Media: InStyle's approach is on the money

According to InStyle editor Eilidh MacAskill, these austere times do not mean glossy women's magazines have to flounder.

'This has been a good time for brands that know what they are and are able to be clear, specific and targeted about what they offer readers,' she asserts.

InStyle has the circulation figures to back up this claim, having recorded its sixth consecutive circulation increase in a row, up 1.8 per cent year-on-year to 186,251.

And considering MacAskill says the average InStyle reader is happy to spend money on herself, and has the means to purchase products featured within the magazine, PR professionals would do well to put it on their radar.

As Daniela Marchesi, senior account executive at Nylon Communications, says: 'It's definitely a top-tier consumer magazine. You are pitching to an audience of women who have disposable cash.'

On the newsstands, InStyle jostles with titles such as Elle, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar for position. The magazine is dedicated to fashion, beauty and style, along with travel, and does not feature much of the wider lifestyle, emotion and relationship-centric content of more generic women's glossies.

MacAskill says the magazine stands out from rivals by having a warmer feel: 'For some brands, part of the appeal is they are exclusionary. InStyle has always been a more inclusive women's title. We want readers to feel good when they read the magazine. The readers who come to us can actually purchase the things we feature, so they read InStyle to find fashion and beauty they can use as currency with their friends.'

Michael Sluming, senior account executive at Paver Smith, agrees: 'InStyle has a sense of humour about itself and is quite inclusive. It isn't as po-faced as some fashion magazines.'

An ideal feature for the magazine would have 'great observation and detail', says MacAskill. 'It needs to be visually exciting and brilliantly written.' PROs therefore need to consider imagery when targeting the magazine and, as always, do their homework.

'Be it a product or hotel review, news nib or product placement, look at what the publication does and how it would fit for its readers,' says Marchesi. Talent-wise, the ideal candidate for InStyle would be an up and coming star with real personal style. MacAskill cites Florence Welch, of Florence and the Machine fame, as a successful shoot in early 2010.

PROs can also look further than the magazine itself.

Unusually among women's glossies, InStyle has a very active website and MacAskill says video, such as behind-the-scenes footage of fashion shoots, is extremely popular. There are also opportunities within brand extensions such as awards, parties and link-ups, including a collaboration with LK Bennett to help readers look great at work.

Circulation 186,251 (Source: ABC Jan-June 2010)
Contact: General Sarah Statman
Travel: Jeannette Arnold
Fashion: Frankie Read
Entertainment: Danielle Hine
Features: Victoria Moss

A MINUTE WITH ... Eilidh MacAskill, editor, InStyle

- Who reads InStyle?

Readers are fashion and beauty literate women. They have the means to come to us for actionable inspiration. We have high numbers of AB readers and our reader will always spend money on herself, not as a luxury, but as an everyday event.

- Describe your relationship with PROs

We have good relationships with the industry and I think the PR professionals we work with really understand what the magazine is, how it has changed and how they can fit in with it. My only pet peeve is when I get emails asking if I can tell them what is coming up. No I can't.

- How does your online offering fit in with the magazine?

About 90 per cent of content on the website is original, but it will complement the magazine. Video is huge for us. It's a real strength, whether that's video we've created ourselves, backstage footage of a shoot or short films such as music or adverts. We have 220,000 unique users and they tend to look through 27-30 pages.

- Who would be an ideal celebrity for InStyle?

Rachel Bilson, Diane Kruger and Amanda Seyfried have all sold well. We feature the kind of celebrity you could Google and still find them looking great in their own time. It's not about wearing designer from head to toe though.

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