Editor's Desk: Ben Reardon, GQ Style

Ben Reardon has just been appointed editor of GQ Style. He tells PRWeek about his new role, and why he thinks Columbo is an icon for magazine editors.

GQ Style: appoints new editor
GQ Style: appoints new editor
Describe the magazine and its readers
GQ Style is the essential guide to fashion for the modern gentleman, the one stop shop that all men should dress with to hand. The readers are smart, successful, they are curious as to how to spend their disposable income and implicitly understand the quintessential 21st century man will provide many keys to his interior life by what he chooses to show on the exterior.  

Are you planning any changes to the title?
Each page has to be an event. We will also be actively pursuing celebrity. The magazine isn't about to take a u-turn into becoming a gossip weekly, it is a high end, twice yearly men's fashion title. But in an age where the announcement of Alber Elbaz at Lanvin announcing he is about to work with H&M encourages as much internet debate as a preview of a new Kings of Leon video, you shun those totems of your times at your own peril. I will be working on profiling the exciting names on everyone’s lips at that moment in time. The magazine and website are there to document a stylish moment in culture. 'Zeitgeist' is an overused word but if you can pin it down I fully believe that is what makes a magazine title invaluable.

Who are your competitors and what makes you different?
I don’t see other titles as rivals, I see them as peers.

What makes a good story for the magazine?
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. There are no rules here. A story just has to feel exactly of its moment. It has to stand up to the six month shelf life of the title. Great magazines are all about the mix and flow and movement of the stories contained in them.

What opportunities are there for PRs to get coverage and what tips can you give them to be successful?
It may seem obvious but the only tip is to represent talented people. No editor is not going to listen to a PR who is attuned to their moment. If you are representing someone or something that intuitively feels in keeping with the core brand values of the magazine - that stylish men will be thrilled to see in the magazine - and that your client is keen to go the extra stretch in terms of photography and access, then the dialogue window is open.  

PR pet peeves.
I love being shown new and exciting things, so I always enjoy speaking with PROs and regard many as friends as well as colleagues. Ultimately we are all working to the same goal; making a magazine that readers want to obsess over, PROs want their clients to be in and that clients see as a valued seal of approval in terms of being granted editorial content. GQ Style is a celebratory title.  

What are your own personal media must-haves?
I buy every magazine on the shelves and like nothing more than sitting on my sofa surrounded by papers and magazines with Columbo playing in the background. Columbo is one of my many male icons; he’s stylish, scruffy, cool, incredibly intelligent and always gets the job done. He seems to me like a very valid icon for a magazine editor in every respect.
Publisher’s statement 60,000
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