Pacific Magazines investing in new content with Practical Parenting relaunch

The publisher adds e-commerce and peer-to-peer reviews

Pacific Magazines is revitalising its parenting offering with the relaunch of Practical Parenting.

Apart from news and features, the new digital destination will have e-commerce content as well as peer-to-peer product reviews and expert advice.

The relaunch came has a response of an internal research, which showed that trust in “bloggers and celebrities was waning. They [the readers] were more interested in the decisions and reviews from other mums,” new editor Frances Sheen told Mediaweek.

The new online home of Practical Parenting will follow the template used by another Pacific brand, BEAUTYcrew. Since launching in 2016, the website focused on all things beauty and had more than 28,000 reviews and recommendations for about 5,000 products that can be shopped for on the website.

At launch, Practical Parenting will have 1,300-1,500 products available for purchase online.

Users of Practical Parenting can review these products or recommend new ones. The team behind the brand won’t be removing negative comments, but will keep a close eye on the section to moderate language and get suggestions of how the offering can be constantly improved.

Sheen explained: “One of the great things about BEAUTYcrew is that if a product gets overwhelmingly negative response, they go to the manufacturer to give them the right to reply. Likewise, we will be printing the negative reviews [and doing what BEAUTYcrew does].”

The new e-commerce aspect of Practical Parenting is an important part of its business model. “It’s a new world for us. We will be following it very closely,” Sheen said. She is realistic about the success that the new website will have with its audience at launch.

“We will be looking at things like the number of people visiting the site and how many people buy products. We won’t know [how successful] it is for a while though. It will take time for us to get all that data back. We want a lot of reviews about the products on offer – I won’t put a number to it.”

Sheen said: “A lot of the readers are first-time mums, who are looking for reassurance and advice. However, the website caters for everyone – from first-time mums to parents with pre-teens.”

Mediaweek spoke to Sheen on the Friday before the new website went live: “It’s an exciting and a nerve-racking time.”

Prior to joining Practical Parenting, Sheen was the editor of Pacific Magazines’ weekly entertainment title New Idea. After nearly eight years in the job, which she said “is an awfully long time in the world of weekly magazines”, Sheen quit at the beginning of 2018. As a mother of two young children, she saw Practical Parenting as the next right move in her career. “I wanted to do something different and get off the news cycle for a while,” she said. While she won’t be completely out of the news cycle, it isn’t a main focus at Practical where there are many new parts of the business.

On how the additions will impact her role as editor, Sheen said: “If you are working as an editor of a weekly magazine now, you are not just the editor of the magazine, but the brand. That is exactly what this is like.”

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