Focus interview on Welsh Country with editor Kath Rhodes

Welsh Country is a glossy countryside magazine for anyone who loves Wales. It aims to encompass everything that is considered great about the country. This week, FeaturesExec caught up with editor Kath Rhodes to find out why she thinks Wales is great, what she likes to read, Duffy and Tom Jones.

About the publication:

Tell us a bit about Welsh Country: Now in our fifth year, Welsh Country magazine is bimonthly and full colour. We cover everything about Wales and Welsh Country is popular with people living in Wales, our many visitors and Welsh people who are now living away from their homeland. How do you differ from other magazines in your area? Well of course we are simply the best! Seriously though, we are only one of two magazines that are pan Wales but I think our eclectic content is what our readers enjoy so much along with some stunning photography. Describe a typical reader for us: They have a love of Wales and everything Welsh, which is so easy to achieve as this country is so varied and beautiful. A passion for Welsh local produce and supporting farm shops, food festivals and farmers markets. What stories are you most interested in covering? As long as they have a Welsh theme – whether past or present – it might be of interest. How does the editorial process run? Well it’s sometimes quite frantic, but generally rather well, which is down to our brilliant team. Do you have specific days when you focus on different aspects of the magazine, or is the planning on a much more ad-hoc basis? We are a small team in-house with a good nucleus of freelancer writers and photographers. How do you decide the content, front covers and headlines? We run some regular features in every issue and I’m in trouble if I decide to dump one! Let me try and give you a taster of what we regularly do: Under the Spotlight interview, Country Matters with BBC’s Mel Doel, Swansea Deputy Headmaster Geoff Brookes who uncovers gravestones and the sad and tragic tales, we’ve just published some of his stories in his first book – Stories In Welsh Stone. Tom Hutton looks after our Walking in Wales pages, gardening, bookshelf, music, fishing, rural matters, newsround, pictorial Wales, wildlife, horoscopes, pamper pages and of course Welsh food. Do you produce a features list? Not really, we give guidance as to our regular features above but don’t run with the media crowd with "it’s March – must do a wedding feature."

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs? PRs are vital for our Pamper/Beauty pages so I work very closely with them. It’s obviously taken time to build up but we work with companies like Jo Malone, L’Occitane, Guerlain, By Terry, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Mac, Roger & Gallet, through to Jemma Kidd and Barbara Daly. But on the music side I’d like more PRs to be in touch. What information/input from PRs is most useful to you? New products and reminders of old favourites. What's the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client? Email and we’ll take it from there. Do you have a PR pet hate? Badly written press releases. When is the best time for PRs to contact you & when is your deadline for contributions? We work well ahead and as a guideline it’s now early March and I’ve planned May/June. So basically the earlier the better, the early bird and all that…

About you:

What are your editorial duties? As a small team, so let me say most things. What’s the most memorable work you’ve done? I think promoting Welsh local produce through our Buy Local – Eat Local campaign – that will not stop until everyone has got that message that we have the best food ever here in Wales. Plus I’ve enjoyed interviewing Welsh Celebs, such as opera singers, Bryn Terfel, Katherine Jenkins, ‘How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria’ winner Connie Fisher, GMTV's Fiona Phillips, BBC's Aled Jones and Jamie Owen. What interview or feature would you love the chance to do? Pop singer Duffy is on my wish list as is Tom Jones. What do you love about your work? The variety and the wonderful feedback we get from readers. What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you? Don’t change – life would then be too boring! I’d love to have a go at… Riding at Badminton Horse Trials and flying a plane. What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag or blogs on your screen? A Funny Kind of Love, the biography from Sian Lloyd of ITV who I’m interviewing for our next issue June/July, Organic Pharmacy, and Geoff’s book Stories In Welsh Stone. [lnk||_self|Welsh Country] [img|jpg|Kath Rhodes]

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