MEDIA PROFILE: Lorraine Butler, editor, B - Championing ’normal’ women

Voted best new magazine of the year by the Association of Circulation Executives, B obviously made an impression in an already crowded women’s market after its launch in 1997.

Voted best new magazine of the year by the Association of

Circulation Executives, B obviously made an impression in an already

crowded women’s market after its launch in 1997.



New editor Lorraine Butler took up the post in June from the Times’

Saturday magazine, where she was deputy editor, and has just seen her

first issue hit the streets. Butler’s background is firmly rooted in

newspapers and she says her whole reason for becoming a journalist was

to work for the Daily Mirror.



After training on the Cornish Times and the Wimbledon News she fulfilled

this ambition by becoming a Daily Mirror feature writer in 1990. There

followed stints on the Sun and Today until, as she admits ’Marie Claire

opened my mind to magazines’.



Butler has already set her sights on raising B’s circulation figures

from 200,000 a month to 300,000 and believes that her newspaper

background could be a key factor in consolidating the title’s

position.



’We’ll be chasing the features the newspapers would be chasing that are

right for our age group and we’ll have a stronger celebrity element,’

she says. ’Magazine readers are as sophisticated as newspaper

readers.’



Butler believes that most young women do not conform to the new

’ladette’ image - indulging in excessive drinking and aping their male

counterparts’ sexual behaviour and wants to target B accordingly.



’We are appealing to normal young women as opposed to other magazines

which are trying to get an edge and appeal to that ladette thing. But

what I don’t ever want to do is make the reader feel guilty about her

lifestyle.’



Butler is equally clear about what she and the magazine want from PR

people. For a start they must do their homework, read the magazine and

target the title accordingly. And she does not appreciate PR people

ringing up for complete features lists.



’I might as well send it out to our rivals like Company and Mizz while

I’m at it. It’s that attitude of not taking magazines seriously enough

that I worry about,’ she says.



Demanding though she may seem, Butler is a staunch believer in fostering

positive relations with the PR industry and will embark on a ’meet the

PR people’ mission from the end of August through a series of breakfast

meetings.



’You have to know people and develop some kind of rapport so that you

can trust what they are offering and they can trust that you will give

it decent coverage. And the only way to do that is by meeting people

face-to-face,’ she says.



Butler says she doesn’t believe in stand-offs between journalists and

public relations people. ’It’s a very incestuous industry so you don’t

know when you might come across people again and regret that you hadn’t

listened.’



HIGHLIGHTS



1990: Feature writer, Daily Mirror



1993: Woman’s editor, Today newspaper



1995: Deputy editor, Marie Claire



1997: Deputy editor, Times Magazine



1998: Editor, B.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.