60 Seconds – Julie Jones

18th October 2019
What happens when you take a well known, much loved character and add a super talented publishing team whose creativity and compelling content punch above their weight? The team at Ace met recently with Julie Jones of Redan Publishing who highlighted the essential elements needed to win Children’s Magazine of the Year and why the amazing creative team at Redan succeeds repeatedly in this competitive market

What inspired you to enter MAGAZINE of the YEAR – Childrens?
We knew that FTL Peppa Pig Bag-o-Fun had enjoyed a successful year in many ways, performing well in a challenging market and doing better than its competitors. We therefore felt we had a strong story and a good chance of winning! By entering, it highlights the confidence and trust we have in the work the editorial team does and provides them with an opportunity to be rewarded and recognised for the amazing content that they continually produce.

What makes Fun To Learn Peppa Pig Bag-O-Fun such a successful title?
The whole package offers exceptional value for money with a unique magazine, separate colouring booklet and magic painting book and cleverly designed toys. This, coupled with the popularity of Peppa Pig with preschool children have no doubt helped the title become the number 1 magazine in the children’s category.

The judges were really impressed with how Fun To Learn Peppa Pig Bag-O-Fun took the character to a new level of fun and learning. In the highly competitive retail environment for children’s publications how did you get the major retailers on board?
The majority of retailers have been on board for some time and have been very supportive of the title. We continue to highlight the benefits of the magazine, and retailers instantly recognise the value-for-money package when compared to other titles. We also show them editorially, what makes this different to its sister title, Fun To Learn Peppa Pig. The magazine itself is a unique concept in children’s magazines as children follow the story throughout the entire magazine with fun and educational activities to complete along the way. This gets them fully immersed in the story and the world of Peppa, which means they spend lots of time engaged in the magazine, which ultimately leads to repeat purchases. Not only that, the covermounted toy is usually themed to the story and there is a link to the toy within the magazine content. The colouring booklet and magic painting book are also integrated with the theme, so we offer children a complete experience with a particular episode of the show – all of which are highly amusing!


What three things does a children’s title need to be successful on the newsstand?

That’s a tricky one! It’s often difficult to know why one issue did particularly well and one did particularly badly. A lot depends on what else is on the shelf at the same time which of course we have no control over apart from within our own portfolio. However, a strong logo and imagery for Peppa really help, along with a fun looking and engaging covermount that the child cannot leave the store without.

What are the best things a publisher can do to encourage their teams to continuously deliver market leading title performance?
We are extremely lucky to have an amazing creative team at Redan. I am always amazed at what they can do. We encourage innovation, the opportunity to put forward new ideas. We also have an in-house ‘Designer of the Year’ award which everyone is desperate to get their hands on!

Agility, creativity and initiative is important within every publication, thinking about your success what advantages might you have had over the competition?
We’re very flexible in our approach, able to make decisions quickly and work very closely with the Licensor to ensure we are in line with their brand and marketing plans. The content and application of it are key but also the relationship with the Licensor, as well at distribution and retail.

On the night of NMA2019, what was the reaction on your table when it was announced Peppa Pig bag of Fun had won?

Sheer delight, and I couldn’t wait to tell the team!

How has winning “MAGAZINE of the YEAR – Children’s” helped the team at Redan?
The team got a huge buzz from winning the award. They work so hard and they are super-talented so it was wonderful for that to be recognised by others in the industry.

Any advice for entrants to this category in 2021?
If you think you have a great story to tell, then enter. You never know! Also, check, and check again that your entry meets the criteria.

Ace would like to sincerely thank Julie for her open and extremely helpful contribution

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