Guest Newsletter – Aimee Wachtel

Once a month we invite our member magazine publishers and enthusiasts to guest-edit our fortnightly email newsletter. The aim is to inspire others with magazine-related content, connect members and build our community so we can learn from each other.

This month our guest editor is Aimee Wachtel, Head of Production and Operational Support at Holyrood Communications. You can follow Aimee on LinkedIn – remember to connect and say hello!

Tell us about yourself

I’m the Head of Production and Operational Support at Holyrood Communications, a media and events company which follows Scottish politics and current affairs.

Last year we published the 500th issue of our fortnightly magazine, Holyrood, and will be celebrating our 25th anniversary in May. I’ve been around for nearly half of that – having joined as a Designer and Production Manager around issue #286…

I recently passed the torch as lead designer, and while still overseeing production and design, am now branching out into operational aspects of the business, including more on our events.

The above picture shows me looking very pleased to be invited into the private MP’s bar at Westminster this summer after an event we hosted there.

What are you up to at the moment?

I’m excited about a new work placement program I’m launching this year which will give students in their final year of local journalism or publishing programs a chance to integrate with our office for a bit longer and earn academic credit.   

Some of my most beneficial academic experiences were those that allowed me the chance to experience live publications in action. 

It’s also been on my mind recently to review print and postage costs in advance of submitting next years budget. Even though I’m quite confident in our current longstanding  arrangements and relationships, It’s important to keep reviewing opportunities.

What’s the best article you’ve
read this month?

I lucked out and got a very decent price on an overseas print subscription to the Jacobin at the end of last year and have been catching up on the latest issue around the theme of ‘aging’.

One article that I found interesting (simply because it was providing a perspective completely counter to everything else I’ve seen/read), tries to counteract the narrative that increasing lifespans mean younger generations will have to bear the financial burden of the elderly. 

The author presented a few different ideas that were new to me including evidence that the cost of longer retirements could be offset by rising productivity in the workforce.

He also addressed the sticky question of whether to raise the retirement age – and I was interested to learn that 22 of 27 EU states have systems that in various ways classify jobs according to arduousness, which then entitle workers to access full pensions either earlier or later.

Show us an incredible magazine cover

It’s no secret that The New Yorker does consistently great covers, but I’m going to give this one a special nod just because of how much joy my 4-year-old son also got out of it. So much so that he has kept it and pulls it off the bookshelf every now and again just for a laugh.

Strong cover picks always tend towards the serious or shocking. But this one wins points for pure fun.

What’s your top tip for publishers?

Definitely guilty here of that imposter syndrome… What tips would I possibly have to offer such an impressive community?!  

I can’t really call it my discovery (as this is ‘old’ news already covered by Media Voices) but a EOY readership survey conducted by our parent company – encompassing a variety of UK and EU publication – confirmed that we are seeing a decline (or at least a plateau) in the influence of social media for driving our readership and engagement. Seems to be all about email again with a resurgence of engagement with our newsletters!

It all comes back to trust, with savvy readers increasingly losing confidence in the content shared on social media (a situation Musk as arguably only made worse with the platform changes to what used to be Twitter). This can all only be good news for publishers in my opinion, who are well positioned as the original trusted sources for gathered content.  

An early advisor/mentor of mine, Joy Mayer, is doing some interesting work in the Trust arena, particularly as it relates to journalism.

In the political arena, I’ve been particularly keeping an eye on the success of Politico and how much of their coverage (and editorial man hours) are going into a strong newsletter offering

Illustration by Stuart Kinlough with thanks to Ikon Images. Like what you see? 
Members receive their first 5 Ikon Images illustration uses for £50 each

Questions for the community

What subject or issue would you like the International Magazine Centre Members Group to discuss and untangle over on LinkedIn?

My question is: What are the leading platforms for online page-turner magazines these days? Any game changing new platforms out there for converting print into something that can be circulated digitally?

Need more of this in your life?

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