h1

Scintillating & Addictive – Cosmo Spain Holds Its Own With Its American Sister – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Ana Ureña, Editor-In-Chief, Cosmopolitan Spain

June 23, 2015

“One of the things on one post-it is “create addiction.” And every time I look at content, because my editors will show me and get my opinion or they’ll show me the finished feature; I’ll look at it and ask myself does this piece create addiction or why would someone want to read more? Or would I want to read more next month? So, that’s one of the messages and if the answer is no, it doesn’t create addiction or that it’s boring; we won’t run it. We don’t run things just to run them. It has to have that special spark.” Ana Ureña (on her use of post-it-notes for inspiration)

ana cosmo spain In a series of Mr. Magazine™ Interviews I’ll be speaking with some of the editors, publishers, CEOs of different magazines and magazine media companies overseas. The first of these interviews is with the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Spain, Ana Ureña. Ana joined the magazine in December 2014 and is an open and entertaining person with firm ideas of how to create and maintain that special spark she believes Cosmopolitan the brand has always had.

Ana’s contention is that Cosmo the brand speaks to all women, from all walks of life and from each and every country of the world. Therefore the content must be translatable to all, from the U.S. to Spain and everything in between and all around.

Our conversation was fun-filled and totally free-spirited, and focused in part on the empowerment of women, something that Ana feels is the most important role Cosmo plays in its audience’s lives. Creating enrichment and positivity with readers using a page-by-page value check is something that she strongly believes in.

Through creativity, such as the Cosmo Pose hashtag promotion she came up with for readers to send in their own Cosmo Power Pose, Ana is bringing fun and vitality to the Spanish arm of the brand.

So, I hope you enjoy this internationally-flavored Mr. Magazine™ interview with a young woman who knows what she wants out of life and is determined to help her readers find their own strength and focus along the way – a conversation with Ana Ureña, Editor-In-Chief, Cosmo Spain.

But first, the sound-bites:

On the difference between Cosmo Spain and its American counterpart: Right now, nothing. (Laughs) No, I’m kidding. I’m a very big fan of the American Cosmo and when I first started at Cosmo in Spain, I did think there was a lot of content that we were missing out on and weren’t using in the same way they were in the American edition. I think that Cosmo as a brand talks to all women, so you could take any content from any Cosmo and it would translate into any country, that’s the beautiful thing about the magazine, because it speaks to all women about women issues and challenges. And it does it in a really fun and happy way.

On using her post-it-note inspiration system:
When you came over a couple of months ago a lot of the things that you said about “common sense” really hit home and I didn’t want to forget what I’d learned, so I thought why not put it on a post-it and put it up on the board where I could see it every day when I went into the office and make those points of interest my own.

Ana_Ureña_ANiv_B On the creation of the hashtag Cosmo Pose:
When I first walked into the offices I started looking at all the Cosmo covers that had been published over the years in many editions, not just the Spanish one. And I noticed that most of the girls on the covers were in a special pose where they had their hands on their hips, either one or both. And I thought wow; almost all of them are doing that on every cover. I didn’t know why, but I thought it was a fun and interesting concept.

On her newspaper background and whether she has found any difference between newspapers and magazines:
Well, the only difference is in newspapers we used to do everything more quickly. (Laughs) The magazine is a monthly so we have more time to think about things. But I think the approach for me is still the same because you still have to think of interesting stories to tell and stories you think the readers are going to want to read and that’s going to enrich their lives.

On the balance between Cosmo Spain’s digital and print presence: I’ve always had Twitter and that’s always been there, that hasn’t changed. So, when I was at the newspaper, I used to Tweet every day about what I was thinking, which was always so interesting. (Laughs) But I have never stopped using Twitter.

On the major stumbling block she’s had to face:
The biggest challenge for me has been the lack of time because you never have enough time to finish everything you have to do. When I was working for the newspaper I was working from home because I was freelancing. I could work at 2:00 a.m. in my pajamas, no problem, but here I have to be in the office and I can’t be in the office in my pajamas at 2:00 a.m. because people would think that I’m a crazy lady, so I have to get things done within the work hours.

On her most pleasant moment:
My most pleasant moment has definitely been interacting with the readers because they reach out and that’s never happened before. I can tell that they’re reading the magazine; I can tell that they’re reading the website or whatever aspect of Cosmo they’re interested in.

On whether or not the magazine would be transformed into herself if she struck it with a magic wand:
No, it would definitely be the whole team. One of the issues that I have personally with magazines is it’s not good if the magazine becomes the editor. The magazine has to be a magazine, it’s the brand. And the brand is Cosmo, it’s definitely not me. But if course I bring a little bit of me to the magazine, but there’s a little bit of me, a little bit of the art director, of the features editor; a little bit of all of us. And that’s what makes it Cosmo.

