Associated Magazines has received the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. The publishing house has won the right to publish one of the world’s best beloved magazines in South Africa – and is doing so in English and Afrikaans.
TheMediaOnline caught up with managing director, Julia Raphaely, to find out what’s in store for South African readers, and just why the company has decided to embrace this title, despite the tricky financial climate.
“Our decision to launch Good Housekeeping and the Afrikaans version, Goeie Huishouding, is one that we have been considering for some time, and we think that, for a number of reasons, the timing is absolutely right. Following on from recently conducted market research, we believe that there is still a significant gap in the market for an authentic women’s magazine such as Good Housekeeping. Good Housekeeping is more than a magazine; it’s one of the world’s most trusted brands, offering its readers credible ‘tried and tested’ solutions for all facets of their busy lives. Proven ‘easy’, ‘fast’ and ‘affordable’ solutions are more important than ever in today’s tight economic climate,” said Raphaely.
“Also,” she added, “women are more inclined to look for a single magazine that will give them information they can trust about every aspect of their busy, modern lives. They don’t have the time or the money to buy multiple magazines covering health, beauty, fashion, home, food, etc. And since we don’t believe the Good Housekeeping content is language-bound, we will be launching the magazine in both English and Afrikaans.”
Raphaely said the title has “great potential for a 360-degree approach to developing advertiser opportunities and building our reader communities”. The move in taking on a new title comes after Associated has spent the last few years “consolidating” its brands while building its’ digital offerings and reader community. “We feel very comfortable launching a new title at this time, as we believe that Good Housekeeping will strengthen our offering by complementing our existing portfolio of brands,” she said.
Good Housekeeping is 126 years old – that is a seriously long time for a magazine to stay so popular. Could it not be perceived a being just a little bit old fashioned? “Good Housekeeping was initially published in the US in 1885 and now has 11 international editions. It’s international reach and circulation bears testament to its current success,” Raphaely said. “While the name, Good Housekeeping, may seem a little ‘old fashioned’ the editorial line-up and presentation is 100 per cent in line with requirements of today’s modern women and was regarded extremely positively by all of the women involved in our market research. Our challenge will be to encourage trial of the magazine, so that readers can be exposed to the great international content that has won over readers across the globe.”
Emery will edit the English and Afrikaans editions, and content – initially – will be direct translations. Associated Magazines plans to use international material with “highly relevant local content. And, of course, will have English and Afrikaans team members.
“Our research has shown that there is strong demand for an Afrikaans magazine of this nature and while Good Housekeeping is a very strong English title, the brand and its content have translated well into other languages around the world. It is currently published in six different languages with the Afrikaans edition, Goeie Huishouding, being the seventh language edition. We are confident that Goeie Huishouding will be very successful with Afrikaans readers,” Raphaely explained.
The launch issue will remain on the shelves for two months and after that the magazine will be published monthly. It will be an A4, “weighty magazine filled with valued, practical and trustworthy content”.
Advertising is key to any successful magazine, and in South Africa, the advertising pie is a small one with many titles competing for a decent slice. “Our initial discussions with advertisers have received a lot of positive feedback. The editorial offering, including Good Housekeeping; Good Health; Good Food; Good Looks; Good Advice; Good Reads; Good Buzz; and The Goods (a ‘buy smart’ guide), is credible and compelling and creates the perfect platform for Beauty, FMCG, appliance and clothing brands, both in terms of ATL advertising and for product-trial, sponsorships, interactive reader events, etc.”
One of the hugely successful drivers of the US magazine is the renowned Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. In the US, there is even a Good Housekeeping Research Institute. It’s these icons that have built the trust of readers for decades. Raphaely said South African readers won’t miss out. “Each issue of Good Housekeeping South Africa will bring South African readers the best of both international and local content. Clearly all recipes, homeware, fashion, beauty and other products featured will be available in South Africa. We are going to be working with both the Good Housekeeping Research Institute and approved local testing facilities to test products that will be featured in the magazine and be awarded the Good Housekeeping Seal.”