Cosmopolitan embraces social media

image_1356910141562926Drenched in social media and with almost 50 per cent of the cover stories having been influenced by blogging, twitter and instagram, it is clear that journalism has entered a stage where a digital cross over is the key to survival.

Fashion assistant at Cosmopolitan, Holly Coopey, believes that the power will always remain in fashion magazines, but it is paramount for print to embrace the internet.

She said: “The digital platform is expanding at a rapid rate and we all need to evolve to produce content which fits on both platforms and has the maximum outreach.”

Though as oppose to fashion bloggers, the idea in print is not to create a reader community but to instead create content to inform, inspire and encourage creativity.

This not only maintains the one to many foundation on which print publications talk to their readers, but it also enforces a hierarchy representative of the research that has gone into making every published article.

“Print features with interviews often take weeks of work, a lot of online content can often be rough summaries of quick vox pops and info found online,” she said. “The authenticity of a lot of digital stories is questionable sometimes.”

Cosmopolitan has handled their digital cross over with great caution, making sure the quality of the magazine is transferred online while maintaining print values.

As with most print publications, the team have had to learn new roles and become multi-platform journalists.

She said: “The whole team takes responsibility for social media from a fashion point of view. We have to be careful we don’t compromise what we are producing though, so we keep shoot images behind closed doors until they are in print and on the shelf.”

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The secrets to online conversion with More! Magazine

More_magazineThe first magazine to adapt successfully to the online revolution was More! a social media expert in the journalism industry.

Inspired by the power of social media, More! decided the only way they could embrace it was to find out what readers now wanted from their publications.

Online conversion is adapting to changing trends in reader interests.

After researching reader interests for a year, the magazine discovered that audiences were encouraging an obsession with self image as a result of their online habits.

To combat this unhealthy fixation, More! decided to use ‘real’ models and adapt their content to the ever changing trends on twitter and instagram.

The magazine has now re-launched to cater for their new-age 18-24-year-old audience, who have become more and more reliant on social media.

Sally-Anne Argyle was fashion editor at More! Magazine for seven years before becoming a freelance stylist at The Sun and Zest magazine. She said: “More! Magazine had more fans on facebook than any other publication for many years because we discovered very early on that was a brilliant media to talk to our readers, and they really enjoyed being talked to.”

Though most magazines have embraced social media, many are yet to keep up and accept that the secret to success lies in equality between the reader and the journalist.

Online conversion is a conversation between readers and journalists. 

Sally said: “A lot of magazines aren’t quite getting the importance and have, not snobbery but a hierarchy, they feel above it.

“Unfortunately it just comes down to people being too busy and magazines not employing enough people to do this, because it’s a whole other role I think.

“It’s so important but people are still unbelievably slow on the uptake which is a really poor move, we need to be keeping up.”

Online conversion is creating a brand that readers are interested in.

An interesting point brought up by Jennifer Faull is that young women create online profiles in an attempt to brand themselves. When setting up an online profile, whether it is on instagram, twitter or even a blog, initially no one knows who you are.

Anyone can post outfits they were always to shy to wear in public, say things they might have talked themselves out of saying in the past, and ultimately build up a community of people with shared interests.

Online conversion is approachable friendship.

Sally said: “Bloggers create that sort of approachable friendship, people don’t think it is above them. People don’t like being talked down to and they never have, I think a lot of fashion people are a bit like that. They can talk down to readers but that’s not right, it’s not the way I do my business.”

Reader interests and online trends are as vulnerable to change as fashion is from season to season. This is where bloggers have an advantage. Bloggers do not have a specific reader to cater for, unlike magazines. In order to converge successfully it seems that magazines now must be open to changing their content to suit the changing reader interests. But should the voices behind social media be entitled to the power to change the news agenda, especially when bloggers are not faced with this same issue.

Are magazine journalists are losing power where bloggers who control their own content are gaining it?