At first glance the "new look" She magazine seems remarkably
familiar. Yes it's cleaner, with more sections, but the overall change
is in the editorial tone. Unquestionably it's a more "organised" read,
the magazine flows well and is less "bitty". Eve Cameron's style
(ex-Cosmopolitan, Health & Beauty and Zest) shines through. Editorial is
dedicated to health, beauty and inner-self. However, the investment in
paper and typeface goes unnoticed - feeling the paper quality with my
eyes closed, perhaps I felt a difference, but according to the new She,
mind over matter works wonders, so was I imagining it?
Certainly this cleaner look will initially halt She's circulation
decline (now at the lowest since 1986 and nearly 100,000 copies fewer
than its mid-90s peak). The above-the-line advertising support won't
However, the new editorial content could isolate the regular buyers and
the lack of celebrities is a little unnerving.
Clearly middle youth is more about "me" and less about what I am (wife,
mother, etc) and The National Magazine Company has changed the emphasis
to this. However, how much therapy do you want in a magazine?
What it has got right is writing more about the woman and less about the
mother. A new section entitled "family matters" provides the info
without the family being key to most articles. It is tucked away nicely,
reconfirming the need to be a woman first. The beauty and fashion
sections are now separate and have clearly had investment. Regular
features have been stripped back and the "me" focus is now throughout. A
few of the old regulars have disappeared (Kitty Churchill's short
stories and Dr Phil's medical revelation) to make way for a more
therapeutic, life-changing, pattern-breaking advice guide.
The biggest shift is the lack of celebrity mentions - even the big
celebrity interview was not flagged up on the front cover and was
entitled "how to fix your relationship".
Justine Southall, the group publisher, claimed the desire to get back to
"what is really important" has taken on a new life since 11
OK, for a couple of days I decided there was more to life than fashion
and celebrities (ie firemen), but overall NatMags would be wrong to pull
away from the largest growing trend - celebrity focus. Women's magazines
all rely on the exclusive interview. Yes, people care about themselves,
but never underestimate a woman's desire to gossip.
She magazine is certainly different, but not enough to stand out in such
a highly competitive market.
Publisher: The National Magazine Company
Cover price: £2.60
Full-page ad rate: £10,565
Advertisers include: Mercedes, Clinique, Fiat, Seiko, Twinings, Orange,