My Media Week: Anna Jones, Hachette
A week in the media life of Anna Jones, digital & strategy director at Hachette Filipacchi
Anna Jones, digital & strategy director, Hachette
Start the week with the Hachette monthly board meeting, attended by our chairman Kevin Hand; finance director Andy Humphries; marketing director Reid Holland; head of sales Judith Secombe; Rita Lewis, publisher for Elle, Elle Decoration and Sugar; Nadia Dawson, publisher for Psychologies and Red; and HR director Ruth Smyth. My team comes in and presents our strategy for launching a website for Red magazine. Happily, the project is given the green light by Kevin, and the board decides the site will go live in Q4 this year.
The board meeting takes up most of the day but later in the afternoon I catch up with Red’s editor-in-chief Sam Baker - who is absolutely delighted about the launch - to discuss the profile of the new online editor we will recruit.
The morning’s highlight is the Digital Spy planning meeting with the site’s founders James Welsh and Neil Wilkes. We review the weekly traffic figures and are pleased to see we have reached 95% of the monthly target by the third week of July - we are on course to achieve more than eight million uniques and 110 million page impressions. We also discuss growth plans for the US site, which launched last summer and has more than one million uniques, and debate who we want to send out from the UK to lead the New York office.
I then take Red’s digital editorial director Melissa Dick and Kath Brown, an external consultant who advised on the website launch, to lunch at Truc Vert in Mayfair to thank them for their hard work on the project over the past four months. Back by 3pm for a meeting with Mango Saul, editor of Sugar’s website Sugarscape.com, to talk about our plans for the site, including a design refresh, introducing shifts to increase our celebrity coverage over the weekend and potential new features for next year.
Finish the day by meeting Serena Cullen and Robert Elliott from independent TV production company Camden Creative to talk about a media first with Elle magazine: a reality/drama hybrid called Push, which follows a twenty-something girl as she lands her dream job as a junior fashion reporter on the magazine. The show will air on Channel Five and on Elleuk.com from late September and filming starts in our offices this week, so Elle’s editor-in-chief Lorraine Candy advises the producers on the main character Lydia’s wardrobe. Lorraine decides Lydia should become more fashion-savvy as the show goes on, so she suggests graduating from Topshop and French Connection to Nicole Farhi and Miu Miu.
Spend the morning in a meeting with the Elle management team - Rita Lewis, Judith Secombe, Kevin Hands and Reid Holland - to talk about our future strategy for the brand and how we can develop the magazine’s digital platforms. I update the team on the new web channels we are launching in September, the plans for Elle’s twenty-fifth birthday in October and our position on the iPad - we are considering developing an app for the iPad but are waiting to see whether it is right for our brand before taking the plunge.
After a quick lunch I have a soaps forecast meeting for All About Soap and Inside Soap, looking at the titles’ circulation and revenue performance, before catching up with Digital Spy’s James Welch to review the brand’s mobile site, which launched last month. The site’s performance has been phenomenal so far: after just two weeks the site had doubled its uniques to about 280,000.
Start the day with my weekly sales meeting with Judith Secombe - she has had great feedback from advertisers since Digital Spy relaunched in May, most notably a campaign for Sony Ericsson’s Experia X10 Mini handset.
Judith also tells me that Elle sold out online before the end of July and is already getting booked up for August, so we talk about how we can create more online opportunities for advertisers. I then go through the UK H1 performance figures with Hachette’s international digital team, who are over from Paris. It is a very upbeat meeting because we have beaten budget on every site as the economy has started to pick up - let’s hope it continues!
Hachette is currently conducting strategy reviews for all its digital businesses - Inside Soap, All About Soap, Elle, Digital Spy, Sugarscape, Red and Psychologies - so I make a start on the document for Digital Spy, which is due to be presented at the following week’s strategy review.
I also review the page layouts for Red’s website and hold a conference call with Hachette’s digital director in the US. At the end of the day I set off for Euston to take my 14 month-old daughter to stay with my parents near Kendal in the Lake District for the weekend - spending the train journey reviewing the covers for the next issue of Psychologies on my BlackBerry, of course.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
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