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Posts Tagged ‘Essence Magazine’

Focus Groups Helped With the Early Success of Essence

Essence has been in circulation for over four decades and was under some controversy nine years ago when founder Edward Lewis sold the remaining shares of the company to Time Inc. In his new book, The Man from Essence: Creating a Magazine for Black Women, Lewis discusses how the magazine became one of the leading publications for black women. Lewis spoke with Mediabistro and discussed the early days of Essence and the state of black media today.

Lewis credits focus groups with contributing to the magazine’s early success — these voices helped with everything from what appeared in its pages to the name (Sapphire was quickly rejected). Several years later, Lewis turned to former editor-in-chief Susan Taylor to speak to its target audience face-to-face:

I said, ‘I want you to travel the country, listen to what black women have to say, bring that back and translate that into the magazine.’ Susan became an icon. People thought she started the magazine. She got so many ideas from traveling.

To read more about the history of Essence and how Lewis helped launch Latina magazine, read: So What Do You Do, Edward Lewis, Founder of Essence Magazine?

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People Are Still Talking About That Essence Fest Blue Ivy Hair Debate

Essence2014FestLogoOn July 4 at the 2014 Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, there was a panel discussion featuring Soledad O’Brien, OWN series star Chenoa Maxwell, Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member Cynthia Bailey, We TV series star Kim Kimble, former Maybelline spokesperson Tomiko Frasier Hines and actress Wendy Raquel Robinson. At one point, the gathered group was asked to address the backlash on social media and elsewhere over baby Blue Ivy‘s natural-look hair:

“If I want to put [my daughter] Noel’s hair in an Afro and not comb it for a year, that’s my child and it’s not anyone’s problem,” said Bailey. “Blue is [Jay Z and Beyonce’s baby]… I think she’s beautiful and I don’t even look at her hair. I turn up when it comes to kids.”

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How to Get Your Story Idea in Essence

Essence has been the “go-to” magazine for African-American women since its debut in 1970. Therefore, if that’s your target audience, take a look at the latest “How to Pitch” feature from mediabistro.com.

The simpliest way to have your words in Essence is checking out the “Work and Wealth,” “Body and Spirit” and “Sex and Love” sections, all geared to freelancers.

“We have great relationships with all of our freelancers, many of whom are award-winners not only for us, but for other major newspapers and magazines,” says senior editor Tanisha Sykes.

The monthly publication has a circulation of 1.5 million and about 1 million unique visitors to its site.

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Angela Burt-Murray Out at Essence

Angela Burt-Murray is leaving Essence as editor-in-chief. The New York Post reports that Burt-Murray told staffers this afternoon that she was relocating her family to Atlanta.

Burt-Murray spent five years running the Time Inc. magazine for African-American women.

Sheryl Tucker, who took a buyout in 2008 as editor-in-chief within Time, is returning on an interim basis to oversee Essence.

Burt-Murray caused controversy within the magazine for hiring a white woman, Elilanna Placas. After several months of freelancing, Placas was named the permanent fashion director in July.

Essence Names New Senior Director of Marketing

Antoinette Mabry has been named the new senior director of marketing at Essence magazine. She will report directly to Karen Williams, recently promoted VP of sales and marketing.

Mabry is a marketing and advertising veteran with more than 15 years under her belt.

“Antoinette’s avid enthusiasm for brands will prove to be invaluable to our marketing team as we continue to strategize and create innovative ways to engage the Essence audience,” Williams said.

Mabry was senior marketing manager at Boost Mobile, where see oversaw integrated marketing campaigns and events. During her tenure, Mabry managed the NY Emmy Award winning campaign–Boost Mobile RockCorps.

Condé Nast Retreads On Familiar Obama Territory To Sell Copies

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A Michelle Obama Glamour cover for December? We know that coming up with new and original content for women’s magazines that doesn’t feel old hat is hard, but something about Condé Nast‘s special recognition award of Michelle Obama in their “Women Of The Year” issue feels a little bit like Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize: A little unwarranted.

We know that Obamas on the cover sell copies and win prizes, and Si Newhouse certainly needs that these days. Maybe he thought enough time had passed since all the other Michelle covers that Glamour‘s issue could be considered fresh all over again?

Below, a partial gallery of Michelle covers in the last year.

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