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Reviewing reviews: Mail On Sunday Event magazine

Divisive, but overwhelmingly popular in several formats, one of Britain’s best-selling and longest running titles unveiled a brand new supplement to accompany its end-of-week edition on Sunday. Effectively doubling its capacity for culture and celebrity coverage, needless to say everyone at this particular Manchester PR agency was interested to see the final print run.
The Mail On Sunday’s Event magazine launched on April 14th. If you bought it, then inside you’ll know it contains no less than 80 pages of glossy paper, featuring writing on film, music, art, books, cars, and cuisine, amongst other lifestyle areas. As The Observer correctly pointed out on the same day, this marks the first major change enacted by the newspaper’s new-ish editor, Geordie Greig. And he’s not doing things by half, with some seriously prominent faces sitting next to the bylines.
Then again, the Daily Mail’s Sunday sibling has plenty of pulling power. Apparently, of every £1 Britain spends on print during the day of rest, 25p goes to the Mail On Sunday. A market-leading share, let’s not forget this is on top of the associated website, Mail Online, which is sitting pretty as one of the most popular online news source in the English speaking world. Unsurprisingly then, the likes of Chris Evans (the UK’s favourite radio DJ), were only too happy to get involved, and he can now be found handling Motoring.
Arguably more logical is the appointment of acclaimed literature boffin Craig Brown as the man in charge of Books. Tom Parker Bowles, who has made it over from the Mail’s last cultural pull-out (Review), remains in place on Food, whilst other notable staff members include Piers Morgan, who will no doubt attract large numbers of readers by way of his Gossip column. An A-list editorial team, if nothing else it’s indicative of the magazine’s desire to be taken very seriously indeed so far as this type of dispatch goes.
After all, nobody funds a concept on this scale if they don’t really mean it. Hence the £3million spent on pre-launch promotion to make sure everyone knew about this addition to the Associated Newspapers stable. In light of the decline in major publications with real influence serving the likes of music, books, and (mainstream) art, this new arrival can only really be seen as a good thing, too, and it’s not exactly bad news for firms in any of the other industries it focuses on either.
It’s becoming increasingly rare to offer the full gamut of cultural journalism (from interviews and long features to short critiques), and the number of titles with Event’s level of national reach are few and far between. From a PR perspective there are several opportunities this presents, whether that’s celeb stories or product tie-ins. And it doesn’t end with the aforementioned writers- albeit here at Smoking Gun PR automotive, and food and beverage public relations appear on a list of our expertise. With that in mind, best get back to work…

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