5 things to know about working with editors
At Flaunter, we are lucky enough to work with many editors from all over Australia and New Zealand, so we know first hand how busy they are and how fast the industry moves! One big question for brands and PR agencies is ‘how to best approach an editor to get your brand or clients noticed’? To shed light on how to deal with these elusive creatures, we asked editor extraordinaire, Jacqui Kwong from BauerWorks to share her top tips…
First things first here. Like all humans, no two editors are created equal so these are just my personal insights into what it’s like being a magazine editor and how to get my attention.
Being an editor is not unlike most other professions: continuous deadlines, an overflowing inbox, a to-do list longer than your arm – you get it. I’m always curious about what it would be like being in someone else’s work shoes for a day. What do they do? How do they handle busy? So if you’re nosy like me, hopefully you’ll find this info interesting.
When it comes to a day in the life of an editor, there are a bunch of things to do. Sadly it’s not all glamorous events and idea generation (although that’s the fun part). Along with actually editing articles and making sure the production is ticking along to meet print deadlines, there’s also keeping track of the budget, liaising with clients, going to meetings, going to shoots, supporting staff, strategising for future issues, reviewing past issues, working on advertising pitches, responding to reader letters, amplifying content to generate more sales; I could go on!
But back to the fun part: creating mag content. The number one person to keep in mind here is the reader. How does a story benefit them? How will it make their life easier, more fun, more fulfilling? Making editorial decisions, in my case when working for a specific client, was based around the audience first and the brand ethos a close second. For me, coming up with content is a constant team effort. Whether it’s more formal brainstorming meetings over muffins, lollies and chocolate, or a chance chat at someone’s desk, content comes from all sorts of discussions. I never believe in an editor dictating content but rather curating content from everyone’s ideas – diverse content is always going to make more of a mark with readers.
When it comes to fashion pages, just like the overall content direction, diversity is key. Again, it comes down to the reader so in my case when editing a mass market title, affordability and accessibility was the top priority. That meant featuring both well-known brands and up-and-comers – I didn’t mind, just as long as our readers would look and feel good!
So how does all this relate to being pitched to and getting your brand or clients noticed? Here are my five tips for dealing with editors. It’s not rocket science, but sometimes little reminders help.
5 things to know about dealing with editors
1. BE DIFFERENT
Not unique to any profession, editors get hundreds of emails a day. Prioritising these takes time in itself, so making your email stand out is one way to get noticed. Make it personal, make it funny, make it relevant.
2. TIME IT RIGHT
I’ll be honest: follow-up calls can be a bit annoying, especially if it’s deadline week. If your product/email piques my interest I’m likely to respond anyway, even if it’s not right away. If you haven’t heard back for ages, by all means, give us a buzz but perhaps call the editorial coordinator first to suss out deadline dates so you can make sure your call is coming at a convenient time.
3. KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO
Understand the publication and the types of stories it covers, the audience and the general tone of voice. A tailored approach will give you a better chance of success.
4. SET A COFFEE DATE
Sure, editors are busy, but so is everyone else! If you have a client or five you think the mag’s readers would be interested in, set a coffee catch-up with the editor to talk through opportunities. This is the real meaning of social media! Even if there are no immediate outcomes for you both, when the time does come the ed is more likely read your emails.
5. THINK NEW
Editors and mag teams are always on the hunt for new and different products and ideas, so even if your product or brand isn’t new, think about a fresh angle that’s interesting, will benefit the readers and help make the mag pages look pretty.
Jacqui has spent 15+ years in PR and publishing, penning copy for big brands including Coca-Cola, United Airlines and Radisson hotel group. She started her publishing career at Australian Good Taste (now Taste.com.au magazine) before becoming editor of Weight Watchers magazine at Bauer Media Group. She now works as a freelance writer and editor.
Banner Image: Behati Prinsloo for Who What Wear, photographer – Justin Coit, stylist – Zoe Costello