Focus on Asia Pacific Coatings Journal with editor Elit Rowland

Asia Pacific Coatings Journal is a bimonthly journal targeting paint manufacturers in South East Asia, Pacific Rim and China. As part of the Coatings Group, the journal provides manufacturers in the region with the latest developments in formulation, raw materials and manufacturing processes in the coatings industry.

This week, FeaturesExec caught up with editor Elit Rowland to discuss the journal in depth, what information she’d like from PRs and her idea of a relaxing day off.

About the publication:

Tell us a bit about Asia Pacific Coating Journal:
The Asia Pacific Coatings Journal (part of the Coatings Group) targets paint manufactures in the Asia Pacific – providing them with the latest in technological developments, market trends and regulatory updates that affect the coatings, inks and adhesives industries in the region. Our contributors are raw material suppliers, market analysts and regulatory representatives. I see APCJ as a means through which the Asian coatings community is united and a tool through which readers can benefit from a wealth of knowledge, specific to their business needs, as well as a forum for sharing ideas, advice and innovation.

How do you differ from other media outlets in your sector?
We are the only journal dedicated to the coatings industry in Asia, the Pacific Rim and China but we also organise coatings exhibitions and conferences. We pay particular attention to ASEAN as we consider this region to be a growing market – particularly Vietnam and Indonesia, which due to their strong domestic markets – have not been so badly affected by the recession. The Coatings Group has a very dynamic team willing to adapt according to market trends. Where the market goes – we follow! APCJ also works closely with all the Asia Pacific paint associations, whom have given APCJ their full support and market insight.

Describe a typical reader for us:
Paint manufacturers in the Asia Pacific who are interested keeping up to date with current innovation that may boost their products, regulations that may affect their business, environmental solutions and information on emerging markets. The person will be interested in learning what the future holds with regards to coatings trends in their specific sector and learn more about exhibitions and events in the industry. Readers are not exclusive to Asia – APCJ is also read by manufacturers in Europe and the Middle East who are interested in learning more about the Asian market.

What stories are you most interested in covering?
Market reports seem to be the most popular (and funnily cost the most money to produce!). Readers always want to know where the market is going so that they can stay ahead of the game and follow the money. Often, this information is difficult to get hold of and not readily available for free – but we make a point of publishing at least one market report per issue to keep people informed. We have consultants and freelance journalists positioned all over the world – ready to report! I know some readers who cut them out and keep an APCJ market report archive!

How do you decide the content and headlines?
We have an editorial programme, which is updated every year to reflect trends and changes in what people want to read and what the ‘hot’ topics are are the industry. If we are over commissioned, I will hold over articles that I consider to be too technical. It’s good to have a couple of technical pieces but too many sometimes put readers off! 39% of our readers are technical / chemists so it’s important to have a good balance. Headlines are decided by me – but if a suggested headline is already suitable – I’ll keep it.

How does the editorial process run? Do you have specific days when you focus on different aspects or is the planning on a much more ad-hoc basis?
APCJ is bi-monthly so I’ll spend a couple of weeks commissioning, a couple of weeks laying out articles (I do all the design work / layouts myself, which is great fun but very time consuming), then a couple of weeks proofing, producing final PDFS and processing the digital edition. I am a one-man (woman) band so although APCJ is only every two months – coupled with around five business trips to Southeast Asia a year, I am always very busy. It’s great fun!

Do you produce a features list?
Of course – anyone interested in having a look should email me!

Do you use freelance contributions, and if so, are they for any particular section/type of work?
Yes, we use them for market reports

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs?

What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
They pitch articles to us based on the features list and usually submit them on time, which is handy. Sometimes when we deal with technical people directly, they are so busy it’s difficult to meet deadlines.

What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
Have a look at the features list and pitch something relevant. 100 words bullet pointed synopsis is always good.

Do you have a PR pet hate?
No – it quite like PR people. They are very efficient.

When is the best time for PRs to contact you & when is your deadline for contributions?
Between 9-5 and the 1st of the month previous to the one when the publication is due.

About you:

Describe a typical day at work:
Arrive early, check through emails, do a bit of commissioning, lay out a few articles, proof read some articles, think about the next front cover, be called in to a meeting, leave office late

What do you love about your work?
I love the freedom as an editor to commission articles and develop ideas that respond to the changing needs of our readers. Because I also lay out the journal (in a design sense) I can also influence the aesthetics of the journal, choose the front cover etc. In terms of the people I work with, I have also grown to love the Asia coatings community – I have made some very good friends and the industry is very genuine and the people very kind. I think I prefer the warmth and kindness of Asian people to the stereotypical ‘coldness’ that I’m so accustomed to here in the UK. Asia is often looking to the West for technological innovation and to keep up with changing regulations – but I believe we have a lot to learn from our Asian friends.

Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I worked on a B2B hospital design journal but had to quit because I was travelling four hours a day. I ended up in my current position after joining a job agency which specialized in publishing.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t take sweets from strangers. Just kidding! My dad once told me that no matter what you chose to do in life, just make sure you do it well. Sounds simple but I’ve applied it to everything. My job, marriage etc

If you weren’t doing this, what would you do?
I thought about being a stunt woman – but I’m scared of heights.

What’s your idea of a relaxing day off?
A lazy morning in bed in with my husband with no plans for the rest of the day – but plenty of dvds and a crossword.
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[img|jpg|Elit Rowland]

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