IPC Media is urging its staff to come up with new ideas for magazine launches.
The move – designed to turn a back-of-a-fag-packet “flash of genius” into a fully fledged launch – is part of the new “Out To Launch” initiative.
It follows the appointment of Mike Soutar as the newly created editorial director and the announcement of a £2m launch fund from IPC’s parent company, Time Inc.
The initiative is co-ordinated by an IPC editorial group chaired by Colin Tough, editor of What’s On TV: “A lot of people, including journalists, have new ideas for magazines and this is a way of pooling those ideas. It could be someone in the post room who has an idea for a new music title, whatever, they can now go on the intranet and fill in a form.”
A section of the IPC intranet has been set aside where staff fill in a form and send their launch ideas direct to the editorial group. They are asked to sum up their idea in one or two sentences, list any potential rivals, target readership and give an idea of the estimated circulation.
Each idea is then discussed by the group and assigned to a mentor who is responsible for either explaining why it would not work or helping the founder to put together a proposal to take it further. The group is made up of editors including Scott Manson (Loaded), Isobel McKenzie-Price (Homes & Gardens), Elsa McAlonan (Woman’s Own), Carole Russell (Woman) and Clive Aslet (Country Life).
Tough said he had received two submissions within a week of the initiative being launched. One is an idea for a men’s entertainment title, the other is a parenting magazine.
“The important thing is that it does give people a mouthpiece and an opportunity to get their ideas heard,” he said. “You never know, there could be the next Loaded or Marie Claire in there.”
By Ruth Addicott