Focus on ParentDishUK with editor Katie Lee

ParentDish UK is a parenting website and blog published by Miramus on behalf of AOL. It covers parenting, motherhood, pregnancy, fatherhood, celeb babies, family time, gear and goodies, health, homes, diet, gardening, food and recipes.

It is edited by Katie Lee, and this week FeaturesExec caught up with Katie to talk about the site, her PR pet hates and why she loves her work.

About the publication:

Tell us a bit about ParentDish UK:
ParentDish UK is part of the AOL blog network. AOL already has a successful blog network in the US (including Engadget, ParentDish US and TV Squad) and the UK is joining in.

How do you differ from other media outlets in your sector?
Although it’s part of AOL, ParentDish is definitely a blog and a standalone website in its own right. It has that great informal, personal blogging feel to it, making it a parenting website that’s less formulaic and staid than many parenting magazines and websites.

What are the aims of the site?
To be fun and informative!

Describe a typical reader for us:
Everyone’s welcome, but a typical reader probably already reads parenting blogs, regularly uses sites like Facebook and Twitter, and is either pregnant or bringing up children!

What stories are you most interested in covering?
Parenting and pregnancy stories are our main concern – including celebrity news, products and parenting news.

How do you decide the content, front covers and headlines?
We have a mix of useful advice for readers, personal columns, news, celebrity stories and product reviews. What gets promoted is usually the stories readers click on the most, or comment on the most. So the community decides for us.

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 regular columns appear on specific days, and all writers have their own specialist areas that they cover, which means that planning the site is fairly straightforward.

Do you produce a features list? (If not, why not)
We plan the site features about a month in advance, but news is written on a daily basis depending on what the big stories are. For special features the writers will run their own requests for information on Response Source, or contact PRs directly.

Do you use freelance contributions, and if so, are they for any particular section/type of work?
All our writers are freelancers, but there are currently no spare slots for writers.

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs?
Yes, the team is made up of experienced journalists who are all used to working with PRs.

What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
News about products, product review samples and ideas for stories are all welcome.

What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
Contact the main ParentDish email address – and one of the writers will get back to you.

Do you have a PR pet hate?
Irrelevant press releases and subject headers that don’t tell you anything (eg. “Press Release” or “New Product from XXX”).

When is the best time for PRs to contact you & when is your deadline for contributions?
Any time works for us! But if you want a story up on a specific day, you should try to send us info a week in advance at least.

About you:

Describe a typical day at work:
I read through and edit all the stories for the site for the day and publish them to the site. I update the site furniture, send out emails to the writers and plan for the next day. Simple!

What do you love about your work?
I really enjoy reading all the articles from our brilliant writers. There’s a great mix of news and advice and I’ve learned an awful lot of very useful stuff about pregnancy and parenting.

Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I was co-founder and editorial director at Shiny Media, creating and managing around 35 blogs. I still work as a journalist for the Telegraph technology blog and Look magazine, but I mainly focus on running websites and online magazines for clients like AOL through my new company, Miramus.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I think reading the Four Hour Work Week really changed the way I look at life. It changed my attitude by showing that the work/life balance doesn’t have to be about juggling two different lives, but blending your day in a way that makes you more relaxed and happy.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you do?
I love the web with a passion, so I’d probably still be doing something web-related. Alternatively, I’d be writing TV shows (but probably still be trying to get them on the web instead of TV).

What’s your idea of a relaxing day off?
Heading down to my woodland in Kent to sit round a campfire, eat food and stare at the trees.
[lnk||_self|ParentDish UK]
[img|jpg|Katie Lee]

New! Check out our Media Jobs board for PR and Journalism vacancies Learn more