General Journalism / Inspiration and Editors

Marie Claire’s editor gives her tips – BBC snippet

Recently, Annette Stevens, a regular contributor to the blog, sent me this link:

Trish Halpin, editor of Marie Claire

Trish Halpin, editor of Marie Claire

Marie Claire’s editor gave her top 10 tips on how to succeed as a magazine editor, and no one can give advice better than a successful magazine editor herself. She has twice won the British Society of Magazine Editors’ editor of the year award, and I thought her tips were really helpful. Click the link above to read the whole article, but here were the top three tips I found most beneficial:

Learn to switch off

I’m a very organised, calm person. I don’t get stressed very often. When I face a situation now that makes me feel nervous or stressed I just say to myself, “it will be fine, you will do it, you always do.” Once I’ve calmed myself down, I seem to find the time to just get on with it. I’m quite good at switching off at the end of the day and that’s hugely important. On days off you’ll find me wearing jeans, trainers, my parka coat – that sort of thing. A lot of people I meet in my personal life, like other parents at the school gate, can be all sort of, “Gosh, I can’t believe you’re the editor of a glossy magazine because you’re so normal.” It’s funny, the expectation of what a glossy magazine editor should be.

Read magazines

If somebody wants to get into magazines, I think they have to buy magazines for a start. It’s kind of understandable because this generation has grown up with social media, but I have met a lot of young people who are not reading magazines or newspapers and yet they all want to be journalists.

Believe in yourself, keep trying and go to the pub!

You have to believe in yourself. Don’t worry about knock-backs. I think you’ve just got to keep trying, keep trying, keep trying. I’m a real believer in networking and just knowing as many people as you can and taking opportunities when they come. I feel like I’ve fallen into a lot of the jobs that I’ve had and so many were a result of people I knew or people I met. If I hadn’t gone to that particular pub on that particular night I might not be sitting here now. So my advice is, go to the pub!

And why did I find it beneficial?


For starters, I get stressed easily. I don’t know why, because in the end everything always works out. After having two magazines published nationally with my name in, I’m starting to realise that I can do it and I don’t need to worry that I can’t coming near to deadline day every month. 


The second point, I shouldn’t really admit, but I don’t read a lot of magazines. She’s write, everything is online now and I’m geared towards reading something that can be in front of me within seconds (on a screen), that I can search for and find straight away and ultimately, is free. I’ve always known I should read more, it’s been going through my head since as long as I remember, but she made it clear it’s almost a necessity.


And finally, I found the final point helpful because I really believe it. Networking and learning from others, talking to others in the industry and make yourself available for opportunities is so important. Blogging and having your own online portfolio can be a part of this to get yourself out there. Some journalists I talk to and ‘virtually know’ only through Twitter, but I learn from them and reading other blogs. Who knows what opportunities might come your way! 

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