The List - Eating & Drinking Party 2016 - Glasgow-7
© Sandy Butler

For magazine publishers, seeking out innovative ways to diversify business is standard practice. Long gone are the days of relying on strong products or portfolios, with the new norm shifting towards the pursuit of profitable brand extensions. Such ventures have gradually become equally as crucial in the industry as revenue from sales and subscriptions, allowing companies to enhance the overall strength of their brands.

The List have successfully tapped into the benefits of brand extensions through their regular events and printed guides that are published throughout the year. For this reason, when the opportunity arose to undertake my placement at The List helping out with the distribution of the annual Eating & Drinking Guide and the parties that celebrate its release, I jumped at the chance. I felt that it would be a fantastic way to gain an insight into how brand extensions can be valuable to a publication whilst also getting a general overview of how the magazine is organised and run. As a freelance music writer for The List, I was particularly excited because the placement would allow me to get involved in a completely different area of the magazine and learn new skills as a result.

The Eating & Drinking Guide details some of the best restaurants, bistros, cafés and bars in Edinburgh and Glasgow through comprehensive reviews and reliable tips. With the 2016 guide recently published in April, it was widely distributed throughout the two cities in newsagents, venues and bookstores. One of the first tasks on my placement involved calling confirmed distributors to enquire about the number of copies of the guide they required, something that I found challenging due to my irrational fear of talking on the phone. But I got over this fairly quickly as I began making calls to the Waterstones stores in Edinburgh and Glasgow and other places like the National Galleries of Scotland. The more shops I called, the easier it became which made me realise that talking on the phone didn’t have to be as terrifying as I initially thought.

As well as helping with the management of the Eating & Drinking Guide party invites using Eventbrite, I also spent some time replying to the various queries of attendees and requests for further tickets. The two events, which took place in Edinburgh and Glasgow, were hugely popular and for this reason, guest numbers required regular monitoring. I also attended and helped at the Edinburgh party which was held at Ox184 on the Cowgate, assisting with the set-up and handing out of the certificates to hitlisted bars and restaurants. I really enjoyed the experience as I was able to see first hand the positive outcome of running such an event through the fun had by all the winners, guests and staff. It’s clear how respected the brand is amongst Edinburgh and Glasgow businesses and I appreciate being given the opportunity to be involved.

Ultimately, I not only feel that I now have a greater awareness of how brand extensions work in practice and their significance to publishers, but I also have more of a grasp on the process of organising distribution and planning events. I’m grateful to Jade Regulski and the rest of the team at The List for making me feel welcome and for introducing me to a previously unfamiliar area within magazine publishing.

Find out more about the Eating & Drinking Guide here.