Marketing & PR: Editorial Is the Key to Winning the Reader; Women Trust Magazine Editorial Most to Help Them Make Purchasing and Lifestyle Decisions, According to Research Commissioned by PR Company Haslimann Taylor
Byline: Haslimann Taylor
Information-rich articles and product tests are seen as more credible, interesting and useful than any other content, including advertising, advertisement features, competitions and give-aways.
Positive comment about consumer products, respondents said, had an immediate effect on the likelihood of trial. The lesson is that editorial really works in commercial terms.
Women see magazine articles as independent and unbiased, helping them make informed decisions on what to buy, said Haslimann Taylor managing director Bron Eames. 'Anyone who believes editorial is there to fill the gaps between the ads has got it the wrong way round,' she said 'Clearly this means that one of the most powerful roles of PR is providing relevant, interesting information and images which journalists need to develop their own stories.'
The qualitative survey, by Research and Marketing Associates, was carried out with four discussion groups in Hertfordshire and the West Midlands.
All the women taking part were regular buyers of weekly and monthly magazines, and were selected to represent a full range of social groups.
Mrs Eames said: 'The strongest finding was that women enjoy editorial and value its integrity. Any content perceived as 'paid for' is seen as inferior.'
'But the respondents have no understanding of the workings of PR within magazines, in fact they were not that bothered how editorial got there - as long as it was good and interesting!'
She added that the most popular articles included product tests and features, beauty, health, finance, readers' letters and question-and-answer sections, followed by real life stories.
'Advertising features, especially adverts dressed up as editorial, were given a strong thumbs down,' she said. 'People saw them as lacking credibility. …