60 Seconds – Roger Williams

17th October 2019
What does it take to be a winner? The team at Ace met recently with Roger Williams of HELLO! who highlighted the essential elements needed to win Magazine of the Year and why content and strong retail relationships are key

HELLO! recently won “MAGAZINE of the YEAR – Lifestyle” at NMA2019. What do your readers value most about your brand?

Readers trust HELLO! They value the non-editorial style that allows them to make up their minds on the stories featured. They trust that we are honest, fair and non-judgemental. HELLO! provides an upbeat take on the world which is refreshing.

What inspired you to enter MAGAZINE of the YEAR – Lifestyle?
We felt that HELLO! in 2018, had delivered a bumper year of editorial coverage with a big royal weddings, babies and christenings, along with campaigns such as Star Mums and a strong editorial package throughout the year. All this is our 30th year.

What makes HELLO! such a successful title?
HELLO! is a unique proposition as a magazine. It was ground-breaking in 1988 when launched and is as unique and inspiring now as it was 30 years ago.
We have innovated and revised content and style over the years, but always kept the core focus of the magazine at heart. The quality of the printed product and the editorial excellence week after week, provide the best content combination of stories, features, advertising and inspiring ideas.

The judges really admired Hello’s ability to capitalise on the opportunities and keep striving for success in every way. In the highly competitive retail environment for lifestyle publications how do you keep the major retailers on board?
HELLO! is a high quality, high priced, high volume and high frequency title, exactly what retailers love. We keep cover price at a premium and delivery quality content that readers and retailers can trust week after week. We work very hard with retail to support HELLO! at key times of the year and leading up to and during the big issues that drive extra sales and revenues.




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

  1. A good cover and trusted content every issue
  2. Strong sales and sales revenues
  3. The ability to adapt and innovate while retaining the core rationale of the product

What are the best things a publisher can do to encourage their teams to continuously deliver market leading title performance?
Publishers need to ensure that content is key and protected. They need their teams constantly look at what they are doing, question why and when things are done, challenge the norm and always keep the commercial value of the content at the forethought of every project.

Agility, creativity and initiative is important within every publication, thinking about your success what advantages might you have had over the competition?
HELLO! is a brand and has worked closely with the retail trade from launch to the current day, from the smallest independent to the largest multiple. HELLO! has always stuck to the core values that made it a success at launch – content, quality, trust and entertainment. HELLO! has not had any specific advantages over any of the competitors over the years, but it has always remained true to the initial and unique proposition that launched the sector 30 years ago.

On the night of NMA2019, what was the reaction on your table when it was announced HELLO! had won?

Delight and satisfaction that a lot of hard work, week after week, had been recognised by the trade that we work in and respect.

How has winning “MAGAZINE of the YEAR – Lifestyle” helped the team at HELLO!?
Winning the award has helped the team to feel that what they do works and appreciated. Producing a magazine from scratch every week does lead, at times, to questions about direction and style, especially when the market is tough. When you win an award such as this, it does to some extent answer those questions.

Any advice for entrants to this category in 2021?
Keep it simple, think of what you did that was above and beyond, and be positive.

Ace would like to sincerely thank Roger for his honest and insightful contribution

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