Media Interview with Lauren Barker, managing editor of The Superyacht Owner

The Superyacht Owner is the recently launched title from The Superyacht Group. Revealing candid information on the elite luxury yacht industry, the glossy magazine is headed up by Lauren Barker. Here she details the opinions and interviews that will be included, recalls attending the Monaco Yacht Show and imagines St Tropez in the 80s…

About the publication

Who reads it and how many of them are there?
Anyone who is the owner of a superyacht (luxury yacht above 30m), his or her captain or representative will read this magazine. As the fourth magazine in the group’s portfolio, this intelligent journal is targeted towards the serious superyacht owner, or potential owner. The concept is simple. With the brand name The Superyacht Owner, wherever it sits – be it on a coffee table, desk or business lounge – anyone who is a current or potential superyacht owner will know this is a magazine for him or her. There are 3,500 superyacht owners around the globe; and a further 1,016,300 individuals who are not yet owners but could afford to buy or charter a superyacht. We hope these owners and would-be owners will be reading the magazine.

What subjects do you cover? What stories are you most interested in covering?
The myriad of media that exists today has created a blurred and congested landscape of similar, glossy publications. However, our insight and research shows that in most cases superyacht owners would like more intelligent and candid information on what is really happening, coupled with advice or knowledge that may help them in their decision-making processes.

By looking at buying processes, issues like charter, tax, finance, operations and value, coupled with new ideas, information and experiences, these products can assist the market and the owners to work well together and build a more stable industry. Interviews with owners and their advisors on their ownership experience will be integral, delivering a platform to share information that can help new or existing clients in their quest for a better yacht ownership experience.

Stories will include owners experiences and opinions, interviews with owners or with consultants / advisors who guide the owner through the purchase process, journeys and ‘off the beaten track’ voyages of discovery, different ways owners use their yachts, the financial aspects of ownership – how to fund and then how to meet the costs of ownership.

What makes you different from the other outlets in your sector?
There is no other magazine that delivers the ins and outs of superyacht ownership from the perspective of the owners themselves. There is also no other magazine focussed on the target market of the owner or the ‘would be’ owner.

How do you decide the content?
Stories with superyacht owners are what drive this magazine. We are interested in speaking with ‘pedigree owners’ about their yachting experiences – both positive and negative. We feature real stories on yacht owners and how they made their fortunes to be able to invest in a superyacht, travel pieces on the exotic locations owner’s yachts have been cruising and articles on issues that owners are facing in this elite industry.

Do you produce a features list? Why? Why not?
We don’t. Our brief for the magazine is pretty straightforward so we would encourage PR agencies to contact us if they feel they have an interesting owner story idea.

About you and freelance journalists

Do you like freelance journalists to get in touch with you directly to pitch ideas? And if so, how? We would encourage freelances to contact us if they feel they have an interesting owner story idea. The pitch should include the name of the owner/yacht if possible (Most owners are private but if they are the owner of a well-known brand or corporation, generally they are used to being in the public eye), as well as the angle for the story – be it an interview with the owner or captain, or a travel/business piece. We generally would like the owner to have signed off on having a media chat with the magazine and are happy to send a copy to him/her if required.

Name the three most important attributes that make a freelance journalist stand out for you and would make you use them again?

I believe timeliness, attention to detail and ability to research is important to me in a freelance journalist. Asking questions to get a more detailed brief is necessary and makes the difference between an ok story and a great one. The best approach from a freelance has been a show of enthusiasm for the story and the ability to throw ideas around once an interview has taken place, rather than just accept the brief as is.

About PRs

Do you work closely with PRs or do you keep them at arm’s length?
We work with PRs for many of our other luxury lifestyle and yachting publications such as fraser magazine and PrivatSea, mainly on luxury travel/destination pieces.

How should a PR approach you about their client?
Do their research. Know our products and pitch story ideas that are relevant to our audience. Many PRs are very good at doing this, but some really don’t understand our products that can sometimes be a waste of time.

About you

Describe a typical day at work: What are you editorial duties/responsibilities at the outlet (e.g. commissioning, subbing, features, interviewing)?
I commission writers for our various bespoke client magazines, edit copy, manage images and write my own features. I love the story brainstorming stage and often get input from our freelance contributors, which makes things fresh and interesting.

What interests you most about your job?
Speaking to superyacht owners and learning about what fascinating lives they lead. It’s interesting to learn how they paved their way in the world and the amazing adventures they enjoy. It’s always great attending the annual Monaco Yacht Show and admiring the size and beauty of some of these amazing superyachts. They are all so different and writing about such incredible works of art is always interesting.

Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I was previously the editor of a women’s lifestyle magazine in Australia, so a bit of a change! I am also a project manager in our art division and editor of various luxury lifestyle and yachting magazines, so there is a crossover on the luxury front.

If you could time travel what time would you go to?
St Tropez 30 years ago when classic glamour and big yachts reined supreme.

[lnk||_self|The Superyacht Owner]
[img|jpg|Lauren Barker, managing editor]
[lnk||_self|Media Bulletin: The Superyacht Owner launches first issue]

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