For the Love of Magazines

I’ve always loved magazines. Sport, lifestyle, fashion, indie, trashy, whatever – if it’s printed on glossy paper, I’m pretty much guaranteed to read it. Before I’d finished high school, I’d even considered studying journalism. Magazines have been on my radar for a while, but once my opportunity to be a writer passed, I had kind of dismissed a career within the magazine industry altogether. Fast forward a few years and I found myself on the MSc Publishing course, considering a career within my other passion: books. However, I could never pin-point quite what I wanted to do with a career in book publishing. Editing? No chance. Sales? I know I can sell things, but I don’t exactly enjoy it. Nothing within book publishing was really igniting a spark. In our second semester, we were given the opportunity to produce our own product; a book or a magazine. I, of course, chose a magazine. Kudos has to be given to Nikki Simpson here – her unfaltering enthusiasm and adoration of magazines totally rubbed off on me and gave me the confidence boost I needed, I think!

I loved the whole process of creating my magazine – deciding on a focus, finding interviewees, sourcing photos (which would eventually come in handy for my placement!), designing a layout, writing features – I loved it all. I took full creative control and decided to do everything myself. My magazine isn’t the best magazine ever printed, but what it did was help me decide – finally! – that I wanted to pursue a career in the magazine industry. Editing a magazine is a lot less taxing and a whole lot more enjoyable than editing a manuscript.

When it came to choosing a placement, I had quite a difficult time. I didn’t have the confidence to approach a magazine publisher myself, so I spent a lot of time waiting around hoping for one to come up. In the end, I ended up applying for mainly book publishers, and was lucky enough to get a place with one of them. But, as such things happen, the programme then advertised a placement with a magazine publisher! 24 hours later, I was sitting in the office with Sue Hitchen, an absolute superwoman and managing director of The Media Company. The Media Company publishes a monthly food magazine, Foodies, and the annual Edinburgh Festivals magazine, as well as organising Foodies festivals in several cities across the UK … Continue reading “For the Love of Magazines”

The Media Company Publications Ltd

FoodiesLogo

Prior to starting my placement at The Media Company Publications Ltd, I was a little nervous, what would I be expected to do and would I be able to do it?

The Media Company publishes amongst others, Foodies Magazine and the Edinburgh Festival Magazine. Their offices are located in a basement property near Stockbridge, less than a 10 minute walk from Princes Street, and there was definitely a sense of homeliness from the moment I entered. Stacks of magazines and cookery books were overflowing, reminding me of my own bookshelves.

From an outsider’s perspective, The Media Company Publications Ltd could be considered a small team yet they achieve big results. I was helping out within the marketing department, in full swing of their annual Foodies Festivals which take place across the UK, and discovered just how much effort and hard work goes into the marketing of each individual festival. I also realised that sometimes even the smallest gesture, like a 140 character tweet, can go a long way and have an unbelievable impact. Nothing should be overlooked in the world of marketing.

As an intern in a busy office, I learnt to speak confidently on the phone and promote the festival effectively. I also re-evaluated the sheer importance of databases and keeping them current and up to date. Working with entries from a competition, I also realised how many people actually enter them, having always been an “I’ll enter that competition later” type of person, the scale of entrants was very impressive, as were some of their efforts to be picked.

I needn’t have worried about my first day, everyone was absolutely lovely and I would like to specially thank Gary Anderson for showing me the ropes.

Food for Thought – My Placement with Foodies Magazine

When I started this degree I wasn’t entirely sure which area of publishing I wanted to work in but having had the chance to work on both a live magazine project and a live book project – I settled more or less on magazines. Therefore when it came to choosing a placement I was keen to experience the real-world of magazine publishing.

It has been said that I think with my stomach and I absolutely adore cooking so when offered the chance to do my placement with Foodies Magazine, I jumped at the chance. Foodies Magazine is produced by The Media Publications Company Ltd. They also organise Foodies Festivals which take place in seven different locations during the summer months.

Over the course of my placement I have had the opportunity to work on both Foodies Magazine and the Foodies Festivals. This has given me a valuable insight into the process of running a professional magazine and event planning. I have had the chance to help out with a wide range of tasks and been made to feel like a valued member of the team.

Foodies Magazine

Logo used with kind permission from The Media Publishing Company Ltd.

Foodies Magazine is distributed free across Scotland and contains a lively mixture of food and drink news, recipes and articles about top chefs. The magazine prides itself on being ‘A celebration of fine food and drink’ and it’s friendly tone and bright colours make for a beautiful publication that is a joy to pick up and read.

As part of the team working on Foodies Magazine, I helped by extracting recipe text from PDF files as well as typing some out from recipe books. I had the opportunity to help research and write some of the news stories, in addition to a potential article. I was also asked to help mark up the adverts in the latest issue which involved checking the adverts in the magazine against a separate list of the adverts. When I found the advert I then wrote the code next to the advert in the magazine.

Foodies Festival

Logo used with kind permission from The Media Publishing Company Ltd.

As I mentioned above the Foodies Festivals take place at seven different locations around the country over the summer months. My work as part of the team working on Foodies Festival, centred primarily on the Hampton Court Palace event as well as the Brighton event. I aided the team through a variety of tasks. I researched a number of potential business to whom the festival could be marketed. I also researched companies that offer VIP wristbands and was able to offer advice on the likely quality of the various options.

I had the chance to flex my data-entry skills in helping to maintain the client bookings database. There is something deeply satisfying about a fully updated excel spread sheet and it was nice to feel appreciated for my data-entry skills. The other main task I helped with was the compiling of the exhibitors profiles for the Hampton Court Palace and Brighton show guides.

I also helped answer the phones which whilst scary to start with, I soon got over my nerves and I take away from this placement an improved confidence around telephones. All in all I have enjoyed my time with The Media Publishing Company and I feel it has confirmed for me my desire to make a career in the magazine publishing industry. I am grateful to all at The Media Publishing Company for allowing me the opportunity to do a placement with them.

For more information on Foodies Magazine or Foodies Festivals please visit http://www.foodies-magazine.com/ and http://www.foodiesfestival.com/ respectively.