Focus with JUMP editor in chief Cate Languir

Today we chat with Cate Languir, editor in chief of JUMP magazine. In this focus, she tells us who the typical Jump reader is and how her magazine stands out from the rest.

About the publication:

Tell us a bit about JUMP:
JUMP is a full colour A4 bi-annual lifestyle magazine aimed at parents of children aged between 18 months and five years, covering aspects of raising toddlers that range from family friendly days out, to poetry for little ones. It is published on behalf of the UK’s major parent marketing group, Bounty.

How do you differ from other media outlets in your sector?
The main way we differ is that we are free of charge, and distribution is direct to the reader via Bounty packs for parents with growing families. The magazine is also direct emailed, in digital form, to 450,000 Bounty parents.
Another way that we differ, perhaps, is that we focus primarily on leisure pursuits and entertainment, also touching on parenting, childcare, consumer and health concerns.

Describe a typical reader for us:
A typical reader is a mother who has collected her pregnancy/baby Bounty pack in the past, and is keeping in touch with the brand as her family grows. She is in her 20s or 30s, and is working full or part time with her toddler at nursery/pre-school, and getting ready to start school properly. She’s more Tesco than Waitrose in her supermarket shopping habits, and is very interested in a bargain, as she is most probably managing a tight household budget.

What stories are you most interested in covering?
We really do cover everything, from what’s in a celebrity mum’s handbag, to tips on how to survive the school run. We don’t tend to feature product reviews, although advertorial content is always an option, should a company be interested in advertising!

How do you decide the content, front covers and headlines?
It’s very much seasonal in its cover outlook, focussing on spring, summer, autumn or winter. The seasons and particular events, from Halloween to Christmas to the school fete, very much dictate the content. We do like a pun, when it comes to headlines – no holds barred!

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?
It’s completely ad-hoc, but we always keep an eye on the final deadline. It’s a very small team, and yet we endeavour to generate a fair bit of content in-house.

Do you produce a features list? (If not, why not)
Our features list is usually ready a couple of months before publication date. We have regular sections that we cover, although about 50 per cent of each issue’s features come from outside contributors.

Do you use freelance contributions, and if so, are they for any particular section/type of work?
Yes, often they will suggest ideas, which we then commission. Sometimes I’ll have an idea, and will have a particular contributor in mind.

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs?
We do on certain sections, particularly for the Diary and Days Out sections. We also work with children’s fashion PRs.

What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
I have to say, that when images are provided, it’s always a godsend, as they’re always the trickiest part of any story to fulfil, and can make the difference between something going in or not.

What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
Email with follow-up call or call with follow-up email.

Do you have a PR pet hate?
I don’t always have much time for small talk or chit chat, but when there’s a terse answer from me, they usually twig that I’m busy!

When is the best time for PRs to contact you & when is your deadline for contributions?
Morning is usually best, and our deadlines are always shifting.

About you:

Describe a typical day at work:
As I’m sure everyone tells you, there isn’t a typical day at work. Our work flow is entirely deadline driven. If we’re close to a deadline, it’s all hands on deck, subbing, proof-reading, sending pages to repro. If deadlines are a little way off, we could be information and picture sourcing, interviewing, and writing. There’s a fair degree of admin, too, which I squeeze into most days.

What do you love about your work?
I love working on a variety of titles, as no two days are the same. I also edit a publication for UK Asians, called ZEE TV Magazine, a title for the gay community called Pride Life, and a number of annual one-off magazines, mainly for TV Award events. And since the magazines are all produced for clients, rather than the newsstand, I enjoy a fair degree of creative freedom. Often we can be quite adventurous, and that’s always much more fun for an editor.

Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I had a career in marketing before re-training in my thirties, so my time in journalism has been relatively short. I worked for a women’s magazine, Essentials, at IPC, for a while before coming here, originally as a picture editor and staff writer. My first job as an editor was on a ski magazine the company took over, where I guess I proved my worth on a minimal budget. I’ve been here as editor of the lifestyle division ever since.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
In journalism? Listen carefully and always look interested.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you do?
I don’t think I’d be too happy moving too far away from writing or magazines. As a child I used to put together little publications, with contributions from friends and picture stories and the like, so I feel I’m doing what I was always meant to do.

What’s your idea of a relaxing day off?
A walk with a friend, or if it’s raining, a lie in, then a swim and a facial would do it for me.

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag and blogs in your screen?
I’m in a book group and we’ve just read Saplings by Noel Streatfield, about four children who are growing up during WW11. It’s written very much from their point of view at a time when the wishes of the child were rarely taken into consideration.

I subscribe to Time Out, as I live in London, and recently have subscribed to The Word and Songlines magazines. I occasionally buy Grazia and interiors mags such as Elle Deco and Living Etc.

Favourites on my desktop are mainly newspapers – Guardian and Times; sites that are relevant for the magazines I edit; facebook; friends’ blogs; and the London Bulgarian Choir site – I sing with this choir and we’ve had an amazing year, from performing at summer festivals, to singing with indie rock band Doves at the BBC Electric Proms.

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