How does it feel to return to a company you worked at previously?
It’s great to return to the familiar faces and to a company that feels like home.
Why did you accept the position of associate publisher?r /r /I identify with Associated Magazines’ unique culture and business values and share the company’s passion for publishing. Knowing the brands of Associated Magazines and having a clear understanding of what is expected of this position, I was ready to take on a whole new set of challenges.
How did you get into publishing?
As a young girl I always had a passion for writing and somehow publishing and magazines always formed part of my life. My career took off while working at an FMCG health company, where I became a retail specialist and a strong support to the sales team as the trade marketing manager. Then in 2003, MD of Associated Magazines, Julia Raphaely, got my contact details from a friend in the industry and since then I’ve never looked back.r /r /What is your strategic vision for the company?r /r /As part of the new senior management team, I plan to ensure that all efforts of a streamlined publishing division are fully directed at achieving the overall objectives of the business. I will work closely with the soon-to-be-appointed group publisher to develop new revenue streams for the company and further strengthen our magazine brands in the market.
How has new media affected the magazine industry?
New media such as mobile and the internet are slowly making an impact on all traditional media usage, but not necessarily in a negative way. In many cases new media is acting in a supplementary fashion and further enhance the traditional media’s position in the market.
What are your plans for the online sphere?
Our reader is always the centre of what we do and we will incorporate any new media offering into our strategy to keep on delivering the best content to our readers. Associated Magazines launched target=”_blank” href=”http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za”Cosmopolitan.co.za!_LT_/a in mid-2008 and the site already attracts around 10,000 unique users per month. New media creates new platforms for interactivity, which is an opportunity for us and not a threat.
How has the current economic climate affected the magazine industry?
We are all dealing with the economic realities at the moment. Our readers have become more demanding, more informed and less tolerant. They have a lot more choices and their expectations are sky-high. They want value for their money. Magazines that do not invest heavily in strong brand positioning and deliver quality editorial content that gives the reader the best reading experience for her money will not survive.
How has it affected publishing at Associated Magazines?
It’s been a challenging year but we just have to work harder and smarter. By strengthening our publishing side of the business, we will ensure long-term sustainability during the current economic climate. We continue to invest in our editorial excellence and everything we do is constantly evaluated in its economic market segment.
What inspires you?
Being close to nature, which always allows for time to reflect on life. I also love to travel, explore other countries and experience how other people live.
What is the best thing about working with women’s magazines?
For many of us our favourite magazine has also been our best friend. They are emotional, sexy, glamorous, empowering, opinionated, unpredictable, fearless, confident and trendsetting. Women’s magazines touch every woman with advice at every stage in her life.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading as many magazines as possible to stay in touch with the market, but I love books and am currently reading Follow Your Heart by Andrew Matthews and Mind the Gap by Graeme Codrington and Sue Grant-Marshall.