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Magazine Publishing

There is a magazine on almost every subject you can imagine.  They tend to fall into the following categories:

  • Consumer magazines such as Vogue. Intended for a wide general audience and there is one available for every lifestyle.  Consumer magazines cover a broad range of content which may include news, fashion spreads, real life features, beauty tips etc.
  • Specialist Magazines that focus on a specific topic, such as cars or fishing.
  • Customer magazines are those produced by companies for their customers such as Waitrose or M&S. These can be both consumer or business and professional titles.
  • Business and professional publishing, known as B2B, is a particularly successful media sector. It is driven by information, such as sector news, data and analysis.
  • Directories and data publishing provide a source of listings and value added information.  One aspect is the compilation of names & contacts details, another is buyers guides giving detailed information on specific business sectors such as products and services for interior design.
  • Online: Magazine publishers see themselves as content publishers where their aim is to make money from creating content across many different platforms. Online is a rapidly developing channel.

What are the roles in a magazine?


The editorial team is responsible for generating ideas, designing the magazine, sub-editing and producing it.  Editors head up the team and oversee the entire content of the magazine and anything else that extends from it. Next in line is the deputy editor, with a team of journalists below and often an editorial assistant to support the entire team. The assistant could be involved in researching, interviewing and writing up stories as well as attending functions.

A web editor will oversee the entire online content. If you can edit video, create a blog and know the difference between writing for the web and for a magazine, you will be at an advantage.

It is common for firms to only take people with degrees and PTC accredited journalism courses. Journalism is fiercely competitive so you have to think how you can amass work experience to allow you to stand out. It is also relentless; once you have hit one deadline, another follows closely behind.


The design or art team makes words and images come together, both on individual pages and as a magazine as a whole. Most people come in with a degree in graphic design and graduates will be expected to know the full range of computer software. Heading up the editorial design team would be an art editor with a couple more junior designers and perhaps a picture editor who is responsible for sourcing images. As a junior designer, a typical day would involve lots of gathering images, either by taking photos or researching them online. You would start off designing standard layouts before gradually being given more feature based work.


The production team transforms computer files into the actual glossy magazine. They ensure it comes out in the right quantity and schedule. There are two main elements to the production department: the pre-press team and the manufacturing side. The former is responsible for the digital production of pages, the later responsible for sourcing an appropriate print supplier, paper quality etc within budget.


This is a general manager role with a lot of responsibility. Their main responsibilities are spotting potential business opportunities, keeping on top of the magazine market and ensuring they are ahead of the competition. To become a publisher you must have mastered at least one discipline within magazine publishing.

Advertising Sales

The role of the advertising sales dept is to bring in revenue by selling advertising space in a magazine.  There are three main types of adverts sold in magazines: classified, (smaller adverts), listings (display the larger adverts) and creative advertising  for advertising promotions. A typical entry would be to start work as a classified sales executive. This team will usually look after several titles. For every job in sales you must be strong and outgoing, quick-witted with strong communication skills and a flair for creative thinking.

Creative Media Sales

Creative magazine advertising describes non-traditional ways of selling media space to clients. This can come in the format of advertising promotions known as advertorials, promotions and marketing campaigns – basically any sales method that is not display or classified advertising.


The role of the events dept is to make money and raise brand awareness. They will be responsible for running conferences, awards, forums, either across a selection of magazine titles or for the company as a whole. The aim is to fund the event through sponsorship and ticket sales. At entry level you can expect to go in as an events coordinator, where you may work in a team of several events managers as well as the awards director. Your team will organise every detail of the event from choosing a venue to marketing the event, arranging decorations to selling sponsorship.

Circulation Marketing

Its main function is to get the magazine to market, right time, right place, right quantity, so that it reaches as many readers as possible in the most convenient way. Print magazines can take 2 routes: newstrade, where magazines are sold in shops and subscriptions where publications are posted to readers.

International Licensing

International licensing focuses on taking an established brand and translating it, as well as adapting its content to suit a new audience. Some publishers will partner with a foreign publisher to license the brand or content abroad.




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