The Editor's Desk: Sarah Sands, Reader's Digest

Reader's Digest has a strong family approach and we have generations of subscribers who inherit it from their parents. Our content appeals to children as well as adults.

Sarah Sands: Readers Digest editor
Sarah Sands: Readers Digest editor

Why the trendy redesign?

The magazine had drifted away from its traditional character - it didn't feel as strong as it could be as a brand. I wanted to make it more distinctive, with lots of great content in a really beautiful package. I like the new dramatic, theatrical look.

What do you look for in a story?

I like real-life adventure stories, tales of heroism and incredible experiences. Also anything surprising, with a light-hearted approach. We like comedy and drama.

What is your relationship with PROs like?

There is mutual respect - I always return phone calls and I expect others to show me the same courtesy. It is important for PR professionals to know the magazine and be aware of our lead times and values - family-friendly is key. You cannot pigeonhole us because there is nothing else really like us on the shelves.

Advice on the ideal pitch

We cover more film and comedy than ever before so there is greater scope for PR activity there. I am not interested in expensive travel pieces - I do adventures, not spas.

Will there be changes to your website?

We are planning to revamp our website for the coming year. We will be launching a couple of blogs and redesigning the site.

What are your media must-haves?

I read all the papers, but these days I pay more attention to the columnists - Simon Jenkins, Ben Macintyre, Gerard Baker. I use the BBC quite a lot. I look at the New York Times website, Net-a-Porter, The Onion and I am never without my BlackBerry.

Circulation: 640,000 UK subscriptions

Contact:; Executive editor -

Lead times: Three months.

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