Our strapline is ‘For Every Mum and Mum-to-be'. We also cover fertility issues, multiples births, and let's not forget stuff for dads.
What is the competition to Prima Baby and how do you try and stay ahead?
The parenting market is fiercely competitive with at least seven other print titles vying for attention on the newsstand, plus a vast online offering.
Exclusives are essential to give us stand-out and help to keep the magazine fresh: in what had been a traditionally celeb-free zone, Prima Baby was the first parenting mag to put a pregnant celebrity on the cover, which we've subsequently followed with celebrity mums with their babies. We were also the first parenting mag to put a dad on the cover - rugby legend and Strictly Come Dancing favourite Austin Healey with his twin baby girls.
We're also a campaigning magazine, championing issues important to our readers - everything from childhood vaccinations to protecting parent and child parking spaces. These have helped engender reader loyalty as well as getting us talked about on TV, radio and in print.
Tell us about the decision to have Myleene Klass guest-edit the magazine. Why did you choose her, and what do you think she will achieve for Prima Baby as guest editor?
Again, this was part of our drive to be ‘first' - celeb guest editors have been done in other sectors, but not the parenting press. Myleene constantly tops the ‘UK's favourite celeb mum' polls. She's warm, friendly, likeable and down-to-earth. She writes a monthly column for us already and is refreshingly honest about the joys and challenges of new parenthood. It was also part of our ongoing quest to surprise regular readers with something fresh and different, as well as attract new readers.
What is your approach to celebrities in general and why - do you like to feature them or do you consider them unrealistic role models?
We've always been very clear that we will only feature down-to-earth, accessible celebs - home-grown Brit girls who real women can relate to rather than glitzy Hollywood types. Obviously, our main aim is to provide core information - much of which is medical and can be quite dry. However, we're still a magazine and we need to entertain, so celebrities can help to lighten the tone but only if used appropriately.
How does the magazine help new mums who feel under pressure to lose the baby weight when faced with celebs boasting about dropping two stone in three weeks without diet or exercise, such as Lisa Scott Lee?
We take a ‘keep it real' approach and would never feature those stories. In fact, we're the opposite and the celebs we work with tend to be very upfront about their wobbly bits and post-baby bodies, which is reassuring to other new mums.
How do you keep the content of the magazine fresh and interesting given the relatively limited subject matter?
It's not at all limited - quite the opposite. Having a baby is the ultimate life-changing experience and there's so much to cover, from the practical and medical stuff to how you feel emotionally, the impact on your relationships and self-esteem, work and childcare. There's also stock women's mag content such as fashion, beauty, news and entertainment. The challenge in a features meeting is deciding what to leave out! It's also about making sure there's core information for new readers while keeping the regular ones surprised and interested.
What are your plans for Prima Baby over the next 12 months?
As always, to keep the magazine evolving. A big challenge comes from the fact that a lot of our core information is now available online, and our own website Babyexpert.com is very successful. We just need to make sure we include plenty of ‘must-have' reasons to buy the magazine so that the mag and online businesses are complementary.
What are your own personal media-must haves?
Like every journalist, I'm an information junkie. My daily ‘fix' starts with the Today programme, breakfast TV (BBC and GMTV), and a broadsheet and a tabloid newspaper. I'll check in with BBC Online around midday and catch up with the evening news at some point. My magazine diet includes everything from the monthly glossies to weekly gossip mags. I'm a regular on parenting websites, as well as Facebook and Twitter - but I drew the line when I got an invite from my credit card company urging me to ‘Follow Us On Twitter'. Why...?
Circulation figures - ABC Jan-Jul 09 = 46,014
Editorial contact details - Elaine Griffiths, direct line 020 7312 3090