Meet the Journalist: Valérie Dana, Revista LVR
Valérie Dana, editorial director at Revista LVR, talks to Cision’s Mario Cipriano about the lifestyle title’s audience of female cancer patients, its rebrand and what its community wants to read.
Revista Rose, which you launched, has rebranded as Revista LVR (La Vida en Rosa). How does this affect its editorial content?
We changed the name for communications reasons. “Rose” is a word difficult to pronounce in Spanish and it created a problem when ordering the magazine in hospitals. The editorial policy has not changed: we continue to offer very “rigorous” content designed for women battling cancer.
In addition to the magazine, you also manage its membership organisation Club Rose. What is the association about?
“Club Rose” organises meetings on different topics such self-esteem, physical exercise and make-up. But also sets up private visits to museums like Sorolla in Madrid. Our next meeting will be a trip in the world of perfume through the reading of Patrick Süskind’s book, Perfume.
These talks are aimed at patients with or without cancer. The idea is to forget about the disease through entertaining activities.
How did you come up with the idea of launching Revista Rose first, and now La Vida en Rosa?
Revista Rose originally is a French magazine. I was working in an advertising agency when I first found out about it and I wanted to adapt it to the Spanish market. A few months later, my sister told us that she had cancer: that terrible news greatly influenced my decision to launch it in Spain.
Did you grow up in Switzerland?
Actually, I was raised in Geneva. When I was 25 years old, I moved to Paris to work for publishing houses. Then I stopped working to take care of my children for 15 years. I returned to the world of advertising in Madrid and now I am heading this wonderful project.
In the magazine, how do you find and choose what you publish?
Every day we receive information about cancer. Press releases, press conferences or meetings organised by other media are always an interesting source of information. Social networks also let us know about people who live situations that may be worthy of interest.
The advances in research are enormous, meaning that there is a lot of material to consider and to report. We are lucky that doctors open their doors and answer our questions – this is a great help.
What do you look for in terms of press releases?
For us, the main aspect is how relevant information can be to our readers. If the info is too technical or scientific, we hesitate to publish it. Our job is to offer information which is understandable for everybody, meaning that there are actually topics more easy to approach than others.
What relation do you have with PR agencies and with the world of PR in general?
To be honest, my answer is “it depends”. We are a women’s magazine that deals with cancer, but this is like life itself. There are some PR agencies that treat us as a normal magazine and others that do not even look at us because – I guess – they consider we do not have enough glamour.
I understand that cancer is scary but it is not contagious…
Besides, anyone can have cancer tomorrow – not everyone realises this. Anyway, I am satisfied with the agencies that treat us well, because there are many. Moreover, if they treat us that well, it means that they care about all people suffering from cancer and that is what matters to me, because – above all – our readers are human beings.
What part does social media play in your job?
A very important role, because we realise that, thanks to the messages of our followers, we are breaking barriers and that we are helping them to accept their changes. Particularly on Instagram.
On Facebook, we never share bad news because we have learned that it can affect those who read us. You have to be very careful and tactful and always put yourself in the perspective of the person who is reading. It shows that each network has its advantages and differences.
Twitter, for example, is more useful for giving direct information when we go to press conferences.
To finish, what is the most memorable story or the most memorable situation you’ve reported on alongside your professional career?
Since I started this solidarity project, everything. There is a story behind each person. There is passion in the eyes of almost every doctor I have met. The human side is what I value the most. The power of a hug, of attentive listening, is priceless.