Healthy targets wider audience

Last month, Healthy magazine made its debut on the WH Smith newsstands after 15 years of exclusive distribution in Holland & Barrett stores. Nadirah Kaba reports

Healthy: Magazine's editorial agenda is to give advice but not plug products
Healthy: Magazine's editorial agenda is to give advice but not plug products

The WH Smith launch was the next big step after ABC figures for July to December 2010 showed an increase of 6.6 per cent compared with the first six months of the year, and a year-on-year increase of 15.6 per cent, to reach a circulation of 164,872.

In fact, Healthy sells more copies than glossy newsstand rivals Zest and Top Sante combined.

'Until now, we've only been available through one retailer. So unless you shopped there, you would not have been aware of us. We don't advertise, so putting the magazine on the newsstands means we can reach more people,' says Healthy editor Jane Druker.

Healthy's editorial agenda is to act as the messenger between expert and reader. The message is simple: health, without any of the add-ons such as fashion, beauty and lifestyle that appear on the pages of Healthy's competitors.

But Druker points out: 'We don't mention products by brand name. We are there to give advice but not plug products.'

Nevertheless, campaigns, trends and issues remain vital to the content of Healthy.

'If it's something connected to health issues, such as information, expert advice or studies, then we are interested. But it has to be new,' says Druker.

Healthy's readers are mainly women in their forties, who look after their elderly parents. They are very pragmatic and want practical solutions to their health issues.

'It's all about a new angle on an age-old story. Innovation is what makes us exciting. A really great health story is something new, scientific and expert. And I am always interested in new information on foods - our readers devour recipes,' says Druker.

Cirkle PR account executive Sam Edgley says: 'Healthy is a key title for us and it provides us with fantastic editorial opportunities to directly target a very specific, healthconscious audience. This allows us to bring the benefits of our products to life and generate awareness.

'When approaching Healthy, ensure you have a point of difference and are able to demonstrate the benefits of the product in a credible way. We find using consumer data or scientific research helps to reinforce our coverage.'

However, Ruder Finn MD Nick Leonard questions Healthy's move on to the newsstands: 'It's brave for an organisation to launch a newsstand title in the current climate, where the trend is for magazines to fold or migrate online and when content is increasingly cheap or free.

'It could be a great marketing tool and its market share is impressive, but the key to success is making the content compelling and general enough to appeal to those people who do not frequent Holland & Barrett stores on a regular basis.'

Circulation: 164,872 (source: ABC, July-Dec 2010)
Frequency: Healthy is published eight times a year
Publisher: River Publishing
Editor: Jane Druker
Deputy editor: Jo Wheatley
News and features: Gemma Haigh

A MINUTE WITH ... Jane Druker, editor, Healthy

- Why does Healthy sells more copies than Top Sante and Zest?

We are the leaders in what we do. We give expert advice and we are not biased. This is strictly a health-focused magazine. We are trustworthy and with health that is the most essential thing.

- What must PROs avoid?

Do not call on a Monday morning, as that's my busiest time. Also don't plug specific products unless it is something really groundbreaking.

- What deadlines should PROs consider when pitching stories?

PROs should have read the magazine beforehand and know what the sections are.

We work three months in advance. Currently, we are discussing ideas for our August issue and we normally work on three issues at any one time. So, I am commissioning, writing and putting to bed a different issue all at the same time.

- How can PROs shape the content of Healthy?

We are about trends and experts, and cover mainly health-related issues such as Smile Week and Osteoporosis Week. If PROs have something new that is connected to health - such as information, expert advice and studies - then they should contact us.

- When is the best time to make contact?

Send an email at the end of the week.

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