I went along to my first ever Cision media briefing this morning, where PRs gathered around the croissants and coffee to hear Angelica Malin, editor-in-chief of About Timemagazine, talk about her experience as a media entrepreneur.
By Natalie Beale, European alerts editor, Cision
Angelica is a digital native with a background in online journalism and experience covering food and lifestyle, who saw a space in London’s food and dining coverage for guides and features which had less “waffle”. This inspired the creation of About Time, which has become a guide to travel, food and lifestyle.
She and her team are curating London’s dining and experience scene through clear, trend-focused listicles and features. By being “bossy” – to use her own term – the magazine lends locals and tourists a guiding hand in negotiating the city’s cultural smorgasbord. They have an international readership, and are even in talks about expanding into New York.
Who reads About Time?
They have a young readership, aged 25-35 (70% female), who Angelica describes as “social decision makers”. This decision-making role often falls to women, which is, she believes, one of the reasons why they have a strongly female readership.
What makes a good About Time pitch?
The About Time team likes timely pitches which fit current lifestyle interests and help them react quickly to new crazes (such as their guide to Korean BBQ restaurants). The editors outline the magazine’s strategy on a weekly basis, and as a small outlet they have the flexibility to include pitches at relatively short notice.
An effective pitch should show an understanding of About Time‘s sections and features, so it can seamlessly become part of the magazine’s content. When asked about combining advertising with editorial integrity, Angelica emphasised this well-integrated, “soft sell” approach. Their preferred strategy is to have sponsored weeks, in which six or seven paid articles will appear over several days.
Revenue opportunities, given the current state of the media, should be pursued through a combination of advertising, events, and subscriptions. Following About Time‘s 2018 feature on female entrepreneurs, they capitalised on the attention with a festival of entrepreneurship. They are planning to expand their event offerings, which provide PR opportunities through panels, authors, venues and brands.
From the magazine’s launch onward, the “working relationship” with PRs is an important part of About Time, helping them keep on top of the latest trends and experiences in London.