In Circulation: Lora Gier talks about the launch of Healthy Cooking
DMN: Why launch this title? What about the market seemed right for it?
LG: Right now, you look at what's happening with lifestyles in America, and people are absolutely concerned with eating well and taking care of themselves. As publishers, we gauge what's happening with reader questions and responses in all of our magazines, and there was this huge outpouring of wanting healthy options in terms of cooking.
DMN: What is the biggest challenge to launching a magazine right now?
LG: Just letting everybody know that we exist — that truly is our No. 1 challenge. I think the product is there, the audience is there, and certainly engagement of the audience is there. I don't think it applies to all magazines; it depends on what market you're going into, but I think there's an absolute place for this magazine. Not all launches have that luxury.
DMN: How does this launch fit in with the Taste of Home brand?
LG: With Taste of Home, the recipes come from our readers, and that's the same with Healthy Cooking. There's a huge user-generated element to it — they're helping create the content — so it's perfectly in strategy with that “real recipes from real cooks” message.
DMN: How has the Taste of Home brand evolved, and how is it staying current in the changing market?
LG: With Taste of Home I think we were ahead of our time. When you look at what's happening in the current marketplace, it's all about community where people are getting involved and talking to each other — particularly in the online world. Taste of Home has been doing that for 15 years, so it's really interesting in that now we are totally where the market has moved. If you look at any other food magazines out there, the recipes are from editors, but ours are sent in from readers and tested in our test kitchen. Fewer than 1% of the submitted recipes get published, and they get the name of the reader and a photo published too, so these people are like rock stars in this area.
DMN: How can you tell when a magazine launch is a success?
LG: I think that you look about a year out, and you look to see what's happened in terms of circulation and audience growth and look to see the perspective from advertisers and how they've embraced it. We don't have any particular numbers in mind for Healthy Cooking at this point.