On what keeps her up at night:
I’m usually a really good sleeper. I’m usually so tired by the end of the day that I just knockout and go to sleep. Maybe the problems of the world bother me, but definitely not my job because it’s something that I really like and enjoy.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Ana Ureña, Editor-In-Chief, Cosmopolitan Spain.

Ana_ureña_B Samir Husni: You’re the editor of Cosmopolitan in Madrid, Spain. And you have an American and Spanish background. What would you say is the biggest difference between the American Cosmo and the Spanish Cosmo?

Ana Ureña: Right now, nothing. (Laughs) No, I’m kidding. I’m a very big fan of the American Cosmo and when I first started at Cosmo in Spain, I did think there was a lot of content that we were missing out on and weren’t using in the same way they were in the American edition. I think that Cosmo as a brand talks to all women, so you could take any content from any Cosmo and it would translate into any country, that’s the beautiful thing about the magazine, because it speaks to all women about women issues and challenges. And it does it in a really fun and happy way.

When I first started looking at the Spanish Cosmo, it had lost a little bit of its spark, but I found that the American one was filled with a lot of spark and fun and obviously, it’s about that fun, fearless woman. And I think that’s the DNA of the magazine. So, we’re trying to bring all of that excitement and fun back into the Spanish edition.

Samir Husni: Can you tell me a little bit about your philosophy as an editor? I understand that you use post-it-notes for inspiration?

Ana Ureña: I do. As a matter of fact, when you spoke in Spain few months ago a lot of the things that you said about “common sense” really hit home and I didn’t want to forget what I’d learned, so I thought why not put it on a post-it and put it up on the board where I could see it every day when I went into the office and make those points of interest my own.

One of the things on one post-it is “create addiction.” And every time I look at content, because my editors will show me and get my opinion or they’ll show me the finished feature; I’ll look at it and ask myself does this piece create addiction or why would someone want to read more? Or would I want to read more next month? So, that’s one of the messages and if the answer is no, it doesn’t create addiction or that it’s boring; we won’t run it. We don’t run things just to run them. It has to have that special spark.

Another post-it message is “does it make me feel better?” I always want positive articles in the magazine; I don’t want anything negative or anything that would make the reader feel bad about herself when she sees it or when she reads it.

And I also ask myself would I spend money on this magazine to read its content or can I find it on Google for free? And if the answer is that I can find it on Google for free, we don’t run it because there’s no point. We’re not helping the reader at all.

And the last post-it is “what is the takeaway value for the reader?” Every page has to have takeaway value for our reader. They have to learn something new on every page. Even the contents page, I don’t care, every page has to have something. Maybe a small link to something, or a quote of someone famous or a tip for the day; it just has to have something. The thing about Cosmopolitan, at least for the Spanish edition, is it has two different ways to read it. They can read it very quickly by just reading the titles or the bullet points or they can read it slowly and take in the meat of every article and really enjoy the experience.

Samir Husni: Since you became editor in December 2014, you’ve been introducing even more new and fun things for your audience; for example, I noticed that you have the hashtag Cosmo Pose. Tell me a little bit about that and how you’re putting that into practice.

Ana Ureña: When I first walked into the offices I started looking at all the Cosmo covers that had been published over the years in many editions, not just the Spanish one. And I noticed that most of the girls on the covers were in a special pose where they had their hands on their hips, either one or both. And I thought wow; almost all of them are doing that on every cover. I didn’t know why, but I thought it was a fun and interesting concept.

Then when I was reading a book about body language, there was one pose in the book called the power pose and it was exactly the same as the Cosmo Pose. If you stand with your hands on your hips and you feel powerful, right? The author was saying if you have a job interview, for example, and you’re nervous, go into the bathroom and stand in front of the mirror and do the power pose for a count of 20 and you’ll be able to ace your interview because by doing that pose you’ll begin to feel more powerful.

And I knew that was also the Cosmo Pose and I thought what a great way to empower women; if they practice every morning just doing the Cosmo Pose they will feel better about themselves, which is what Cosmo is all about.

So I started a hashtag called Cosmos Pose and I was encouraging girls to either send us or upload to Instagram or Twitter their Cosmo Poses so we could show the best of our Cosmo communities. I’m hoping people will really get into this and start sending them in because we’re turning 25 this year and we want to do something big with all the Cosmo Poses at the end of the year, like a composite, just something fun.

