Profile #27 in Our Continuing Series on Marketing Journalists
174 Hammersmith Road
London, W6 7JP, UK
Phone: +44 020 8267 4730
Fax: +44 020 8267 4696
-> Circulation (as of June 2001):
20,582 ABC audited subscribers and newsstand buyers (Note: That is a heck of large influential number for the UK.)
-> About Smith (from Z to A)
Although Smith got his BA in Zoology at a university in the North of England, he ended up in advertising journalism in the South of England because that's just the way life is.
After gathering a post-graduate journalism degree from University of Wales College, Cardiff, Smith's first real-world job was as a fishing journalist for Emap's Fishing News International.
Two and a half years later he made the leap to big-time trade ournalism glamour by joining first Reed Business Information’s Web site [Real] Estates Gazette and then Revolution magazine.
When asked how he became Revolution's Editor Smith explains, "I like to see it as a natural progression to the position. The publisher decided to take it on weekly, and I moved being part of the team that took it weekly, brought on as News Editor, then Deputy. And it was the logical progression to become Editor just over a year ago I hope, but that’s a question publisher's best answering."
-> Editorial coverage:
Celebrating its fifth anniversary this summer, Revolution’s a weekly magazine hitting the desks on Tuesdays, and is one of the UK’s leading new media publications covering Web design, marketing, and new media technology with national and international comment.
Smith says, "Revolution magazine is primarily a business and marketing publication in digital media. When the CEO is enquiring about the website and why do we need it, it’s often the marketing teams that see the potential and possibilities there. IT teams will be asked to implement technology for strong business reasons, but it's the marketing department that becomes the hub of those decisions."
Revolution’s goal is to be accessible by avoiding jargon. Smith adds, "We are read by CEOs, Financial Directors and even the technology people who may say that they may not work the new media sector. So we cross the vertical markets by being accessible and trying to give people the bottom line of effectiveness."
Interestingly Smith says, "If you spoke to our readers two or three years ago they would say yeah, yeah we work in new media, but if you talk to them now, it’s 'no, actually we are in the music industry and we just happen to use digital channels.'"
-> How to pitch Smith:
When asked what his top headaches with PR people are, Smith says, "Probably not researching individuals; not thinking before they pick up the phone; and, not being able to deliver. We are about technology and therefore we have a website, and they can find the information there and it will take about 30 seconds for them to find exactly what they want e.g. the name of the editor!"
Also don't feed him the exact same pitches as you pitch everyone else. Smith stresses, "We are aware that our audience is media literate and they do read other magazines, so it isn’t any good to us if news is to appear in another publication, or is going out on general release."
He is open to new media marketing stories from a wide variety of industries, "We have to be open to all those opportunities and we have to treat every story differently, but what I look for initially with anyone that contacts the magazine, is that they know that we are different as well. We’re *not* a technology or IT magazine."
"We’re a magazine about business; and, we’re also about the use of business within the digital channels. There’s a subtle difference there, and people that read the magazine will know this. So it’s looking for that appreciation of what we are about, as I am sure that any editor will say."
Press day is Monday, but Smith likes PRs to bear in mind that his team works on features way ages beforehand. If you have something on the horizon, then you should be thinking way ahead of time.
-> Freelancer wanting to write, how do they pitch themselves?
Smith jokes, "The best way is to be really good, and that way they won’t even have to pitch and we’ll find out about them."
He adds, "We are always open up to good people coming to us, but they need to know why they are good, what we are about. They need to know that we are business magazine about digital media and we will be looking for definite skills.
"We have a freelance team. [We choose] the freelancers we use because they all have very different skills and abilities, and because we deal with wide range of topics. There are people that are better at the more technology issues and those that are better at marketing based issues, or people that are experts in certain industry sectors and industries. So the how do we know about that? Well, people talk about them, we hear about it, they become recognized and we want them to come and write for us."
-> Does Revolution accept contributed articles?
No, but they accept ideas and these can come from anywhere. Smith says he likes when people say, "Have you heard about this? You should be writing about this."
-> Where you can meet Smith (or his team)
Smith and other journalists on his team frequently (as in on a weekly basis) attend London-area marketing-related functions. He says, "The only way to learn about an industry is to get out and learn, pressing the flesh. So, with that in mind you are best meeting us at industry events that we regularly attend."
-> Smith's favorite business publications:
Smith respects the sister titles at Emap Haymarket such as 'Campaign' and 'Management Today,' which produce great coverage of their respective sectors. (Campaign is also known for coating London taxi cabs with its logo.)