Gorkana Media Briefing with Drapers

“Everyone is so passionate about what they do – people have moved up in the fashion industry, but they don’t often leave it.” Keely Stocker, editor of Drapers, the retail industry’s ‘fashion bible’, spoke in an exclusive Gorkana media briefing yesterday about its industrious – and dedicated – readership, the importance of exclusivity and how PRs can best influence its content.

Drapers, which claims a print circulation of 6,502 each week, has a broad readership across the retail and fashion industries. From start-ups to e-commerce giants like ASOS to high street chains and sole traders, it is both seen by all parts of the industry and tries to reflect that diversity.

Keely Stocker, who became editor of the title in November last year, says she wants to produce content that inspires this range of readers and helps them do their job better. With a print product, a website, a daily bulletin and mobile-friendly content, there are plenty of ways to reach Drapers’ audience.

In an exclusive media briefing with Philip Smith, Gorkana’s head of news and content, Stocker urged PRs to think carefully about pitching topic ideas that tap into relevant fashion themes in the news agenda, how they can help with video content and what its digital-first policy means for their clients’ content.

Topical content makes great cover features

“I’ve ‘ripped up’ [the idea of] forward features. We need to be more reactive to news, events and things happening in the industry,” explained Stocker. For example, sustainable fashion, celebrating women in the industry or the rise of digital marketing, Drapers wants to keep on top of trends across the wider retail industry. PRs, Stocker said, can pitch in interesting topic ideas that “are being discussed” by her readership. The key to grabbing the title’s attention? Provide examples, show evidence of the ‘trend’ and be willing to hand over contacts/pitch guests that will talk on the theme, she recommended.

Various platforms mean more opportunities for content

“My priorities are to get the team structure correct – to change the workflow to make sure we’re as agile as we can be. Agile means different kind of content for different platforms.” Stocker, who is nearly five months into the role, reflected on Drapers’ digital first policy. It breaks news online before following up with more analysis in the print edition. Then there’s Drapers’ daily news bulletin, which is put together at 7.30am with a view to it hitting inboxes around 9am. The title’s readership is diverse, so Stocker wants to produce content that will appeal to all its key audiences.

Draper’s logistics event launch will provide opportunities for PRs and brands in the supply chain

Drapers has a lot of content relating to the consumer-facing part of the business, but Stocker emphasised how the title focuses on the logistics and back-end operations side of retail too. Later in the year, the brand will launch a one day forum dedicated to the challenges faced by retailers within the supply chain. The Drapers Operation forum, which will touch on topics as diverse as supply chain, IT and distribution, is targeted at chief operating officers and aims to provide a platform for networking and sharing retailer experiences.


Charley Boughen of Nexus PR attended the event. She said: “Yesterday was the first Gorkana briefing I had been to and what an introduction it was! Keely was a fabulous speaker, highly knowledgeable and interesting to listen to.

“The briefing was engaging and well-worth attending, I will definitely be signing up for the next event. Drapers was a great guest to get involved as it showcases the bridge between fashion and business effortlessly and showcases a real insight into the ‘serious’ side of fashion, which can often get overlooked.”

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