Interview: Lauren Smith Brody

Lauren Smith Brody has been at Glamour for more than three years, having previously worked at CosmoGirl, which she helped launch, and the now-defunct New Woman.

Lauren Smith Brody has been at Glamour for more than three years, having previously worked at CosmoGirl, which she helped launch, and the now-defunct New Woman.

As senior editor of features, she oversees lifestyle, relationship, beauty, and some news stories. She also edits the Dos, Don'ts, News & Views section, which comments on current celebrity, political, and cultural trends.

PRWeek: How do you think Glamour fits into the women's magazine market?

Lauren Smith Brody: I think Glamour's take is really unique. The women's magazine market in general gets a bad rap, and that's thanks to [some magazines] that are one note. You think of one magazine, and you think sex; you think of another, and you think fashion, and that's it. Glamour is really about the whole woman. If it's something that you would debate over dinner with your friends, we cover it. Everything from which jeans make your butt look best to whom you would vote for in the next election if a woman ran.

PRWeek: What interesting stories are you working on now?

Brody: I'm working on our "Women of the Year" event, a special issue of the magazine in December. It's also a huge gala event that we hold each year in the fall. We honor 10 women with our "Woman of the Year" award. We've honored people like Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) in the past. I've started getting a lot of pitches from amazing women who are doing incredible things.

It's so lovely to be pitched a person as opposed to a product. So often what publicists maybe don't realize is that, even when you have a product to pitch, if there's a great human-interest story behind it - if it's a medicine developed by someone who's looking for a cure because they have a relative who can use it - all of a sudden you've found a link to our reader. While the product might not be something we would normally cover, if you find a human-interest angle that relates to our reader, I'm sold.

PRWeek: What are some of the most rewarding stories you have been involved in?

Brody: When Marisa Acocella Marchetto - a fashion cartoonist who does a single-panel cartoon for Glamour every month - told me she had breast cancer, I asked if she wanted to draw about it. She created a moving, inspiring cartoon that was six pages, which is unprecedented for us. I was so proud of the work that she did and of the letters that poured in from everyone, from women who had cancer and were inspired by Marisa's message to women who had never been touched by breast cancer but found a connection through Marisa's message.

PRWeek: What are the biggest mistakes PR people make?

Brody: I can't tell you how many calls I get from people who've never read the magazine. I used to edit the New Stuff You'll Love page, which is a beauty product page where we tout the newest products we've tried at the office that we think the readers should know about. I would get people pitching me things like motor scooters. I wanted to say, "Have you ever picked up the magazine? Read it. Figure out who our reader is - it's very clear from the editorial content - and pitch me like you care about her, because we care about her."

Name: Lauren Smith Brody

Publication: Glamour

Title: Senior editor, features

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