Archive for April, 2008

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Can you spot the real National Geographic?

April 1, 2008

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This is not an April 1 joke…this is for real. For real as a Harvard Lampoon Parody can be. The issue on the left is the real April issue of National Geographic, the one on the right is the parody issue. One offers Hawaii’s Wild Coast and one offers Paris Hilton After Dark. Both spines of the magazines read National Geographic April 2008. The real contents read: The Sahel. Biomimetics. India Rickshaws. Hawaii’s NA Pali Coast. Senegal Chimps. The parody issue’s spine reads: A Harvard Lampoon Parody. Sex. Sports. Beer. Science. Clothes. Animals.
So you be the judge on this April’s fools day. Which one of the two magazines you will pick and take home to enjoy. If you choose the parody be prepared to pay an extra one dollar ($5.99 for the parody vs $4.99 for the real NG). No one said fun is cheap. After all you get what you paid for!!! Enjoy

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Seven Questions and Answers with the 30 Most Notable Launches (5): Garden & Gun and Heal

April 1, 2008

Today we present two more 7 questions and answers from our interviews with the editors and publishers of the 30 Most Notable Launches. The interviews will be published based on the alphabetical order of the names of the magazines. Today’s magazines are Garden & Gun and Heal. To read a short profile about each of the aforementioned magazines just click on the magazine name. We have asked the editors or publishers to answer the same 7 questions. You can scroll down the blog to read the previous days questions and answers. What follows are today’s two notables:

Rebecca Wesson Darwin
of Garden & Gun answered our questions:
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1. What do you consider the single most important achievement your magazine has accomplished in today’s marketplace?

In a highly competitive and saturated market, Garden & Gun has carved out a unique niche, addressed an underdeveloped subject and reached a new market. It is indeed a new breed of magazine that has resonated with readers and advertisers. What started as a celebration of the sporting life and the Southern land has evolved into a magazine full of experiences and sights and sounds that engages not only those living or intrigued by that lifestyle but also by those who appreciate the art and culture of the South. It is “21st Century Southern America.” It has filled the big shoes that we originally carved out. In fact, a recent Associated Press article called a Garden & Gun “Saucy, Southern glossy.”

2. Looking back, what was the most important hurdle you were able to overcome?

No question – our “no-excuses” name. It has been most often a door opener, an attention grabber, and as one writer said, “The best damn name I’ve heard for a magazine ever!” It has been on only one or two occasions a door slammer. But most importantly, it has been a point of discussion. We have always said, take a look before you form your opinion, and have encouraged an open mind. And we have delivered. A senior ad agency executive recently wrote “Well I am just really impressed with Garden & Gun. It has turned out to be everything you promised it would be.”

3.What was the biggest pleasant surprise?

That the literary component – the caliber of the writing – has become such a hallmark for us. But beyond just the big names, the “A” list of contributors, it is the
quality of all the writing in the magazine – and the photography. Our writers bring their experiences to life. And readers have responded by telling us that they feel like they are right there in the hunt or on the boat in the Biloxi Marsh. Quite frankly, Garden & Gun has surprised people – and made them proud – that such a high quality and literary product is coming out of and celebrates the South. The positive outpouring of calls, emails, and letters from readers and their dedication to the magazine has been beyond our wildest dreams.

4.What is the biggest challenge you are facing today?

It would be easy to quickly respond that the biggest challenge is improving revenues – both in advertising and circulation. But it goes deeper than that. Our
biggest challenge is getting folks to understand that we aim to be a national magazine with a regional focus (our subject matter is regional; our market potential
is national). This impacts where we are positioned on the newsstand, how media buyers view us, which ad campaigns we get considered for and on and on. We are clear on our position and we continue to look for talented individuals who can communicate that message effectively and have some upcoming exciting
announcements on additions to our talent pool.

5.Imagine you have a magic wand and you can strike the magazine and make it human? Describe that human being.

That’s a touchy question because they would have to be androgynous – half garden and half gun! But if pressed, the magic wand would produce a good looking guy, age 43 (but looks 37)
Hometown: Mobile
Education: UNC
Profession: Architect (specializes in green building)
Secret desire: To be a fishing guide
Second home in: Cashiers, North Carolina
Last trip: Bonefishing on Andros Island
Drink: Makers Mark on the rocks
On his bedside table: Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen
Favorite cause: The Nature Conservancy
Thing he never brings to dinner: His Blackberry

6.The number of new magazine launches has been on a steady increase. What advice do you offer someone wanting to start a new magazine?

