Joyce King-Thomas Goes New School

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Joyce King Thomas was one of the longest-running chief creative officers at an advertising agency network, and also one of Madison Avenue's few female creative directors. But now she's trying out something decidedly new-school.

The former McCann Erickson exec is officially done with the agency and has just become a partner at Longreads, the website dedicated to long-form journalism that just two years ago started as a Twitter feed.

In an e-mail, Longreads Founder Mark Amstrong explained that he's known Ms. Thomas for some time and has sought out her help in attracting advertisers to his website. "With her brand expertise, we are building the foundation for an editorial and curator network that works with brands to celebrate and create outstanding storytelling," he said.

"I began as a Longreads fan and follower on Twitter," said Ms. Thomas. "When I met with Mark and heard his plans for Longreads, I realized brands could gain a lot from joining in the community. Not as traditional advertisers, but as participants, engaging with their customers and future customers. And, that participation would make all sorts of new things possible for Longreads." (Here's what she's reading, by the way.)

Mr. Armstrong is bullish on Longreads' ability to continue building out its community -- citing things like the hashtag's use quadrupling over the past few months and its partnerships with publishers such as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and the Atlantic. But it sees advertising and Longreads subscribers ($3 a month or $30 a year) as the foundation for the site to keep growing.

Asked what sorts of marketers they're looking to partner with, he kept it pretty open: "We're going to be focused on brands that are leaders in their category who understand the power of social media and great content."

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