editing multiple of their magazine titles (print and digital), and leading their CRM”
– Sarah Browning-de Villiers, chief content officer, Machine_.
All the while Sam also mentors a team of designers, writers and copy editors, delivers strategic insights for many key corporate clients, presents almost daily and – above all – does so with joy and a smile on her face. Sam’s passion for editing shines through everything that she does and is ultimately why clients love her and her work as much as they do.
Samantha brings exceptional editorial flair and real gravitas to the content she creates. She goes beyond merely reporting on business matters, using her skills as a master storyteller to craft purposeful content that makes a meaningful difference in the lives of readers.
Her heart-led and deeply empathetic approach to her work – combined with a sophisticated understanding of complex business dynamics – gives her enormous range, making it possible to edit several publications simultaneously, always attuned to the requisite nuance of each.
Samantha carries an impressive workload with impeccable attention to detail while never missing a deadline.
Beyond her editing skills, Samantha is a masterful communicator in person, commanding the room and earning the respect and attention of clients with ease. Such is their faith in her understanding of the business that she has been asked to act as a scriptwriter for conference speeches and to host an upcoming podcast series. In this way, she frequently unlocks new content opportunities not limited to the written word.
She is also a superb and passionate mentor to mid-level and junior content staff.
The impact of her editing on performance is clear. The Engage print magazine was well-received and widely read at conferences and roadshows. Connect digimag frequently exceeds its benchmarks, with issue 13 achieving an impressive average engagement duration of 8 minutes 42 seconds to date (reporting period not yet closed). The Group Weekly Mailer consistently achieves strong engagement (30.05% open rate and 6.84% click rate in June 2023) as do Retail Affluent mailers (30.49% open rate and 10.11% click rate in June 2023), exceeding even the most stringent benchmarks.
What Sam does
Samantha’s whip-smart ability to synthesise complex organisational dynamics across many business clusters within the Sanlam Group, which operates as complex federated model, has been instrumental in ensuring Sanlam publications remain impactful and continue to evolve.
Over the past year, for instance, she has led a number of ambitious editorial initiatives, including transitioning SanlamConnect Engage to print after three years as a digital publication (a bold move in the context of a post-pandemic return to the office). She also conceptualised and developed a new digimag for Retail Mass from scratch.
She is currently the editor of the following publications:
- Sanlam’s Connect, the quarterly interactive digimag for all staff and stakeholders across the Sanlam Group
- SanlamConnect’s Engage, the quarterly print magazine for SanlamConnect staff, intermediaries, brokers, and advisers
- Tswelopele, the new quarterly interactive digimag for Retail Mass staff, intermediaries, brokers, and advisers (First issue due for publication in August 2023. Not yet live at date of entering.)
In addition to these publications, Samantha also oversees the Sanlam Group Weekly Mailer, a cornerstone of the Group Internal Communications strategy, sent every Friday to an average of over 10 000 Sanlam staff across clusters. The mailer comprises news and business updates as well as original thought leadership.
She also oversees three monthly email initiatives for Sanlam Retail Affluent staff, and works on frequent ad-hoc internal communications and content marketing strategies.
Before Machine_, Samantha accumulated extensive experience across brand and consumer publications. She was the editor of the Life Healthcare magazine and spent over 13 years at the helm of O, The Oprah Magazine, as editor of the South African edition. She is a highly accomplished editor with over 20 years of experience in leading publications.
Sam's client says
Inga Bosch-Cloete, Senior Manager: Group Internal Communications, Sanlam
“Samantha’s role as editor on the Sanlam Connect digimag has truly given new meaning to the function of editor-in-chief. Sam is deeply committed to ensuring that every stage of the editorial process is carefully thought through and actioned with passion. From the content brainstorming phase to the actual booklist sign-off and content commissioning stage, and finally the design stage – Sam’s presence is felt at every single stage.
Her ability to connect the dots with that which is topical in the industry and world at large is what ensures that every booklist she presents delivers thought-provoking, yet inspiring content to undoubtedly pique readers’ interest. Despite her experience, Sam always seeks to better understand the environment/business world of the reader to ensure that the articles in each issue remain relevant to the reader.
It’s truly a pleasure to experience Sam’s editorial flair, her ability to collaborate seamlessly and, in doing so, to seek opportunities to innovate.”