An interview with the CMA’s 2022 Editor of the Year, Emily Chu

By CMA Team on

Each year, the calibre of entries at the International Content Marketing Awards gets better and last year was no different. One of the most hotly contested categories was the prestigious Editor of the Year award.

This award is for outstanding editors that produce content for print or digital and who demonstrate qualities including leadership, innovation, creative drive, audience and brand understanding, commercial acumen and a deep relationship with the client/s. Our judges scoring criteria is based on effectiveness, brand synergy and editorial excellence

We caught up with the 2022 Editor of the Year, Emily Chu of Cedar Communications, on how she got started in the industry, how she approaches her award-winning work, what it means to win at the International Content Marketing Awards and more.

Give us a little background on your career. How did you get started?

I have lived around the world – Vancouver, New York, London, Singapore, Shanghai – and have always worked with words: in editorial at a global book publishing house, as a copywriter at an ad agency, as a bilingual magazine editor. This exposure to different cultures, and the many facets of each industry, as I have now come to realise, is what got me ready for my current role in Hong Kong.

How long have you been at Cedar and what does a typical day look like for you there?

I starting working with Cedar to set up our office in Shanghai after a successful pitch to launch a lifestyle magazine for an international retailer, and I have now been at Cedar Hong Kong since we opened in 2015. It’s hard to have a “typical” day doing what we do – and certainly not for me while overseeing content for several accounts. But mornings are always for team catch ups and setting the day’s pace: will it be about writing a story, brainstorming a campaign direction, fine-tuning translations, refining a presentation, finalising a layout design, or building a content strategy for a client’s next big launch?

You won the Gold for Editor of the Year at the 2022 International Content Marketing Awards. What does it mean for you to win this award?

There have been many firsts for Cedar Hong Kong this year, and several career firsts for me, including venturing into new markets and platforms. So it’s very exciting to be recognised internationally for work that we do out of Hong Kong. This award is a huge boost of motivation, and I share every bit of the award with the team and our clients that have given me the opportunities (and confidence and support) to bring new ideas to life.

You were commended by your colleagues on your leadership in Hong Kong and globally. What does being a leader in the industry mean to you?

Being a leader means never forgetting where our good work really comes from: the people. Cedar Hong Kong is really special – it’s truly all about the team. We have been through a lot of growth, and even more change over time, but our best work happens only when we’re collaborating and chasing the same results together. This is also why, aside from my editorial role, I have put effort into establishing our office wellness programme – because at the heart of the good work that we do, are the wonderful, talented people behind it, and we must take care of each other.

Our judges said you have exceptional project management skills, communication and versatility as you manage multiple projects across multiple markets. How have you developed and refined these skills over your career and what makes a good editor?

Living around the world has trained me to be open-minded at all times, and ultimately, it’s about staying curious and appreciating the perspectives that surround us. This makes me realise the different ways a story can be told, and how a specific market might approach the same topic differently, be it in tone, terminology, platform, or delivery. This is helpful when I’m working across projects for Hong Kong, mainland China, and globally – or even just working across departments in our office, in how to better communicate with one another.

In that sense, being a good editor is then using the magic of the words to put yourself in the audience’s shoes, and crafting content that appeals to their needs.

As an inspirational person in the industry, what advice would you give to people who would like to emulate your success?

Success means something different to everyone, so know what it looks like to you, and what truly matters. That will be that extra touch that you bring to the work you do. Ultimately, it’s about perseverance and learning, always. That might be from setbacks, your team, and innovations of the industry, all of it. That said, make sure to also carve out time to pursue your non-work-related passions as well. Those skills that you hone outside of the office might become useful at work when you least expect it.

Given your successful career to date, what are your career plans for the future?

As the past few years have shown, you never know what’s around the corner. But creating beautiful, influential work and growing future talent will always be what inspires me and pushes me forward.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about entering Editor of the Year at the International Content Marketing Awards?

Tell your story, and the story of how you help clients tell theirs. It’s easy to highlight your biggest accomplishments, but don’t discount the smaller, meaningful stepping stones that have paved the way to your success today. As we always say, it’s all in the narrative…

To learn more about the 2023 International Content Marketing Awards or to submit your entries please visit

Share This Post

You may also like...