Focus on Maternity & Infant with editor Emily Manning

Maternity & Infant is a bimonthly parenting magazine for parents-to-be and parents of school aged children in Ireland. It covers everything parents need to know in the run up to birth and beyond. It is edited by Emily Manning and published by Ashville Media Group.

This week, FeaturesExec caught up with Emily to discuss the magazine, how PRs can be helpful to her and what she likes to do on her day off.

About the publication:

Tell us a bit about Maternity & Infant:
Maternity & Infant is Ireland’s leading parenting magazine, aimed at mums-to-be and parents of children up to school age. The magazine covers a wide variety of topics, including health, nutrition, behaviour, labour and birth, fertility, and more. The content comprises informative, accessible articles, expert advice, parenting tips, news, reviews and so on. Annabel Karmel is a regular contributor, as are others such as Zita West and a host of Irish experts relevant to our reader.

How do you differ from other media outlets in your sector?
There are only two other Irish parenting magazines – one is quarterly and quite general, the other is based in Northern Ireland and quite UK-led. This makes maternity & infant the only real choice for Irish parents looking for reassurance, advice and common sense answers. While many of the UK titles are sold in Ireland, their content is often irrelevant to Irish readers due to a different health system, different labour options, unavailability of shops, etc.

Describe a typical reader for us:
Our reader is typically 26-38 with at least one child. Geographically speaking, our readers are spread quite equally across Ireland and from our last survey, the average household income is at least 60,000 euros annually.

What stories are you most interested in covering?
Open to suggestions.

How do you decide the content and headlines?
Through contact with readers (polls, surveys, reader panel, etc) to find out what they’re biggest concerns are; through research into what areas of pregnancy/parenting are not typically covered by other publications.

How does the editorial process run? Do you have specific days when you focus on different aspects or is the planning on a much more ad-hoc basis?
A bit of both – it’s a small creative team so there are set times that things are done, however realistically, there is leeway on this.

Do you produce a features list? (If not, why not)
Yes, a basic features list for the following three issues.

Do you use freelance contributions, and if so, are they for any particular section/type of work?
Always – not for any specific areas. Many freelancers have different abilities – for example, one might be excellent at getting real life stories, while another is better at first-person humour – and once I have established that I will usually try to stick with people’s strengths.

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs?
Yes, very – predominantly with Prs in Ireland and the UK, but also in mainland Europe or with in-house Prs for various international brands.

What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Prs have to know who they’re sending a press release to – there is no point in sending me something that is irrelevant to the Irish reader. I want to know about products and services that are either available within Ireland, or to Ireland by delivery. Too often, I receive information that is just mass mailed to all journalists and editors without checking the details. I also prefer press releases and hi-res images by email rather than post.

What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
Send me an email directly with the information – I always read my mails, but am not always in the office or available to take a PR pitch on the phone.

Do you have a PR pet hate?
As above, when the PR hasn’t done their homework and sends on info about something irrelevant to my readers.

When is the best time for PRs to contact you & when is your deadline for contributions?
Prs can contact me at any point. The deadline for each issue is the 15th of every second month (from now that would be July, Sept, Nov, Jan, Mar, May) as we are a bimonthly title.

About you:

Describe a typical day at work:
Long and hectic! I think people assume that because it’s a ‘baby mag’ it’s somehow easier than other titles – it’s not! My day is really probably the same as every one else – lots of meetings, lots of email and not enough time to get everything done!

What do you love about your work?
Everything – I love working on something that I know people take advice and reassurance from. The emails and letters I receive from readers are pure validation, especially when I hear that they are holding on to certain issues as a reference for a milestone their child will reach in the months to come. I have always worked well under pressure, so being an editor is a pretty good fit – oh, and I’m a bit of a control freak which is also an important criteria in this role!

Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I have been with Ashville Media Group for over five years, working up from editorial assistant to features editor, deputy editor and editor on other titles in our business division. I was appointed editor of maternity & infant two years ago as it was a fledgling title and needed some love and attention.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Anything from my Dad who has a way of always knowing the right thing to say.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you do?
I’m not sure I could do anything else really, but if I had to choose it would have to be something creative and exciting.

What’s your idea of a relaxing day off?
Spending time with my hubby in advance of our first baby arriving this autumn.

Check out our Media Jobs board for PR and Journalism vacancies Learn more