Editor's Desk: Ben Duckworth, Total Politics

The political magazine that 'has a sense of fun' opens up to PRWeek

Total Politics editor: Ben Duckworth
Total Politics editor: Ben Duckworth

How would you describe Total Politics?
We talk about themes that matter to politicians and anyone interested in politics. 

How do you try to stay ahead of the competition?
Politics has an extremely busy, minute-by-minute blogosphere and there are weekly magazines such as The Spectator and New Statesman but I like to think we are brighter and more colourful. We don’t pretend to be intellectual but we have a sense of fun. We have a track record of letting politicians speak without following a certain agenda. 

Total PoliticsOf which story or feature are you most proud?
We devoted an issue to the subject of bullying in politics. We were able to write a feature backed up with a poll of MPs – it was all hard facts and research. We do not treat politics like a game show.
We take it seriously, but also reflect areas where British politics could up its game.

What are your plans for the next 12 months?
I will make a few small changes to freshen up the magazine. Recess gave politicians the chance to recharge their batteries and I’m sensing a real wish to get going again – the general election is looming large.

How would you like PR professionals to pitch?
Explain the issue quickly and comprehensively.  Ideally, I want someone who is on top of the subject, who responds quickly and proves helpful when I need them. I’ll come away with
a positive impression. 

Any PR pet peeves?
Being sent press releases that aren’t tailored. You know they’ve done no work and they don’t understand what we might be interested in.

What are your media must-haves?
As well as the political sections in the newspapers, I’m an avid follower of political blogs, especially
The Guardian, The Spectator’s Coffee House, Paul Waugh at the London Evening Standard, LabourList, ConservativeHome and Lib Dem Voice. Away from politics I like Wired magazine and if I’m travelling,
I’ll pick up a music magazine or GQ.

Frequency Monthly
Circulation 20,400
Contact ben.duckworth@totalpolitics.com

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