BurdaVerlag
18/04/2024

From idea to newsstand: How to create a new magazine

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To mark Instyle 's 25th anniversary, the lifestyle brand has been expanding its portfolio: The new Instyle Sport has been available on newsstands since the beginning of April. This is Instyle's fifth line extension. But there is a lot to do before our readers can hold a magazine like Instyle Sport in their hands. Editorial, advertising, sales and marketing departments work closely together to achieve this. We spoke to four colleagues from BurdaVerlag who were involved in the development of the new Instyle Sport. 

The editorial team: How does an idea become a magazine? 

Bianka Morgen is Deputy Editor of Instyle and editor-in-chief of Instyle Sport. "As a trend magazine, we are always following the latest developments. Sport has become a huge market and a real lifestyle. That's why we as the editorial team and CPO Elfi Langefeld see great potential for our own magazine with this focus."

But what are the specific tasks involved in designing a new magazine? The first step is to develop a concept. "First, we narrow down the target group for the magazine. Then we determine the main topics we want to focus on and how the magazine will be structured - for example, which sections will serve as pillars," she explains. With a line extension, the visual language and tonality are partly determined by the main magazine. This makes it easier and provides a framework. The best part comes at the end: "We fill the magazine with exciting, current topics." Once the initial idea has become a solid concept, it has to be approved by all those responsible at Burda. As BurdaVerlag holds the license for Instyle in Germany, the concept, logo and cover also go to the American licensor, Meredith Corporation, for approval. 

A suitcase full of clothes 

An important part of a magazine is, of course, the cover: "When we plan a new cover, we start with a mood board". It makes a big difference who is being photographed: "You can style a model freely, but not a star. The outfit has to match the person's style." This was also the case with Instyle Sport which featured fitness superstar Pamela Reif on the cover and in a fashion spread. "She had the last word on every outfit and decided for herself what she wanted to combine and how." Once the location, photographer and looks have been decided, it's time to get started: "Then one arrives with many, many suitcases full of clothes, jewelry and shoes and starts with the fitting. For a big shoot like the one with Pamela Reif, you usually shoot for a whole day," says Bianka. 

And how long does it take to produce a magazine? "We need about two months for a new magazine like Instyle Sport." In comparison: "On average, we produce a regular issue within a month." 

Marketing: How do ads get into the magazine? 

Julia Henkel makes sure that advertisers - and our sales colleagues - know about a new magazine and book ads. She is responsible for Instyle and Freundin in Publisher Management at our marketer BCN. An initial getting to know each other is followed by an active exchange with interested parties. Is a classic print ad, an integration on instyle.de or the sponsoring of an event format an option? The client’s ideas always come first. "Some book classic image ads, others want print advertorials which are implemented in-house by our colleagues in the advertorial team." Once the advertising material has been created, BCN ensures that the ad appears in the magazine. An important part of this is the advertising deadline. This is a specific date by which advertising material must be delivered in order for the magazine to be ready for printing. 

"For Instyle Sport, we organized a B2B event for potential clients and agencies to introduce them to the new magazine. This was very well received!" 

Marketing: How do you introduce a new magazine to your target audience? 

Marketing is responsible for making sure that as many people as possible know about the new magazine. Alessandra Kuschel (Head of Marketing Instyle & Freundin) and her team are committed to this. They have also supported Instyle Sport with the right marketing measures. And how? "We always rely on as broad a mix as possible," says Alessandra. "In addition to traditional print ads, we mainly work with event formats. Projects, such as new magazines, become visible through the social media reach of our guests." 

One highlight: For Instyle Sport, readers could win a meet & greet with Pamela Reif, which was announced in the magazine and via social media. This was then supported across all existing Instyle channels. "Of course, Pamela's own communication was also crucial here, as she reaches over nine million people via her Instagram account alone." 

Sales: How does the magazine get into the shops? 

“Moderne Zeitschriften Vertrieb” (MZV) plays an important role in getting the magazine to the newsstands on time. The company is responsible for the distribution of products from various publishers, including Condé Nast, Funke and Burda. Sales Director Markus Cerny looks after Burda's magazines in Munich and, together with his team ensures that the products are found in as many locations as possible and are well presented at the point of sale. 

Eyleen Pannhorst, MZV Account Manager, was co-responsible for the market launch of Instyle Sport and explains her to-do's: "Together with the publisher, we plan when and where the product will appear, in what number of copies and at what copy price. We scan the existing market and compare the new title with potential competitors." The cover artist is also crucial to the planning: "Even I know Pamela Reif," laughs Markus Cerny. "When someone is as well-known as she is, we naturally have high sales expectations and take this into account when calculating the print run." The VDZ number is particularly important here: each magazine has a unique number that is printed directly on the cover with the barcode. At the checkout, the magazine is scanned like any other product. This means that every single magazine is included in the sales figures. 

And then what? Once all the details have been finalized, the MZV colleagues inform the retailers about the new magazine and order the print run. Once all the articles have been written and all the advertisements have been placed, the magazine gets printed. Then it is time for the so-called “Presse-Grossisten” to deliver the finished magazine to the sales outlets throughout Germany. And so Instyle Sport is on the newsstands, in the supermarket and hopefully on your coffee table. 

Publishing jargon for beginners 

This is where we explain the most important abbreviations and technical terms. Good to know, right? 

  • Advertorial: An advertorial is an advertisement in the style of an editorial article. 

  • AS: This German abbreviation stands for "advertising deadline" and refers to the deadline by which advertising material must be delivered before it can appear in the magazine. 

  • EVT: This German abbreviation stands for "first day of sale" and refers to the day on which a magazine is published. 

  • Line extension: A periodical published in addition to the main magazine is called a line extension. 

  • “Presse-Grossist”: A “Presse-Grossist” is responsible for supplying all sales outlets with press materials. 

  • VDZ number: Each magazine issue is given a unique VDZ number, which is noted in the barcode on the cover of the magazine. This means that each purchase can be traced. 

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Fitness star Pamela Reif with her new Instyle Sport cover © Micheal Tinnefeld for Hubert Burda Media 

In conversation with Bianka Morgen at the Meet & Greet, Pamela Reif talks about the cover shoot © Micheal Tinnefeld for Hubert Burda Media 

Behind the scenes at the cover shoot © Hubert Burda Media 

The team behind Instyle Sport: Bianka Morgen, Alessandra Kuschel, Julia Henkel - and Pamela Reif © Micheal Tinnefeld for Hubert Burda Media 

Instyle editor-in-chief Sophie Grützner with Bianka Morgen and Pamela Reif © Micheal Tinnefeld for Hubert Burda Media 

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