Today we catch up with Rianna Fry, features/media content writer at Hospitality & Leisure Design magazine. Read on to find out about the new monthly publication, Rianna’s current role at the title, and plenty more.
The recently-launched Hospitality and Leisure Design Blog can be found at www.hlmagazine.co.uk/blog.
About the publication:
Who reads it and how many of them are there?
Hospitality & Leisure Design magazine (HL) is read by senior decision makers ( MDs, CEOs, CFOs) of interior design consultancies, hotels, architecture practices, sports and leisure clubs, professional sports clubs, bars and nightclubs, professional golf clubs, and restaurants and eateries, as well as developers and contractors. We have a pool of data that equates to around 10,500 – 11,000 people that we’re able to send hard copies out to.
What subjects do you cover? What stories are you most interested in covering?
We love to hear of recently completed and on-going projects with innovative designs, and we try to cover all that relates to the design of the hospitality and leisure sectors. Be it a piece on designing for children, the look of sports changing rooms, or emerging wall-covering trends, we provide our readers with a wealth of need-to-know information and sharp imagery. New products or developments are, of course, also of high interest.
What makes you different from the other outlets in your sector?
Where other titles focus on one area of design, HL looks at both industries as a whole – from five-star hotels to local sports centres. It’s an invaluable reference point for the reader, and although it covers a wide spectrum it does so in depth, and fails to simply skim the surface of the design. We get to the roots and speak with those in the know.
How do you decide the content?
We listen to our readers and use feedback from our contributors. We also like to attend shows and speak to experts to discover future trends.
Do you produce a features list? Why? Why not?
We do, though it’s often edited according to what’s current to ensure we present our readers with the most relevant content to date.
About you and freelance journalists:
Do you pay for contributions from freelance journalists?
Do you like freelance journalists to get in touch with you directly to pitch ideas? And if so, how?
Yes, of course. We ask for the features to be exclusive to our titles and also to be relevant to a particularly current topic of conversation or even a controversial issue affecting the industry. And, of course, the features must be exclusive.
Name the three most important attributes that make a freelance journalist stand out for you and would make you use them again?
A point of difference and an interesting style of writing. Personally, I think passion accounts for a lot; you can certainly tell if something’s been written with heart.
Do you work closely with PRs or do you keep them at arm’s length? I certainly like to work with PRs; they’re key middle men – and women – for both us writing types and industry experts.
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
One issue that is a little testing is when a PR calls to pitch a news story rather than simply whizz it across via email. When we’re on deadline time is precious, so their story is much more likely to be noticed if they just send it directly. In fact, worse still is when a PR sends across a story and calls ten minutes later to check whether it’s of interest. I always try to respond as soon as possible, however it’s not always feasible to get back to people straight away.
How should a PR approach you about their client?
I always prefer for a PR to send across an email with some details about the client and how they fit with the magazine.
What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Somebody who is efficient, honest and provides exactly what I’m after. There’s nothing worse than receiving a press release, asking for further, exclusive comment, and giving a seven day deadline only for them to come back with the regurgitated press release. It’s always obvious when they’ve just rejigged the release or copied and pasted parts to fit questions.
Describe a typical day at work?
If only I had one. Every day at Dream Creative is different – as I’m sure is the story for most journalists. I’m responsible for the online content – the six websites and each of the social media pages – as well as for sourcing information and writing features of my own. With so much to do, every day consists of something different.
What interests you most about your job?
I love to develop new skills and learn something new so with six titles, covering six different subjects, that’s exactly what I’m able to do.
Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I previously worked as an assistant features editor at KD Media Publishing, publisher of the County Wedding titles, the Attire and Focus magazines. I got into journalism through a lucky series of events which landed me the post as an apprentice editorial assistant.
Do you tweet? Why, why not?
Yes. It’s a great way to engage with clients quickly and on an informal platform. I don’t think enough companies embrace its benefits.
If you could time travel what time would you go to?
The Stone Age – imagine how great it would be to see the first fire; everything would be new and awe-inspiring. Failing that, the Jacobean era as the outfits were amazing.
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