Media Interview with Jeff Crockett, publisher and founder of Pink Parenting
International LGBT parenting magazine Pink Parenting reaches readers from Bournemouth to Barcelona, and has featured out and influential celebrities such as Ricky Martin talking about their own experiences of parenthood. Aimed at LGBT people between the ages of 23 to 54 (but adopting many others), the bimonthly magazine seeks to bring LGBT causes into the mainstream, while giving all parents and parents-to-be out there advice and useful ideas.
Publisher, founder, and formerly of Hollywood, Jeff Crockett explains how the magazine, as well as its sibling publication Fertility Road, brings all this to fruition every other month.
About Pink Parenting
Who reads the magazine and how many of them are there?
We currently reach just over a million, but we expect this to grow with the launch of our new app magazine. We are available in gay shops and newsagents in gay areas such as Bournemouth, Brighton, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and, of course, Soho (London). We are also in shops in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, San Francisco, Stockholm, LA, New York, Oslo, Paris, Rome, and Tel Aviv. Our readership is interesting, as about half of our audience don’t have children, but want them, and the other half is comprised of LGBT families, with a small portion of heterosexual women.
What makes you different from the other outlets in the parenting sector?
What we strive to create is an open, honest and positive feel in Pink Parenting. LGBT parenting is a reality now and we want to make the LGBT audience aware of all the information out there to assist them in their dreams to become parents. However, unlike other LGBT publications, we never have anything inappropriate in our publication, so appeal to everyone.
Tell us a bit about your regular contributors and what they bring to the magazine?
We have some fantastic contributors on board with us. In each issue we have a ‘Cooking With the Kids’ piece which is written by Annabel Karmel, the UK's no.1 author on child nutrition, who also offers handy tips for fussy eaters. We also have Emma Cannon, author and fertility expert, who contributes on a host of topics ranging from staying fit for fertility to answering questions from our readers. We also offer legal information, which is covered by our legal experts Louisa Ghevaert and Linzi Bull, both of whom are very well-respected lawyers within the family field.
You were at the Olympia for The Fertility Show this year – what else has been keeping the team busy?
It has been a busy year for Pink Parenting, as we are involved as a media sponsor in the brand new viral video campaign that has just been launched on YouTube called Invisible Parents, which has already had over 90,000 views. Invisible Parents is really all about making sure that LGBT couples who travel with their kids are protected by a common law which will umbrella across Europe, so that they will be recognised as the legal parents of their children in case of an accident while on holiday. We are also planning for our presence at the Building Families Show, which will take place in London next April. We are media partners for this event as well and very excited, as it is already looking to be a sell-out.
We have also been working hard on launching our new magazine apps; Pink Parenting is now available from the iTunes Newsstand and Android Market and can be read across all tablets and mobile devices.
Fertility Road has been extremely busy as we have partnered with a clinic in Greece to offer an IVF holiday to a lucky couple, that will be announced on Valentine’s Day 2013. The trip includes flights, accommodation and £5,000 worth of IVF treatment. It costs nothing to enter and the people that don’t win will be offered a 20% discount, so everyone is a winner. More info can be found at www.fertilityroad.com/winivf
You’ve featured celebrities such as Ricky Martin and Rufus Wainwright in Pink Parenting, as well as Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker in Fertility Road. What has been your favourite of the celebrity interviews you’ve worked on?
Giorgio Severi, editor of Pink Parenting, actually enjoyed the interview with the actor Charlie Condou of Coronation Street the most as he was just so down to earth. Giorgio could really relate to his story (featured in issue three of Pink Parenting) on how he became a father.
This year’s Stonewall Awards named Cardinal Keith O’Brien its “bigot of the year” following his comments on gay marriage – how does Pink Parenting play its part in fighting against such homophobic and old-fashioned prejudice?
Pink Parenting magazine has done a lot for the gay community in helping normalise gay families. By 'normalise' we don’t mean that the LGBT community is not normal; by creating a product that is not only loved by the LGBT community but by the straight community, we have helped break some of the traditional stereotypical ideas. This may sound funny, but we have spoken to other LGBT publications that have told us that they would not work with straight people, which make no sense to us. We work with some of the most qualified people in their fields to create something that is so special that it becomes a bit magical. You need to see, touch, feel and read the magazine to understand that.
Is there anyone you haven’t yet featured in Pink Parenting or Fertility Road who you’d love the chance to speak to?
We would love the opportunity to interview Elton John as not only are we huge fans, but he is a true leader in the LGBT community; an icon, and a gay father himself – who better to champion the cause?
About Pink Parenting and freelance journalists
Do you pay for contributions from freelance journalists?
We used to all the time, but some time ago we took the magazine out of the hands of the journalists and put it in the hands of the doctors, lawyers and parenting experts. In doing so, we also took the magazine to an entirely new level. We do still use occasional journalists.
Do you like freelance journalists to get in touch with you directly to pitch ideas?
We are always excited to learn of new ideas, so… yes. We can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.
What types of PR agencies do you work with?
We work with a couple of small independent PR firms, and have our own PR person in-house.
Do you tend to work with the same PRs or do you receive contributions from a wide range of sources?
We use a wide range of sources, but we are always open to creative thinking and new ideas.
Of all the press releases you receive on a daily basis, what percentage of them make it to publication?
This of course would depend on the relevance of the release. In general, I would say it’s pretty small, and we are a bit fussy with the quality of the content.
Do you find that your idea of what makes a story and a PR's tends to differ? How?
Not really, because the PR people want to promote their product or service and if we love it then we want to promote it as well.
Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I previously spent five years working for the largest publishing house in the world for in-flight magazines and I personally managed the Ryan Air in-flight magazine. As one of the founders, I guess you can say I created the position.
What’s your process when putting each issue of Pink Parenting together?
We plan two issues ahead and figure out what we want to run as features. We have some regular sections that are continuous, so then it is just finding the correct content.
We regularly run the following sections:
– Happy Families – Real life stories
– We Love – The latest News, Views, Reviews, Gifts, Gadgets & Gizmos
– Celebrity Feature
– Q&A – Usually someone famous – Gaydar’s Neil & Debby, Justin & Colin, Commando Dad
– Baby Feature – Sleeping, eating, bonding, napping, signals
– Legal Features – What you need to know legally
– Travel Section – Great places to escape and take the family
Do you tweet?
What media (magazines, blogs, websites, films, books) do you enjoy yourself?
I love GQ and I am a big film buff. I was born in Hollywood, after all.
Do you have a mantra or motto you live by?
Treat people with respect and lead by example.
If you could rule the world for one day, what would you change?
I suppose it would be easy to say “end hunger” or “create peace”, but realistically I would legalise gay marriage. I would also make sure Captain Crunch Peanut Butter Cereal is available at every supermarket, everywhere.