The celeb-heavy, trend-soaked pages of StyleWatch are a constant, coveted media hit for pretty much any fashion, beauty & lifestyle company. As such we absolutely love the opportunity to connect with StyleWatch editors (we’ve interviewed Fashion Editor Rachel Ashenbrand twice!) to get the inside scoop on what it takes to land coverage in the pages of this glossy and it’s corresponding website.
This time we’re checking in on all things bella with Beauty Director Holly Carter, who has been with the publication since 2008. Holly also writes for Time Inc.’s multi-title beauty site, Mimi Chatter, and the StyleWatch companion site, The Outfit. The Outfit publishes content from StyleWatch’s editors as well as blogger contributors, referred to as Style Hunters, whose network reaches more than 65 million.
What does your job entail? What types of stories do you write?
As the beauty director of StyleWatch and its companion site, TheOutfit.com, I oversee all of the beauty stories. We write about everything hair, makeup, skincare and nail-related—the trends, helpful tips and tricks, inspirational ideas and so much more. For the magazine, I am involved in all aspects— concept, photo selection, layout, copy, etc. For the site, my team generates really fun beauty coverage. In addition, I attend press events, represent the brand at conferences and appear in TV segments.
I also contribute to mimichatter.com, Time Inc.’s multi-title beauty site.
I am always looking for new, interesting and effective beauty products, plus tips and tricks from leading experts.
How far in advance do you work?
We work three to four months in advance. Typically we work on three issues at a time—one is being conceptualized, one is being photographed, and the last is being written and sent off to print. The site is on a much faster timeline. We can turn something around in a day or less.
What is the best time for you to receive pitches?
I would say it’s most relevant when pitches are in sync with the issue I am working on. So a Mother’s Day pitch is best received in January or February. Anything after or before that wouldn’t be as timely. Also, send pitches during business hours. Pitches that are emailed early morning, late evening or weekend may slip through the cracks.
Who are you writing for?
In my mind, my target reader isn’t of a certain age or demographic. Instead she is simply someone who loves beauty, loves to shop and is looking for the latest-and-greatest information and products. She’s open to new ideas to help her change and hopefully improve her beauty routine.
Pitches that are emailed early morning, late evening or weekend may slip through the cracks.
What email subject lines capture your attention?
There’s nothing really specific. It could just be a line that relates to a subject I am working on, a trend or product that’s being buzzed about or something new I haven’t heard of. But sometimes if the subject is super-clever I will instantly open it up—I’m easily intrigued.
What makes a great pitch?
A great pitch feels personalized and well-researched. It should work for StyleWatch or TheOutfit.com specifically, and maybe even exclusively.
If you are interested in a story, how can we make your life infinitely easier?
It’s great when a publicist really reads and knows the brand. That way, pitches are more informed and we won’t waste each other’s time. A quick response time is also appreciative. We often ask for things at the last minute so a speedy turnaround helps and can often determine if the product/pitch makes it in the magazine.
I love when publicists are honest and “keep it real”, so to speak.
Is there guarantee that a publicist or brand will never hear back from you?
That’s harsh! Not sure if I have a “never been heard back from” but I do like professionalism and respectfulness.
We often ask for things at the last minute so a speedy turnaround helps and can often determine if the product/pitch makes it in the magazine.
What do you wish more publicists/brands understood about your job?
I receive hundreds of emails a day. I do my best to get back to everyone in a timely fashion, but sometimes it’s tough. Be patient with me!