Guest Newsletter – Marcia Degia

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

This month our guest editor is Marcia Degia, the enterprising Publishing Editor of KOL Social magazine. Launched in 2019, KOL Social, serving multi-ethnic groups while remaining accessible to all, has swiftly broadened its distribution from WHSmith and independent retailers across the UK to New York, USA. Her impressive trajectory includes the roles of Acting Managing Editor of Homes & Gardens, Editor of Pride Magazine, Editor of Your Home, and Publisher at Macmillan Publishers. Marcia is on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – remember to connect and say hello!

Tell us about yourself

Driven by the lack of diversity in mainstream media, I launched KOL Social Magazine in 2019, initially through a freemium distribution model across London’s train and tube stations. The pandemic struck a mere five months later. Luckily, the magazine had already captured the attention of key advertisers and sponsors – post-pandemic, we re-emerged, securing shelf space in retail outlets nationwide and expanding into New York.

KOL Social Volume 14: Disruptors

What’s on your mind?

I’m currently absorbed in the relaunch of KOL Social Magazine, slated for October. The plan is to increase frequency and distribution. It’s akin to launching a new venture, albeit armed with valuable hindsight. Needless to say, I’m balancing a multitude of tasks: devising and implementing strategies, assembling a team, interviewing service providers, an aesthetic overhaul of the magazine and so on. It means early mornings and late nights, but I love it.

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

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

While it may not be labeled as my most favoured article, it efficiently recaps the dramatic downfall of Vice Media and provides a solemn reminder to all publishers. Veering away from your editorial purpose to cater to the demands of your corporate stakeholders can only lead to a downward spiral.

Show us an incredible magazine cover

Following my predecessors’ footsteps, I chose one of our front covers as my favourite. It features my hero, Martin Luther King Jr., brilliantly rendered in Swarovski crystals. This creative piece encapsulates diversity and melds artistry with history. The multifaceted crystals come together to form MLK’s image, a testament to the unity inherent in our diverse society. The cover spotlights our magazine’s multi-ethnic focus, with MLK symbolising the fight for equality and inclusivity, a dream we all share. On a personal note, my ambitious aspirations align with the sentiments expressed by Martin Luther King Jr.: “I have a dream!”

What’s your top tip for publishers?

As a publishing editor championing diversity, I am here to dispel the myth that “being woke” leads to financial ruin. The truth lies in the skilful combination of knowledge and strategy. And don’t just take my word for it – Rolling Stone presents an enlightening article that brilliantly encapsulates the astonishing comebacks of major corporations, even in the face of public scrutiny.

Housty, we have a problem

What problem would you like our magazine consultant, Peter Houston, to solve in the next newsletter?

My question is: Does Edward Enninful’s departure as the editor of Vogue magazine signify a fading trend of diversity in the fashion industry? 

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