The Debrief, Bauer Media’s six-month-old women’s lifestyle magazine, has its editorial staff create ad programs for the likes of H&M, Bacardi, and O2.
Digiday interviewed Editor Hattie Brett about the move. Here are some excerpts, as told to Chris Smith.
On its progress: “We were six months old, and in July we were just shy of 500,000 uniques and 1.2 million page impressions, which has certainly exceeded our internal targets. … We did a big piece of consumer insight on the site recently, and the results were that our typical is a 24-year-old woman, she’s earning £7,000 ($11,700) more than her ABC1 counterparts, and 76 percent of them had shared content from the site. … We really co-create content that adds value to our users. It’s fully badged on the site — we’re very transparent.”
On working directly with advertisers: “I think it’s certainly something I’ve had to get used to as an editor. It’s not something that they teach you in journalism school and that you learn early on in your career. It’s really important for editorial people to be commercially minded now. I don’t think that that means you have to sacrifice what’s at the heart of your editorial integrity, which is your service to your readers, because at the end of the day, if lose your readers, you’re going to have no product and, therefore, no advertisers.”
On conflicts: “My loyalty and everything I focus on and think about is whether this is right for my readers. But our audience, certainly, expect content for free and are savvy enough to know that if they want that content for free, then someone’s got to pay for it. [This works] as long as you’re working with like-minded [people] who share your ideals and brand mission, and you can work them to create content that is actually valuable, rather than irritating.”
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