Samir Husni: My understanding is for the next issue you’re actually giving away a Selfie Stick for someone to use to take their Cosmo Pose?

Ana Ureña: That’s right because sometimes it’s hard to take a selfie of a Cosmo Pose because it’s a very close-up shot and you can’t get your whole body in the picture. But with a Selfie Stick you can actually take a longer distance shot by yourself; you don’t need any help. And you can take the picture and send it to us.

Samir Husni: You came from a newspaper background; how did you make the switch from newspapers to magazines and as a journalist, are you finding any difference between the two?

Ana Ureña: Well, the only difference is in newspapers we used to do everything more quickly. (Laughs) The magazine is a monthly so we have more time to think about things. But I think the approach for me is still the same because you still have to think of interesting stories to tell and stories you think the readers are going to want to read and that’s going to enrich their lives.

When I was in newspapers I used to do a lot of fashion and lifestyle, obviously, but I always used to try and get a human angle to it or something that would pull a reader in. And that’s something that we try to do in Cosmo as well. When we tell a story we always want it to be something with a human side.

Samir Husni: In this digital age where you feel that you have to be in contact with your readers on a second-by-second basis; how are you balancing between your digital presence and your print presence?

Ana Ureña: I’ve always had Twitter and that’s always been there, that hasn’t changed. So, when I was at the newspaper, I used to Tweet every day about what I was thinking, which was always so interesting. (Laughs) But I have never stopped using Twitter. So, the Twitter feed remains a constant and also the Instagram feed.

Samir Husni: What has been the major stumbling block that you’ve had to face since you became editor of Cosmopolitan and how did you overcome it?

Ana Ureña: The biggest challenge for me has been the lack of time because you never have enough time to finish everything you have to do. When I was working for the newspaper I was working from home because I was freelancing. I could work at 2:00 a.m. in my pajamas, no problem, but here I have to be in the office and I can’t be in the office in my pajamas at 2:00 a.m. because people would think that I’m a crazy lady, so I have to get things done within the work hours. And the things that I can take home, I do. But there are some things that I’m still struggling with to get done.

Samir Husni: And what has been your most pleasant moment since you became editor?

Ana Ureña: My most pleasant moment has definitely been interacting with the readers because they reach out and that’s never happened before. I can tell that they’re reading the magazine; I can tell that they’re reading the website or whatever aspect of Cosmo they’re interested in. They ask questions and they reach out to you and that means that someone is out there and someone is listening.

Samir Husni: If I gave you a magic wand that you could strike the magazine with and it would immediately transform itself into a human being, who would that be, Ana?

Ana Ureña: (Laughs) No, it would definitely be the whole team. One of the issues that I have personally with magazines is it’s not good if the magazine becomes the editor. The magazine has to be a magazine, it’s the brand. And the brand is Cosmo, it’s definitely not me. But if course I bring a little bit of me to the magazine, but there’s a little bit of me, a little bit of the art director, of the features editor; a little bit of all of us. And that’s what makes it Cosmo.

Samir Husni: Do you have to be a Cosmo person to work at Cosmo?

Ana Ureña: Definitely. (Laughs) I was a Cosmo girl before I came here. I just realized it.

Samir Husni: What motivates you to get out of bed in the mornings and say it’s going to be a great day?

Ana Ureña: Coffee. (Laughs) Strong coffee.

Samir Husni: (Laughs too) What makes Ana click and tick and gives you that energy from within?

Ana Ureña: I am constantly wondering what’s going to come at me today; the surprise element and I love that. Every day is different.

Samir Husni: My typical last question; what keeps you up at night?

Ana Ureña: (Laughs) I’m usually a really good sleeper. I’m usually so tired by the end of the day that I just knockout and go to sleep. Maybe the problems of the world bother me, but definitely not my job because it’s something that I really like and enjoy.

Samir Husni: Thank you.


And Back In The U.S.A….

Cosmo 1-1Cosmo 2-2Take note of the differences between the two July covers of the American version of Cosmopolitan – one for subscribers and one for the newsstands.

This isn’t the first time a magazine changes the word “sex” that appears on the newsstand edition to the word “fun” or “love” on the subscription cover. Cosmo is taking a page from its sister publication Redbook which used that approach for years a while back.

The newsstands’ cover reads, “WILD SUMMER SEX 8 Surprise Moves From Foreplay to Fireworks!”

The subscribers’cover reads, “WILD SUMMER FUN 8 Surprise Moves for Hotter Date Nights!”

Gone are the SEX, the foreplay and the fireworks.

So my simple question, what gives? You be the judge and let me know what you think…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: