Focus with Racer Ready’s Neil McQuoid

Neil McQuoid is the editor and publisher of Racer Ready, the magazine for the winter sports enthusiast. Read on to find out how Neil spends his time both at work and play, and how you can contribute to the magazine.

About the publication:

How do you differ from other publications in your sector?
Racer Ready is the only British magazine that focuses on the competitive winter sports enthusiast, predominantly alpine ski racing but we also cover ski x, boardercross, telemarking and ski bike racing. From the racer to the enthusiast to the armchair fan, we provide all the highlights, interviews and reports. For those looking to buy new kit we also have an Industry Snippets section where we look at all the new kit, changes in the market and anything involving the industry. We are the only ski magazine that focuses entirely on the racing and competitive side of the sport.

What stories are you most interested in covering in the publication?
The stories we cover in the magazine vary from feature interviews with the top racers, administrators and people involved in the sport to race reports, equipment announcements. The list is limitless.

Because racing is now a 12 month a year sport, we print through the year. During the winter our World Cup email newsletter goes out to all the subscribers and this is the best way of bringing the action to the British public.

Describe a typical reader for us:
A typical reader of Racer Ready is someone who enjoys the high thrills of ski racing, may have competed or still be competing and has an interest to know more. The age range is limitless!

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?
The magazine is printed quarterly but then there is the website that is constant so things are always busy and always fun!

How do you decide the content, front covers and headines?
The editorial team will decide the content for each issue.

Do you produce a features list? (If not, why not)
We do provide a features list and this is available on request. All ideas and requests are discussed on an individual basis.

Do you use freelance contributions, and if so, are they for any particular section/type of work?
Freelancers are always welcome to submit ideas. Due to the nature of the magazine, we prefer contributors to be almost embedded in their specialist area to get a real feel of the message that they are getting across.

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs? What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
PRs are great for getting new and interesting articles to us. It certainly saves a lot of leg work! As such we like to work with PRs who bring new and exciting ideas to us. Ski Racing is not just for the rich and as a magazine we are always looking to products and services that can lower the cost for people to partake in the sport.

What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
The best thing for PRs to do when contacting us is to send in their information via email. This saves us having to rewrite loads of text, thus saving time!

When is the best time for PRs to contact you & when is your deadline for contributions?
Due to both the magazine and website being on going, the best time to contact us is as soon as they are ready with their news! If we cannot get it into the magazine then it will go on to the web definitely.

About you:

Describe a typical day at work: / What are your editorial duties/responsibilities at the magazine (e.g. commissioning, nibs, subbing, features, interviewing etc)?
Monday to Friday, the classic working week is spent sorting out pictures, catching up with email requests for pictures as well as seeing what is happening around the world. As soon as one magazine has gone to the printers, the file opens for the next and what needs to go straight onto the web as opposed to keeping for the magazine. At the weekend it is either another event to write about and take pictures at to increase the workload during the week!

The closer things get to a new magazine going out the more frantic things get. Editing articles submitted by freelancers, PRs and other interested parties as well as making sure that we have enough advertising to cover the cost of getting the magazine out all come to play.

What do you love about your work?
The Challenge of getting each issue out, both commercially and editorially are what I love about the magazine work. Making sure that a balanced and varied amount of content is there. Sometimes I do have to bite my tongue when one of the contributors submits work that I do not agree with the content of, but that is just the way it is!

Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I have previously worked in the charity events field, marketing department of a large multi national as well as for a PR agency.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice I have ever been given is, “No does not mean never”. If an article/piece of advertising is not right, it means it is not right for the current moment – but it may work later.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you do?
Good question! Probably chewing my fingers off thinking what I could be doing…

What’s your idea of a relaxing day off?
I love getting away from it all either on my bike (push bike) or walking around trying to look for my golf ball…

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[img|jpg|Racer Ready’s Neil McQuiod]

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