New Year, new focus for Top Sante

It is January, and the 'New Year, new you' features are predictably ubiquitous.

New Year, new focus for Top Sante
New Year, new focus for Top Sante

For health and wellbeing magazine Top Sante, healthy living is already its key topic. But in the current edition, it breaks new ground by asking whether the hallowed detox is actually good for us.

This more questioning style of feature displays new editor Ellie Hughes' desire to make the title more specialist by adding depth, as well as increasing fitness coverage and product reviews - all of which could be an opportunity for PROs.

Hughes, previously editor of Pregnancy & Birth, joined the title on 8 November last year. She has appointed a new art editor and will be working on a redesign of the title to hit newsstands in May. This will involve scrapping the current strategy of putting a woman in a swimsuit on each front cover, and instead using a more seasonal image.

Nourish PR founder Hannah Norrish says this will be a welcome change. 'Top Sante was the iconic health and wellbeing magazine before it had competition from magazines like Zest. But a picture of a woman on a beach in October felt out of touch and a bit dated,' she says.

Editorially, Hughes will keep the key themes of health, beauty, wellbeing and nutrition but will make the features more informed. 'The magazine has a great heritage and brand name, but it has been going down the women's lifestyle route recently. I want to give the magazine more depth and make it a more intelligent read. It should be a health specialist title,' she says. This means instead of a 'ten best anti- ageing products' story, an article would discuss the ingredients in the products and their effect on the skin.

Cirkle board director Louise Lloyd says when trying to sell in products, 'the most effective way to generate interest is through one-to-one briefings where you can bring the product to life and allow the writer to trial it for themselves'.

Luther Pendragon consultant Surinder Kaur Gill adds that PROs should come up with different angles to secure coverage: 'The journalists we have engaged with look for comments that go beyond the obvious tips or health advice that their readers will have heard elsewhere. They give an alternative angle on well-known health issues.'

Shelley Frosdick, head of PHA Media's consumer and lifestyle division, agrees with this approach. Her 'boot camp' client was featured recently. 'Rather than the standard daily diary review on activities and weight loss, the writer focused on the role the mind plays in fitness and dieting, an angle that worked well for the client and played to its strengths,' she says.

Hughes' drive for more thoughtful content sounds like a move into Hachette Filipacchi's Psychologies magazine territory. It remains to be seen how readers respond to Top Sante's New Year resolutions.

Quick facts
Deadline: Three months before on sale
Circulation: 81,848 (ABCs, Jan-June 2010)
Contact: General anita.bhagwandas @bauermedia.co.uk, 020 7520 6592
Editor: ellie.hughes@bauermedia.co.uk, ext 6592
Beauty: natalie.silverton@bauermedia.co.uk, ext 6590
Food: janettemarshall@btinternet.com, ext 6591

A MINUTE WITH ... Ellie Hughes, editor, Top Sante

- Describe Top Sante and its readers

Top Sante is a healthy living magazine, so everything in it has to be an idea for a healthier lifestyle. Our typical reader is a health-conscious woman in her forties. You can think of her as someone who has always done a regular yoga class, but is a bit baffled by all the trendy new varieties her gym now offers. She wants to try them out but needs to know more first. That's where Top Sante comes in.

- What advice do you have for PROs trying to get coverage in the magazine?

Know the regular pages and come to us with a new angle asking, 'have you thought of this?' Don't just ring up and ask what we're working on. Get to know us, don't send massive images on email and keep up to date - I still get hundreds of emails about parenting (my previous job). If PROs are following us on Twitter, I'll often tweet for a product we need urgently. If they are on the ball, that is a good opportunity. We are also very active on Facebook.

- What else is in the pipeline?

We are in the early stages of discussing Top Sante TV, which will have online videos about relevant content. We will also make more of our Glow Awards next year. We will split them into two award schemes - health and beauty.

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