Focus on Classic Car Weekly with editor Dave Richards
About the publication
How do you differ from other publications in your sector? It’s the top Selling Weekly in the Classic Car market, and contains more up-to-date knowledge than the competition. Describe a typical reader for us: Our readership varies from the Classic Car ‘dreamer’, who enjoys looking at the myriad (over 2000 every week) classified ads (free to private advertisers) of cars for sale, through the diehard enthusiast who wants to know the cars for sale of his or her chosen marque and model, right up to the major auction houses working in the field such as H&H, Barons, Simon Charles, Bonhams and ACA. What stories are you most interested in covering in the publication? Hard news stories about the classic car market and industry New products applicable Political and financial stories pertinent to the market – Scrappage scheme resulted in over 4000 perfectly usable, MoT’d and legal classic cars being consigned to the crusher! Environmental issues relevant to the continued enjoyment of old cars by our readership How does the editorial process run? Do you have specific days when you focus on different aspects of the newspaper, or is the planning on a much more ad-hoc basis? On a weekly, planning is necessary for feature content. And News should be as up to date as possible. So PRs, get in touch as soon as you have anything, because CCW will be able to run news of your product stories before any of the monthlies – but remember, aim for images that contextualise your product to the classic car field, so for instance, a pic of a pressure washer being used with a new Mondeo is useless to me – it should be something classy, with wire wheels – Jaguar E-types are always good, and you’ll enhance your marketing by linking to the known and provable glamour of a car like that. And find the car yourself! We’ll be too busy… FRIDAY is final press day, so get in before that! How do you decide the content, front covers and headines? To appeal to the consumer seeing the title on our regular shelves in supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsburys, using established heartland classic cars. Do you produce a features list? (If not, why not) Features are included on contents page, with highlights on a cover flash, as are any significant prizes for readers to win. With a market as large as ours, you’ll need to be pitching me prize values of £500 and upwards to stand a chance of your product getting a cover mention. But you’ll be seen by all those supermarket shelf passers-by too, so well worth talking to me about what you’ve got – prosaic stuff like tools and cleaning materials, up to high-end watches and bespoke luggage. Do you use freelance contributions, and if so, are they for any particular section/type of work? We use freelancers to bring different voices to the publication, and for their specific knowledge on car makes and models.
Do you work closely with PRs? Yes – product launches in Europe gladly attended! What information/input from PRs is most useful to you? Contextualised to my market already – I won’t chase PRs who aren’t thinking about the needs of my readers, as well as the requirements of their clients! What's the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client? Tell me why the average classic car driver or car club is interested….so – imagine you own an MG B soft top, and then think about why your product or service is relevant to it. Do you have a PR pet hate? They’re all younger than me, and better looking! Seriously, I’ll be much more interested in your submissions if I see the product and can try it first – without sending it back, because there’s no budget for that! And I know large tool stacks, electric drills, tyres, fuel, oils etc are difficult. But getting them to me warms me to you and what you have to offer. When is the best time for PRs to contact you & when is your deadline for contributions? Deadline Friday lunchtimes, so get in touch on a Tuesday is best.
Describe a typical day at work: / What are your editorial duties/responsibilities at the magazine (e.g. commissioning, nibs, subbing, features, interviewing etc)? As Editor, I have to do all of those normal management functions, sign off every page, and then planning and staff management on top. Plus being an ambassador for the title. What do you love about your work? Being in the classic car world, responsible for one of the UKs top selling titles in the market I love. Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position? I worked for many years as a freelancer, but started as a journalist learning the ropes working in London. I’ve been a contributor to titles as diverse as Autocar, Practical Caravan, Classic Military Vehicle, and Top Gear but my main freelancing was with the classic car press. The editorship came to me as much for my presence within the classic car world as for my journalistic and management skills. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Writing – write to length, and make it exciting, with facts Photography – compose a beautiful picture, then put the car in it. I’d love to have a go at… / If you weren’t doing this, what would you do? I’d be running a classic car garage, buying, selling and repairing, plus organizing tours to beautiful countries in wonderful cars, so owners could get the most from them. What media do you seek out 1st thing in the morning? BBC Radio 4 sets me up for the day, then the papers at morning coffee break. What's your idea of a relaxing day off? Kick back and play with my 3 year old. Little miracles add the gloss to life. [lnk|http://www.featuresexec.com/publications/info_outlet.php?pubid=9088|_self|Classic Car Weekly]