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Posts Tagged ‘Susan Taylor’

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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Personal Essay Writing: Master Class

Personal Essay Writing: Master ClassStarting October 21, work with the senior editor at Marie Claire magazine to polish and publish your essay! Whitney Joiner will help you to develop your voice, narrative, and identity, draft your pitch, and decide where to market your essay. Register now!

Mikki Taylor on Her 30 Years at Essence

mediabistroTV

When Mikki Taylor first started working for Essence in the early 80s, there weren’t nearly as many images of black women in the media as there are today. In our Media Beat interview, the fashion and beauty maven credited longtime EIC Susan Taylor for instilling staffers with a sense of purpose early on.

“I just remember her saying to me, ‘We come to this magazine to contribute,’ and it was something that she instilled in me that day that I walk with to this day,” Taylor recalled. “In fact, when I got the job, I was ready to go on a mission. It became more than a job from the moment I walked in the doors and began serving black women.”

Watch the full video to find out which Essence covers Taylor found most difficult to direct and what she has to say to the magazine’s critics.

Part 2: Essence‘s Mikki Taylor Takes on Casual Fridays
Part 3: Mikki Taylor’s Advice for Magazine Editors: ‘Take the Leap Forward’

Mikki Taylor on Her 30 Years at Essence

mediabistroTV

When Mikki Taylor first started working for Essence in the early 80s, there weren’t nearly as many images of black women in the media as there are today. In our Media Beat interview, the fashion and beauty maven credited longtime EIC Susan Taylor for instilling staffers with the mag’s mission early on.

“I just remember her saying to me, ‘We come to this magazine to contribute,’ and it was something that she instilled in me that day that I walk with to this day,” Taylor recalled. “In fact, when I got the job, I was ready to go on a mission. It became more than a job from the moment I walked in the doors and began serving black women.”

Watch the full video to find out which Essence covers Taylor found most difficult to direct and what she has to say to the magazine’s critics.

Part 2:Essence‘s Mikki Taylor Takes on Casual Fridays
Part 3: Mikki Taylor’s Advice for Magazine Editors: ‘Take the Leap Forward’