Guest Lecture – Tuesday 5th February 2013 – Gill Hudson

February 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

Recently, I met Gill Hudson – for me this was quite a big thing. Gill was deputy editor of Company magazine – which I love. But little did I know, this was only one of the list of opportunities she has been faced with.

Gill was part of the team who launched Maxim magazine, editor of the Radio Times and editor-in-chief at Readers’ Digest. With such a wide range of big named media companies under her belt from over 30 years in magazines, she gave around thirty of us a few helpful tips – and I thought I’d share my favourites with you (in both my words and Gills).

– Don’t believe in the hype. The ‘pre madonna’ stereotype, is just a stereotype and not real. Why would any one want to work for a monster and why would any one employ a monster? “If you’re not a team player, you’ve got a problem” Gill told.

– It doesn’t matter about the subject, as long as the skills are all there. “Skills that are transferable, forget about the subject.” Gill spoke of how she was a 40-year-old single mother editing a ‘lads mag.’

– Traditional print magazines are having to really try harder as “digital has blown everyone away.” Which makes it both harder to get into the industry and harder to stay in it.

– Key to print media: “Good quality targeted content.” Looking outside traditional markets is how it’s done, I’m always reading about bloggers who’ve made it because they’ve found their niche and run wild with it.

– “Stuff isn’t as good as it used to be.” Gill’s friend from the Guardian once said to her that he doesn’t have the same amount of time to put into his recent stories meaning he can’t plan etc. The world wants faster, stronger media and it’s really tough to get the right combination of both.

– It’s easy to get caught up in technology but “crucial you deliver what people want.” If you can’t deliver anything useful or good – people won’t care.

Gill wrapped up by sharing some industries she feels have gaps in the market these included mens magazines and the older demographic – which she explained are more likely to buy print. But as she explained “there may be a gap in the market, but is there a market in the gap.” She also shared what her hopes are for the future, broadcasting for a charity.

I have to say, Gill opened my eyes to the fact that, if I was offered a job for a magazine aimed at a totally different demographic than myself, I would take it. So I can aim for the magazines/news papers/industries I want – but I might find my love doing something else. After all, Gill started off working in a press office in which she produced a quarterly magazine, now she’s succeeded so much in the media industry.

Hope these little tips I’ve shared will help you as much as they have me.

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