Focus interview with Helen Hokin from Foodtripper.com
Helen Hokin is the executive editor for Foodtripper.com, a freshly launched website for “people who travel to eat”. She tells us what we can expect to find on the website, as well as outlining the importance of a timely story and focused pitch.
About the publication:
Describe a typical reader for us:
Well-travelled, sophisticated, curious, adventurous, know food.
What stories are you most interested in covering in the publication?
Food destinations, boutique hotels with great food, high end restaurants all over the world.
How does the editorial process run? 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?
The web is fast moving and we have to be super organised to be able to mobilise and publish newsworthy stories while they’re fresh.
How do you decide the content and headines?
We try to work in synch with the seasons – in winter it’s blue seas and palm trees; in summer, European destinations closer to home and increasingly the UK.
Do you produce a features list? (If not, why not)
Yes but again it’s fast moving on the web so it’s more of a working document, a guideline.
About you and PRs:
Do you work closely with PRs?
What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
It varies, it’s good to hear about new hotel and restaurant openings around the world.
What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
Ask us for our media pack.
Do you have a PR pet hate?
No, my experience is that they are helpful, if what they’re offering doesn’t fit with the publication I usually say so and then no-one’s wasting anyone’s time.
Describe a typical day at work: / What are your editorial duties/responsibilities at the magazine (e.g. commissioning, nibs, subbing, features, interviewing etc)?
It’s a combination of keeping the creative direction moving forward, managing journalists – making sure they’re on message with the direction of the magazine, fusing creativity with the commercials, working with clients to put together content initiatives and making sure it all adds to the bottom line.
What do you love about your work? Everything.
Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I was food editor and media spokesperson for Food and Travel Magazine. But I was on board with the first dot com movement in 2000 where I was responsible for the launch of weightwatchers.com in the UK. I’ve worked at handbag.com and various food drink and travel publications as well as Travel Channel.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
In life, you get what you focus on.
I’d love to have a go at… / If you weren’t doing this, what would you do?
This is exactly what I want to do.
What media do you seek out first thing in the morning?
What’s your idea of a relaxing day off?
Early morning run in the park followed by a jaunt down the King’s Road before meeting friends for food and drinks.
[img|jpg|Helen Hokin, executive editor of Foodtripper.com]