Focus on Staggered with editor Andrew Shanahan
This week FeaturesExec catches up with Staggered's editor Andrew Shanahan to find out more about the publication and to see how Staggered differs from other wedding titles.
How do you differ from other publications in your sector? We target the men. 99% of wedding industry publications are interested only in the bride but we are all about men and weddings. Whether it’s grooms, best men, fathers of the bride or guests our content is aimed almost exclusively at blokes. Describe a typical reader for us: Our readers are 25 to 45, intelligent, funny and interested in an aspect of weddings. There’s a fallacy that blokes couldn’t give a hoot about their wedding but it’s just nonsense. Not only are there some very male-centred elements of the weddings (food, beer, transport, music, entertainment, suits, honeymoons) but these days most blokes can even venture an opinion on a colour scheme without having to rush to defend their sexuality. What stories are you most interested in covering in the publication? Anything to do with men and weddings. We do a lot about stag do ideas, proposals and engagement rings, honeymoons, wedding speeches – essentially anything blokeish and weddingish. 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? We have an editorial plan that runs over a month which will cover a particular aspect of wedding (we’ve just done a wedding nerves week and before that a week of editorial about engagements) but we also have the same quantity of content about any stories that come up. On top of that we have the blogs which are written by men preparing for their weddings, the forum where men can post questions about stag dos and weddings and an expert panel where men can get advice. Do you produce a forward features list? (If not.why not?) We do but we don’t tend to publish it, not entirely sure why. Do you use freelance contributions, and if so, are they for any particular section/type of work? We do but we don’t actively seek them out as we’ve got a full roster of writers.
Do you work closely with PRs? Always. We’re very pro-PR and we rely on good PRs for a lot of advice about new products and activities that will be of interest. Please feel free to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your press release lists. Our bloggers are the ones to contact if you’ve got a male-related product as they test all of those as we’d rather give a real bloke’s opinion on these things. What information/input from PRs is most useful to you? Information about new products and services that might be of interest to men and weddings. What's the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client? email@example.com or twitter.com/iamstaggered Do you have a PR pet hate? It’s always nice to get targeted releases, or ones that show that they know who we are, or at least give me an unsubscribe button for repeat offenders. When is the best time for PRs to contact you & when is your deadline for contributions? Any time.
Describe a typical day at work: / What are your editorial duties/responsibilities (e.g. commissioning, nibs, subbing, features, interviewing etc)? That and all the above. It’s a new company (Staggered launched in August last year) and we’ve grown very rapidly with no marketing to speak of, however, like all owners of small companies I do sales one minute, discuss editorial direction after that and then unblock the toilet the next. What do you love about your work? I think our work on Staggered matters. The idea that men don’t care about weddings is stupid, outdated and it actually causes quite a lot of friction when their thoughts and feelings get ignored, so it’s nice to raise the profile for that. Plus we have a right laugh. Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position? I’ve written as a freelancer for most of the nationals since 2005 and worked as a magazine editor before that. I’ve also run www.burnthetoast.com for over five years which writes wedding speeches for grooms and best men. For a long time I worked on the Arena Magazine website and when Arena disappeared I combined all my interests and started Staggered. I’d love to have a go at… / If you weren’t doing this, what would you do? Sleeping. I have two children under three and if Staggered wasn’t here I’d be sleeping during the day to catch up. What media do you seek out 1st thing in the morning? We’re pretty active on Twitter so I read that first thing and check my RSS for news and Stoke City stories. What's your idea of a relaxing day off? See my family, watch Stoke City beat Arsenal comfortably, then curry, beer and bed. [lnk|http://www.featuresexec.com/publications/info_outlet.php?pubid=15359|_self|Staggered] [img|jpg|Staggered]