Focus interview on Staggered with editor Andrew Shanahan

Staggered is a blog covering weddings from a male perspective, due to launch on 1 August. It covers everything wedding related from the proposal to the honeymoon. It is written by freelance journalist Andrew Shanahan.

This week FeaturesExec caught up with Andrew to discuss the imminent launch, his relationships with PRs and what his day job is.

You and your blog:

Tell us a bit about Staggered:
Staggered is what happens when Loaded meets Brides-To-Be. Our editorial mission is summed up in those three little words under the title – Weddings. Blokes. Sorted.

What was your motivation behind starting the blog?
Staggered started for three main reasons. Firstly, because for several years I’ve run, a speech-writing company aimed at men. It’s been an incredibly popular service and I’ve genuinely loved working with blokes who were getting excited about their weddings, so I knew I’d like to work with those groups again. Secondly, Arena came to a halt, so rather than writing their blog I had to think of something else to do. Thirdly, it dawned on me that there’s practically no good writing aimed at weddings from the man’s point of view. There are sections in the women’s wedding mags but precious little else (in fact I’d be pleased if anyone can send me any other examples).

Who reads it and how many of them are there?
We launch on Saturday 1st August so audited readership figures should be available in a month. Our target readers are grooms, best men and fathers of the bride. We’re also getting great feedback from brides who want a slightly less frilly take on the whole wedding thing. And we should probably also add mothers who want to know what their sons get up to on stag-dos.

What subjects do you cover?
Anything to do with weddings, proposals, honeymoons and, of course, the big day itself. We also have a strong interest in stag-dos and married life. We look at anything related to weddings as well from grooming products to fitness regimes to wonderful, wonderful beer.

What makes you different from other blogs in your sector?
As far as I know there are no other blogs for men about weddings. So I would have to say existing gives us a real edge over competitors. Actually, I tell a lie, there is one called but that’s American. Plus it has the word groove in the title.

Why do you blog?
I love the immediacy and the flexibility of writing for the web, I think if you look at it creatively it adds a lot of possibilities in how you cover a subject.

What are your favourite blogs?
Who doesn’t read Boing Boing ( and I’ve recently been writing for which I like a lot.

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs?
Always, I love and respect PRs. That sounds sarcastic but I’m entirely serious.

Do you have any advice for PRs?
In terms of what we’re looking for I’m always happy to receive an email about something. Often it’s the case that I can’t get back to them unless I’m interested in using it, which always seems rude but that’s life.

What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Always interested in hearing about things that men might like – grooming products, drinks, places to visit, gifts for brides, gifts for mates. Any good interviews or events that men might like (as part of a stag-do or a proposal weekend). Giveaways and competitions always go down well too.

What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
Drop me an email. Best and quickest way.

About you:

Do you have a day job?
Yes, I’m a freelance writer.

A phrase I use far too often is…
I think that…

I’d like to have a go at…
Is there an Iron Man competition for fat blokes? An Aluminium Man competition, where at the end they drape you in a golden blanket? If those exist, one of them.

Where do you hope to be in five year’s time?
I’m retiring in two years when I’m 33 so hopefully I’ll be relaxing, but I suspect that I’ll be writing.

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