Focus Interview with Andre Erasmus, editor of European Baker
Crier Media Group’s European Baker is a bimonthly title aimed at the baking industry across all of the countries and regions of Europe, targeting both industrial and craft bakers. Here editor, Andre Erasmus, tells us more about the title and how PRs should get in touch.
About the publication:
Who reads it and how many of them are there?
Decision makers, marketing and sales people within the international baking industry (this ranges from bakery owners to R&D bosses and marketing people to technicians and PRs) across Europe and other parts of the globe. We have a readership of around 20,000 per issue.
What subjects do you cover?
Everything relating to industrial baking as well as some artisanal news. We have regular features on given topics, world and product news, interviews with industry people and occasional guest columns from industry leaders.
What makes you different from the other publications in your sector?
We try to focus on the people as well as the product and strive for a mix of technical and informative features. We also co-host an international convention with our sister publication Biscuit World (In Warsaw, Poland for 2009) which is a networking opportunity as well as a platform for presentations and exhibitions on new developments.
Do you produce a features list? Why?
Yes. It forewarns PRs and the industry of what we intend to publish.
Do you work closely with PRs (e.g. for supplements, round tables, events) or do you keep them at arm’s length?
Usually closely with them. You soon learn who is worth keeping contact with or not. But you can’t afford to shut any of them out.
Do you have any advice for PRs?
Use fewer adjectives… we all know the product you are paid to promote is ‘the best’.
What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Company contacts, specifically the technical know-how people.
What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
The personal approach – a phone call and an email outlining what they and the client can offer the industry.
When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
Anytime is good (in office hours). We have six editions a year and the lead time is about a fortnight for each edition. We work on a nine-day cycle from finishing the writing and lay-out to the magazine being printed.
Where have you worked previously and what led to you becoming editor for European Baker?
I have public relations, newspaper and magazine experience in my native South Africa – having worked on regional dailies, in the motor industry and on motoring magazines before moving to the UK where I worked on regional newspapers before taking up my current role this year (April 2008).
What interests you most about your job?
The baking industry is continually evolving and facing new challenges – from energy conservation and going green to healthy eating and keeping costs down.
Describe a typical day at work.
Busy! I liaise with freelance writers, contacts in the industry across Europe and other parts of the world, office staff and the layout staff and have to attend occasional press trips or visits to factories, bakeries, manufacturers and the like.
I’d like to have a go at…
Driving a Formula 1 car at speed or gigging with the Rolling Stones.
Where do you hope to be in five years’ time?
Happy, contented and relaxed – but probably still working.