Meet the Journalist: National Geographic Food launch editor Maria Pieri
Maria Pieri, National Geographic Food‘s launch editor, discusses the reasons behind the launch, its content and regular features and what she is looking for from PRs.
Why are you launching the magazine?
We see a gap in the market – however slim – to bring a rather different type of food magazine to an audience with a seemingly insatiable appetite for the subject.
Our aim will be to further develop the great storytelling ethos of the National Geographic brand into the food arena, championing sustainability and exploring the culture, traditions and provenance of the food we eat and the people we meet, plus you-can-almost-taste-it photography.
While we will focus on the global, cultural, sustainable and practical elements too, our point of difference will be to focus on the people, the story, the traditions and the culture behind the dish or the ‘food’. It will ultimately be about people’s ongoing relationship with food through all these mediums.
Which aspects of food will the magazine cover? Will it focus on cooking and recipes, or will there be a wider range of subjects?
Our four main pillars will be food for thought, food for eating (and making), food for life and food for you.
We will explore this with think pieces, practical recipes and their provenance, exploring the bumpy road from farm to fork and celebrating local culture and people. Finally we will look at how food can impact you, for health, and how you can impact it too by the choices you make.
How does the magazine fit with the rest of National Geographic’s portfolio? Will it maintain the global feel of the other titles?
We will focus on the global and cultural aspect of food – through food and travel – and will continue the ethos of superb storytelling and outstanding photography. It will, however, also have a domestic angle – if we are focusing on the importance of locally sourced food and championing sustainability this is a given.
We feature reviews, and suggestions for local restaurants, markets and meet the people making a difference close to home too. We will also explore our homegrown dishes too – from roasts to pies!
Who is the magazine targeted at? What sort of demographic?
Existing food magazine buyers who are looking for more than just a recipe driven magazine, and curious individuals who are interested in food as a topic and are looking for a good ‘read’ too, to expand their knowledge and further their interest.
I would say 35+ and ABC1, but honestly, it is really a magazine for anyone who loves food and is interested in more than just a recipe-driven magazine. My team of ‘millennials’ has made me see that!
Will there be any regular sections or features?
Yes! We will have a number of regular features covering: on trend news items, columns on meat, fish and veg, a meet the pioneer profile piece, two regular reports, around five main features – the great stories we hope to become known for, including our Breaking Bread piece and a travel piece – and a reviews section too.
We will and do focus on food experts, chefs, suppliers and ‘real people’ too.
What sort of content will be featured on the magazine’s website?
Original content, including a Breaking Bread series which aims to dine with a local family and find out more about them and their national dishes and traditions, as well as their take on well known recipes.
We are also featuring the magazine content over time, while additionally running Instagram and social media campaigns too.
What types of pitch are you seeking from PRs? And what is your relationship with PRs
We’re new – we’re open to any and all. PRs know so much about their clients, they will be able to tell us the story they want to tell and more often than not, we will be able to find ours with them too.
Finally, what is your perfect meal?
The hardest question of the bunch! Dim sum, followed by a fresh seafood or prawn green Thai curry. And then, chocolate to finish it off.