Interview: Suzanne Riss

A working mother herself, Suzanne Riss has held senior posts at national magazines for ten-plus years, including editor-in-chief at Ticker and managing editor at American Demographics.

A working mother herself, Suzanne Riss has held senior posts at national magazines for ten-plus years, including editor-in-chief at Ticker and managing editor at American Demographics.

PRWeek: What does Working Mother convey to its readers?
Suzanne Riss: We celebrate the accomplishments of working moms, explore the challenges they face, and provide them with useful life strategies.

We help them find better ways to make their [lives] work.

PRWeek: How would you describe your readers?
Riss: We have a strong bond with our readers. We put our readers on the cover; we invite them to our conferences; we publish photos they take of their kids; we rely on their mom-to-mom advice.

Our readers are passionate about [it] because they feel a part of it - and they are. They tell us they don't want to see celebrity moms on our covers; they're excited each issue to see and learn about real moms and their kids.

PRWeek: How does Working Mother differentiate itself from its competitors?
Riss: We're the only publication looking at the world through the lens of a working mom. There are magazines targeted to women. There are magazines targeted to moms. [Ours] is the only magazine that speaks to working moms; voices their concerns; and provides a place where they feel understood and embraced.

PRWeek: The annual Working Mother lists are very popular. How do you determine which companies should be included in the "100 Best Companies" list?
Riss: Companies that apply to the Working Mother 100 Best Companies list all complete a detailed application about their work/life programs and policies. The companies that score the highest make it onto our list.

This annual list has become an influential benchmark for companies that want to be recognized for their commitment to being leaders in the area of work/life practices. Building on the success of this list, we launched the Best Companies for Multicultural Women in 2002 to find companies with best diversity practices.

We have developed several new lists, including the Best Woman-Owned Companies and the Best Green Companies for America's Children.

PRWeek: What is your advice for PR folks who would like to see mentions in your publication?
Riss: Send us an e-mail rather than leave a voice mail message. Do your homework. Make sure your client is a good fit for [us].

I got a pitch about a man who bench presses lions in his workout routine. An interesting story, but not for a magazine for working moms. If it was a working mom who bench presses lions, we might have something.

Name: Suzanne Riss

Title: Editor-in-chief

Outlet: Working Mother magazine

Preferred contact method: Suzanne.Riss@workingmother.com

Web site:
workingmother.com

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