Hearst UK: a night with the Editors

IMG_8509As a new blogger on the block, I couldn’t think of a more perfect opportunity than to spend an evening with five editors from Hearst Magazines UK. Soaking up their wonderful pearls of wisdom on all things blogging and consumer journalism – we were set for an inspirational evening. And if that doesn’t get your heart racing enough, how about the mention of naked men and cupcakes? (Oo-er, I say!) This is my kind’a evening. Let’s rock and roll…

The event was held at the alluring Millennium Hotel, in the heart of London’s Mayfair. IMG_8502

Bustling with approx. 200 fashionistas, I knew I was in the right place.

We were spoilt with delicious canapés and bubbles as we eagerly awaited our sought-after panel. You could feel the energy and excitement building in the room…

Welcome, the panel

Louise Court – Editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan
Victoria White – Editor of Company
Sarah Bailey – Editor-in-chief of Red
Mandie Gower – Editor of Zest
David Moynihan – Editor of Digital Spy
Viv Groskop – Freelance writer/comedian and tonight’s host!

The editors were incredibly charming, charismatic and down to earth – a far cry from their ‘Devil Wears Prada’ stereotypes. They gave us great insights into the world of publishing and how much the industry has changed since they started out. Here are their top tips for aspiring bloggers and journalists, today:

Ten key drivers for success:

  1. Know your ‘brand pillars’ – what does your brand stand for?
    (E.g. Cosmopolitan: Relationships, feeling and looking good, careers and fashion)
  2. Make sure you have a consistent voice across all of your channels, whether it’s print, digital or social media.
  3. Have a good blog, one that you would be proud to show an editor. ‘A bad blog is a CV killer’ says Victoria White. Be accurate, make sure it’s grammatically correct and check your spellings.
  4. Understand who your readership is. What content do they want to read, what do they need, what do they think about?
  5. Network, network, network – build relationships within the industry, and be nice 🙂
  6. Get as much experience as you can. Apply for internships, volunteer to contribute to a publication or newspaper – it doesn’t have to be for a big brand – check out local publishers in your area.
  7. Don’t work on your dream title first, set that as your goal – make the mistakes whilst you’re gaining experience.
  8. Become social media savvy and learn how to edit videos. ‘Videos and social media are the core of any website’ revealed David Moynihan. Teach yourself by watching YouTube tutorials.
  9. A journalism degree is not essential – what’s key is your passion and personality, and the ability to engage with your audience. Writing a blog will demonstrate this, make it good! (Back to point number 3).
  10. If you are given an opportunity, embrace it. Do everything with a smile. When you’re given a deadline date, submit it two days early. It may only be work experience, but if you make a good impression, you’ll be first in the running if a job comes up. Go-go-go!

Parting words from the editors:

  • Louise Court – Whatever you’re going for, make sure you do your research. Be prepared.
  • Victoria White – Once you land your dream job, remember that everyday.
  • Sarah Bailey‘Take the meeting’ whether it’s jobs or dates, you never know where it might lead you.
  • Mandie Gower – You can only ever do your best.
  • David Moynihan – Gain peoples attention and respect them. Go above and beyond.

Don’t send naked men and cupcakes along with a pitch for a new feature. Yes, this actually happened, true story (more importantly, where was I?!) – jokes aside, this is old news. Send carrot sticks instead!

Even more treats – THE GOODY BAG.

IMG_8505It wouldn’t be a party without a good, goody bag! Listed in order of appearance:

  1. Benefit Watt’s Up!
  2. Little White Lie – Tanning Lotion
  4. Bloom Premium London Gin
  5. (Sample sizes shown) Aloe Leaf Cleanser, Naturelle Tightening Serum and Spritz De Cocoa by Mon Épris
  6. Book: Never Mind The Botox: Alex
  7. Bananagrams
  8. Lightly Salted Propercorn
  9. Balance Me Moisture-Rich Face Cream
  10. Paul Mitchell Curls Ultimate Wave Gel

A special shout out to…

I met a lovely lady called Lisa. Lisa came over to introduce herself at the start of the evening – she approached me on my right side (unfortunately, I am deaf in my right ear) whilst I was reckoning with three different trays of canapés (you’ve got to try one of each, right?) Thankfully, she forgave me for my unintentional ignorance, and joined me on all three canapés. Happy days 🙂

Hearst UK for a fantastic evening – I can’t wait for your next event!

For more news and updates on the Editor’s Talk, check out twitter using the hashtag #HearstEditorsTalk. And to get on the mailing list for future events, send your details to: hearstevents@hearst.co.uk

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