2 MINUTES WITH: Penny Kitchen, Acting editor, <em>WI Life</em>

The Women’s Institute has replaced its long-running magazine, WI Home & County, with WI Life. Why the change?
It was time to update the magazine’s image, and to alert members to the fact that they are all eligible to get a copy.

Describe your readers.
Some are very young, while others are quite elderly, so we try to have a wide appeal. Most of our readers live in the countryside, although there are WIs in cities.

How do you source news stories?
Most news is generated by the organisation itself, although if PROs’ clients are involved in general issues of interest to the WI, such as the countryside or carbon emissions, then they should get in touch.

What else do you cover?
Topics include health, gardening and cookery – not just recipes, but issues such as cookery in schools, too. When we cover health we talk to doctors who are WI members, and our case studies are all members. Every issue we interview someone of special interest, such as Jeremy Paxman or opera singer Katherine Jenkins. We would be interested in information on the menopause, or on famous people such as Alan Titchmarsh, for example – middle-of-the road topics.

How can PROs make life easier?
It can be difficult because we do not have pages and pages of product placement, but there are opportunities. Our gardening writer, for instance, always mentions a product on her page, and we have a book club in each issue. Books on crafts or women’s issues are particularly popular. And for issues-based PR, particularly for charities working in health or the environment, there are plenty of opportunities.

Who should PROs contact?
They could try contacting me, or the features editor Sheila Purcell. The editor, Joanna Gray, is currently on maternity leave.

Circulation 205,000
Lead in Three months
Frequency Eight issues a year
Contact first initial.surname@nfwi.org.uk

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