There are a lot of good ideas. There are only a few great ideas. To put those ideas to the test, one needs to write a strong business plan and clearly carve out a position in the market. One needs a group of people – be it a board, a set of mentors, whatever – that asks the difficult questions and makes one think through all the challenges that are sure to come up once launched. It is important to have a real affinity for the idea and to be able to defend it again and again. And, in the best of all worlds, it is a strong advantage to have investors who have deep pockets and understand the commitment of time and money that will surely be involved. But money is not all it takes. Starting a magazine from scratch like Garden & Gun vs. launching a magazine from an established magazine company is a whole different game! It takes guts and confidence and a willingness to do any job and make mistakes.

7.Finish this sentence: In 2011, your magazine will be….

In 2011, Garden & Gun will be around, profitable, and a cross-platform brand. G&G (that’s what everyone will call us then!) will be a community that
encompasses the magazine, the television show, the radio program, the books, the retail store, the catalogue, and a vibrant web presence. It will be one title in
a stable of magazines started by this new magazine division of Evening Post Publishing Company. We will be fighting off bids from other publishing companies to acquire us, but EPPC will be pleased that they invested in a new strategic business and proud that the magazine division is performing so well!


Kathy LaTour
of Heal magazine answered our questions:
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1. What do you consider the single most important achievement your magazine has accomplished in today’s marketplace?

The fact that Heal provides a unique (and much-needed) voice amid a cacophony of health magazines. Before Heal, no magazine targeted all of the nation’s 10.5 million cancer survivors and their family members, a demographic only recently acknowledged as having specific and multiple information needs as a result of their cancer.

2. Looking back, what was the most important hurdle you were able to overcome?

Making it clear that there is a difference in cancer (as well as with many other illnesses) between being cured and being healed, the former being a physical state and the latter an emotional and spiritual one. Furthermore, each state (cured or healed) can be achieved without the other. To be well is to be cured, but to be whole is to be healed.

3. What was the most pleasant surprise?

Learning just how directly and intimately we connect with readers. An example: Just before Heal launched, our sister magazine, CURE, heard from a young cancer survivor who had been told that her diagnosis of chronic myelogenous leukemia meant she could never have children. She was looking for information about other young women with her type of leukemia who’d had a child. The managing editor was able to tell her that our cover feature about to appear in Heal’s premiere issue was an inspiring story about a woman who did just that. Time and time again, we’ve been reminded that we make a real and tangible difference in the lives of people who’ve had cancer.

4. What is the biggest challenge you are facing today?

There is an assumption by many, including the news and entertainment media, that someone with cancer stops living. Our challenge is to show that the millions who continue on after facing cancer are living life to the fullest through the prism of cancer survivorship. This may mean numerous unique challenges for some and only a few challenges for others. But most revel in a new appreciation for life, and they — along with their caregivers, family and friends — want a roadmap to show them how to stay healthy on their journey after cancer treatment ends.

5. Imagine you have a magic wand and you can strike the magazine and make it human? Describe that human being.

Actually, we’ve done this in creating a My Space profile for Heal, who in that realm is a 46-year-old Virgo woman. (Incidentally, she has made quite a few friends there). But to extend that description, and add a little bit of wishful thinking, Heal would be androgynous – to represent survivors of all cancers. Our Heal person would be a seeker of knowledge and wisdom, perhaps wounded but not bowed by a life-threatening disease, who wishes to seize every day and to follow a rich and textured path on his or her journey of life.

6. The number of new magazine launches has been on a steady increase. What advice do you offer to someone wanting to start a new magazine?

Clear your personal calendar for at least a year. Then devise a product that doesn’t just fill readers’ heads, but lingers in their hearts.

7. Finish this sentence: in 2011 your magazine will be…

the essential guide to cancer survivorship for every American who has experienced cancer and his or her family and friends. They have heard the words “You have cancer,” endured treatment and its fallout, and then wondered, “Now what?”

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