This week we catch up with Dan Tye, founder and editor of Adventure 52, the new weekly magazine for those who love adventure sports, mountain culture, art and exercise.
About About All Adventure 52:
Who reads it and how many of them are there?
Adventure 52 is read by people who love adventure sports or want to know more about them. We publish 52 digital issues a year, one a week, so that our readers can keep up to date with the latest events they can take part in or be inspired from an adventure story that’s taken place during the week. The 52 in the title relates to the 52 weeks of the year and that we need to make those weeks as adventurous as we can.
What subjects do you cover?
Adventure 52 isn’t about extreme sports, it’s about showing how everyday people can live more adventurously. I’ve met so many other like-minded people on my own adventures that I’ve realised that we all like to try a bit of everything. The subjects we cover are running and hiking, skiing and snowboarding, adventure motorcycling, flying, swimming and diving. Perhaps the biggest subject we cover is ‘lifestyle’, so you’ll see features on art, mountain culture, fashion and nutrition too.
What stories are you most interested in covering?
I’m very keen to tell the adventure stories of everyday people and show that even with a busy worklife we can still do small things each day which make us feel like were living more adventurously. So I’m after anything that shouts adventure, whether it’s a new book, a great film, a new product or fashion trend. I’m also after the stories that make us go ‘wow, I didn’t know that before’ and interview opportunities with adventurers.
What makes you different from the other outlets in your sector?
Most of the other outdoor magazines are monthly titles and only cover a specific sport but Adventure 52 is different because it’s a weekly publication and we cover sports which have natural crossovers. We’re different because we focus on an adventure lifestyle, not just a single activity. We’re also a digital magazine and along with daily posts on adventure52.com we’re able to be more reactive to news and developments too.
How do you decide the content, front covers and headlines?
Deciding on content is easy. First the story has to really grab my interest and excite me, then it has to give me something I never knew before. Finally it has to have great imagery to support it. Stories can also be broken down into one of three types; they can be a threat, an opportunity or for entertainment. Knowing which one a story fits into helps me keep the right balance.
Front covers need an image which tells a story or helps the person see or imagine themselves doing what’s shown on the cover. In the case of my first two issues of Adventure 52, I used woman wrapped up warm for winter for Week 1 and an adventure motorcyclist razzing his way over sand dunes for the cover of Week 2.
I find writing headlines takes the most amount of thought. Usually I write down key words in my Moleskine notebook. By doing this I don’t end up losing scraps of paper but more importantly none of my ideas go to waste. Sometimes I find a keyword I’ve come up with for one story gets used in a headline for another much later down the line. Often it’s about thinking outside the obvious headline, looking in the story for the crux of the issue and then selling it.
Do you use freelance contributions, and if so, are they for any particular section/type of work?
Not at the moment but new voices will be great for Adventure 52 in the future.
Do you work closely with PRs (e.g. for supplements, round tables, events) or do you keep them at arm’s length?
I’ve worked very closely with PRs in the past and will continue to do so. Even if the angle they’ve come up with doesn’t fit in with the style of Adventure 52, there’s always another which will. I really like PRs who can come to me with something that sounds pretty tenuous at first but then with some imagination and research we can work out something unique between us. Often these are the articles which turn out best.
How should a PR approach you about their client?
Emails are great but a phone call saves a lot of time and I like having a dialogue as this generates ideas. I can also hear how enthusiastic a person is.” What information/input from PRs is most useful to you? “Fast access to high resolution imagery is very useful. Having a story is one thing but if you have the images to go with it and they’re ready to email straight across then all the better. Introductions from PRs to new contacts are equally valuable.
When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
Best to contact me on a Monday afternoon as this is just after publishing the weekly magazine. It’s when I’ll start on the following week’s issue and I’ll be deciding on the content.
Describe a typical day at work: What are you editorial duties/responsibilities at the outlet (e.g. commissioning, subbing, features, interviewing)?
I’m a firm believer in writing a list of tasks to do the night before the next day. I start early and find I write best in the morning so I’ll assign that time for big features. I check email throughout the day and then list potential stories in the same place so I know where to look later on. At present, I’m doing most of the writing myself but in time I aim to step back and commission pieces and establish regular contributors.
What interests you most about your job?
I love it when I get great feedback from an article but I guess the thing that most interests me is being involved in adventure and feeling like I’m doing something exciting and worthwhile with my life. ‘Freedom of thought’ is a term I often use and I like being in control of my own destiny. I also love meeting and hearing about how other people live their lives.
Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I started out as a News Reporter for Motor Cycle News and through them I did a Certificate in Journalism. I then started as Chief Reporter for a flying magazine called LOOP and went on to become Editor of Go Flying! magazine and deputy editor of Pilot magazine. Originally I was in the RAF and I also worked as a ski instructor in Canada. I had always wanted to publish my own magazine so at the end of 2010, it was time to make the adventure happen.
Do you Twitter? Why, why not?
Yes and I use it to let people know about new posts on the Adventure 52 website.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
If things don’t change they stay the same. It sounds bloody obvious but it’s a powerful call to action to make things happen.
What media do you seek out 1st thing in the morning?
I check a number of RSS feeds for adventure and Google Keywords but there’s one blog called Blue Ice Aviation which I check in on daily. It’s about an Alaskan pilot. The flying photos he posts bring a smile to my face and makes me wish I was out there.
If you could time travel what time would you go to?
Back to the time of Alexander the Great.