Editor's Desk: Peter Grunert, Lonely Planet Magazine

Who reads Lonely Planet Magazine?

Peter Grunert
Peter Grunert

Intelligent, thoughtful, interesting people with a passion for travel. They're mostly young professionals or empty nesters and share a hunger for fresh experiences.

What is your editorial agenda?

We inspire our readers by helping them to get under the skin of the places they'd love to travel to. We accept that they won't just want to ‘fly and flop' - they're keen to learn of history and culture, to eat and drink something authentic and delicious, and to understand where locals enjoy visiting too.

What makes a great feature for the magazine?

Our readers should feel like every feature is feeding their urge to travel - whether it's set in the UK, somewhere easily accessible in Europe or far more exotic. We work hard to commission beautiful photography and atmospheric writing. In one of my favourite features Stephen Fry described encountering the often bizarre natural wonders of Madagascar, strolling along an avenue of baobab trees that "looked as if they were dropped from another world, a world close to the surreality of a Dalí and the silliness of a concept rock album cover, circa 1972."

Describe your online offering and how it fits in with the magazine.

Lonelyplanet.com is a website with a gigantic reach (over 6 million unique users per month) that in the main provides its users with destination advice once they've chosen where they're travelling to. The magazine has its own space within the website, explaining how we can inspire readers to choose where to visit in the first place.

To what do you attribute Lonely Planet Magazine's popularity?

Unlike most travel magazines we don't just set out to rate destinations - we provide a lot more depth and aim to ‘take our readers there' each month, which I believe accounts for our comparatively high proportion of subscribers (around half our circulation).

What is your relationship with PR professionals like?

Excellent. Just over a year since Lonely Planet Magazine launched, I find it reassuring that PRs representing the travel industry have welcomed our original approach - we've helped to increase the number of people buying travel magazines in the UK by over a third.

How can PR professionals best work with the magazine?

Keep us informed of news that's relevant to our readership - so exhibitions, festivals, hotels, transport, restaurants, conservation efforts, books, film, TV and anything else that may encourage people to travel somewhere new.

Describe the process of choosing your front-cover shot.

Our cover image showcases the best travel photography our readers can expect to find within our pages. Its location could vary from a hidden island off Norway to the Great Ocean Road in Australia, and it should always give that sense of a potential reader's lungs filling with fresh air as they take in a glorious view.

What are your own personal media must-haves (eg which mags and newspapers do you read, TV shows do you watch etc)

I love magazines with high production values, that commission photography I could always imagine looking better in the pages of a magazine than on a mobile or laptop screen - the likes of National Geographic, GQ and World of Interiors. I'm a complete day dreamer so I also appreciate the chance to let my mind drift off to the landscapes featured in BBC wildlife documentaries such as Life and Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart.

Circulation figure - 45,052 (ABC July-Dec 2009)
Editorial contact email - lpmagazine@bbc.com


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