Interview: Clare McHugh

Clare McHugh was named Editor of All You in mid-April 2007. Previously, she held editor positions at In Style, New Woman, and Marie Claire, and Time Inc.

Clare McHugh was named Editor of All You in mid-April 2007. Previously, she held editor positions at In Style, New Woman, and MarieClaire, and Time Inc.

PRWeek: What is the demographic of your readership like?

McHugh: We aim for women from the ages of 25 to 50 who are value-driven consumers. They care about making the most of their time and money.

In my mind, I'm, editing for women all over the country who have busy lives, and they enjoy cooking and decorating their house. They're concerned about their health, maintaining their weight, and they are interested in, also, beauty and fashion. It has a general interest quality to it, but it's women's services.

PRWeek: How is the circulation?

McHugh: Circulation is growing; it's up year after year.

PRWeek: How does your magazine differentiate itself from competitors?

McHugh: Our magazine is denser and quicker than a lot of other magazines in this arena. We don't do long form journalism. We do shorter articles that boil [down] the important elements of a topic. We also feature stories of real women—their struggles, their triumphs—both professionally and in personal life. The magazine is populated with pictures of real women and we rely on our Reality Checker network—a network of 15,000 ‘reality checkers' from across the country from whom we solicit advice about what they're interested in and how they solve challenges in their own life, be it how to get stains out of clothing, or how to put dinner on the table really quickly, or how to enhance their relationships with their husbands. The Reality Checker network is the heart of what we do.

PRWeek: What are your daily must-reads, online and in print?

McHugh: I am a pretty assiduous follower of both Drudge and Gawker, and and TMZ. I read Romenesko when I can, when I have time. I look at—I used to work at InStyle— I think it's a fantastic fashion resource and I still follow that very closely.

I like a site called, which is a summary of essays and things that have been written all over the world, about things like books and current affairs.

I sadly read the Times and the Post, and when I could get to it, I like to read the New Yorker. I read our competitive set, but not too much because I want to keep clear in my mind what I'm doing. I look for influences and story ideas from a whole range of magazines, not just from our competitive set. I do look at the celebrity weeklies, but I'm interested in some of the real enthusiast titles. I think there are great ideas to be found everywhere, and you have to be open to that and looking for new things all the time.

PRWeek: Do you deal with a lot of PR people?

McHugh: I do; I get a lot of pitches, and certainly I want pitches, especially for products that save our readers time and money, or good things for the home, food, and health concerns. The pitches are usually passed to various senior editors who cover that market. So we're happy to hear from people. We especially like to get e-mail pitches.

I think it's very evident from our masthead who covers what. So people should be encouraged to pitch the editor that's in their area.

PRWeek: As a journalist, what's the most ineffective experience you've ever had with a PR person?

McHugh: Ineffective? I hate to slag off our public relations professionals and partners. I think PR people do their best. I think the invention of e-mail is a great thing for the PR business because it's harder for people to ignore e-mail than it is to ignore mail, but it's less obtrusive than the phone. So I think that e-mail is great. I think sometimes PR people are not familiar enough—they send out mass pitches—so one gets the feeling they're not familiar with All You. And because All You is a new title, I urge anyone who is going to pitch us to study the magazine so they know what we're about and what kind of stuff we're doing so they don't waste their time pitching stuff that's never going to work.

PRWeek: What is your daily schedule like?

McHugh: I have an incredibly religious daily schedule—it's organized around my children. I get up and drop off daughter at school, and then I walk to work. I like to work all day, I don't really like to go out for lunch, although going out for lunch is something I often do have to do. And I try to leave before 6pm because I want to spend some time with my kids. I find that I spend more time now than I did before with the art department because I'm working on the covers a lot. And I'm very happy that I recently hired a great executive editor who helps me with so much of the work that I'm able to work on the look of the magazine and the covers.

PRWeek: How is the Internet changing the scope of your publication?

McHugh: The Internet is changing the scope of our publication in several different ways. First of all, I think that it's important for a publication like ours to point out the online resources that our readers have for various issues, or products they may be looking for. So we try to be careful about covering good Web sites for further information, or good Web sites that offer products that our readers would be interested in. Number two is, we recruit our reality checkers in large part online, and we also communicate with them through e-mail. So it enables us to make really great use of these reader editors. We also sell subscriptions online, and I think people are now very used to going online to subscribe to a magazine. So that allows us to keep in touch with our readers and people who are interested in the magazine. And we are continuing to develop our Web site with what we hope is intriguing content.

Name: Clare McHugh
Outlet:All You Magazine
Title: Editor
Preferred contact
Web site:

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