Woman’s Day readers have insatiable appetite for royal news

• Lisa Sinclair, who was recently appointed as the editorial director of Bauer Media, spoke to Mediaweek

Bauer Media’s Woman’s Day has entertained multigenerational readers for well over 50 years. Now living on a variety of platforms, the brand continues to grow its reach and share the latest trends, royal family news and stories of tragedy turned to triumph with their engaged audience. Lisa Sinclair, who was recently appointed the editorial director of Bauer Media weekly titles, shared with Mediaweek the brand’s most popular celebrities, important campaigns, and plans for 2020.

Woman’s Day is primarily an Australian entertainment magazine for women. “Last year, we combined our weekly titles into one category, so that explains my new role,” said Sinclair. “We put a lot of thought into the titles and their positioning and what the USPs are, so we’re really clear on who and what Woman’s Day is. We know what stories are for us, and we know what isn’t. It’s all about getting the mix right, and in that we are quite unique. 

Lisa Sinclair

“If you look at the UK and US markets they have entertainment magazines and they have lifestyle magazines. People come to us for entertainment, real life, lifestyle; it’s a broad mix in one brand and it works really well. We’ll have royal news, a cracking Australian gossip story, and then we might have a tribute to someone well-known by all Australians alongside that. It’s diverse and compelling.”

Woman’s Day recently led a campaign called #RebuildOurTowns that was spearheaded by Woman’s Day editor, Erin Holohan. “It’s a really great example of the power of the Woman’s Day brand because the reader response has been incredible.”

The brand has 860,000 readers. Grandma reads it, mum reads it, daughters read it; but their core readers are over 50, and they’re very engaged. “They spend a lot of time reading the magazine – over an hour. They’re completely immersed with the magazine. We give them ‘me-time’ and a multitude of content. The magazine is very trends-driven and that’s very important to them. They don’t want to feel out of the loop.”

Imagery is so important in media and publishing, and it can get quite expensive to produce print offerings. Sinclair said it’s quite fortunate though that there’s so much available now. “We’re not just limited to Getty Images. People are their own photographers now on Instagram, so that’s becoming more and more of a content source. We obviously do our own shoots as well, so It’s a real combination.”

When asked which celebrities have been featured the most on the cover of Woman’s Day, Sinclair quickly replied without hesitation: “The royals!” Sinclair said they’ve been popular for a long time but in the past 18 months Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, was introduced. “Then we also have Kate Middleton and Princess Mary – our own royal – who have always been widely fascinating to our readers. In terms of popular reads, again, royals. The appetite for royal news is just insatiable, and that’s not really surprising. Readers also love tales of real seguedtriumph over adversity and stories involving courageous children – they really touch hearts.

When it comes to advertising, Sinclair mentioned they’d try not to go above 20% for the best user experience. “We’re really mindful of user experience and also balancing business needs. Advertising really varies depending on client’s campaigns and the seasonal shifts as well. Christmas and Summer is a big push.”

Sinclair said social media has been a great platform for the brand and their readers are highly engaged and the numbers are big. She said there’s always a strong focus on social and they work very closely with all platforms – print, social and digital – to see what works for their audience and what works for them. “Sometimes it’s very distinct readers for both groups that don’t cross over, so our reach is getting bigger and bigger.”

In terms of plans for the new year, Sinclair said they are definitely going to continue their focus on rural Australia. “We started it last year around the drought and supporting the farmers. Then we segued into the #RebuildOurTowns campaign after the bushfires. The focus will be ongoing; it’s very important.

We also received an announcement recently about the royals coming to visit places affected by the bushfires, and that really combines both the rural and the royals. Royal tours in Australia are always hugely exciting for us and for our readers, so we’re really looking forward to that.

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