Emma Vidgen is a journalist, interiors addict, music nerd and a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady 😉 After moving from Brisbane to work at Cosmo 15 years ago, she has been writing about everything from fashion and food to health, beauty, relationships and travel ever since. We were lucky enough to catch Emma in one of her rare spare moments to learn about life as the editor of Real Living, and bring you the answers to the top 5 burning questions from our brands.
WHAT ARE YOUR READERS MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
Since I took over editing Real Living last year I’ve noticed our audience are most intrigued by seeing how other Australians live. They are highly engaged and interested in what’s going on around the world but always like advice on how that relates to their own home and how they can translate trends to their own space. Oh, and they love to shop!
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET FEATURED IN REAL LIVING? WHAT DO BRANDS & PR AGENCIES NEED TO BETTER UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE MAGAZINE WORLD TODAY?
The most exciting thing is coming across a brand doing something original. We love discovering new labels who are doing their own thing. It sounds cliché but authenticity rules. We shoot almost all our own content but strong brand imagery and anything with an interesting story angle always catch our eye too. The interiors category is hugely competitive so whenever there’s an opportunity to feature something exclusively or be first to market with new images or product, that definitely gets our attention.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LOOK LIKE AS EDITOR OF REAL LIVING? CAN YOU TALK US THROUGH YOUR LAST 24 HOURS?
I’m usually up by 6am, do 20 minutes of meditation then try and squeeze in a workout. I like listening to podcasts while I run (‘The High Low’ is my favourite right now) or I do yoga on my iPad at home (YogaGlo is my favourite app).
I get to work by 9am and eat breakfast at my desk while I clear as many emails as possible before heading into meetings for most of the day. I’ll meet with the team to plan upcoming content as well as other departments to discuss commercial opportunities, events and new marketing initiatives. I’m often out for an event at lunchtime and then I head back to the office. I try and do another email clear out before I leave by 6.30pm, if we’re not on deadline. Throughout the day I am constantly checking our social channels to see what’s resonating. In the evening, I often have more functions, so I’ll pop along before going home, checking emails again and flaking out by midnight.
WHAT MAKES FLAUNTER A USEFUL TOOL FOR YOU? HOW DOES IT MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER?
Flaunter is such a great way for me to stay up to date on our favourite brands. The convenience of being able to browse and download high res images directly, without having to wait for an email response, is absolutely priceless.
QUICK ONE FOR FUN: HOW MANY IMAGES, ON AVERAGE, WOULD YOU NORMALLY FIND IN AN ISSUE OF REAL LIVING?
Roughly 300. We create a huge proportion of those ourselves so it’s an epic but incredibly satisfying undertaking every month.
AND NOW, 5 QUESTIONS FROM OUR COMMUNITY 🙂
- How do I make sure my brand remains relevant to the media?
Tailor your pitches so they are appropriate for each outlet. You’re better off going after a handful of media who are a really good fit than casting the net super-wide and trying to appeal to everyone.
- How quickly should I follow up with media if I send them a press release?
I would say at least a week, although they can be tricky to get right. If I’m interested in a generic pitch I’ll respond pretty quickly. I think you’re better off following up on a bespoke pitch relating to a specific, exclusive opportunity rather than chasing a response to mass mailouts.
- Who should I send a press release or pitch to? Should I send them to magazine editors or photo editors?
The team structure is different on every mag, but if you can’t find a section editor you can’t go wrong sending to the editor and the deputy editor.
- How do I figure out which media is most likely to feature my brand?
Look at where your competitors are being featured and start from there. Spend time really reading magazines and ask yourself “how would my brand fit into this line-up?”.
- Where can I go/what can I do so that journalists find/notice me, rather than getting lost in their inbox?
Forming relationships is important. These days everyone is so busy, I always recommend organising a showing at the offices. Most companies will have a meeting room you can book and then invite all the magazines in the building to pop in and say hi.
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