The team discussed the brand’s enduring appeal after nearly a century of publishing, and revealed the best ways for PRs to work with the magazine.
As Britain’s best-selling monthly home interest magazine – with a circulation of 158,000 – Ideal Home can provide great exposure for a wide range of home, retail, tech, fashion and style brands.
Every issue features real homes, kitchen and bathroom advice, original decorating ideas and garden inspiration – as well as food, practical home-keeping and tech solutions.
The brand also publishes a separate Christmas title every year – Ideal Home’s Complete Guide to Christmas. Its website reaches 1.1 million unique users worldwide and 670,000 in the UK. It has more than 5 million social media followers.
To help you pitch stories to Ideal Home, here are the key insights we discovered at this exclusive media briefing, which was hosted by Philip Smith, Gorkana’s head of news and content.
Ideal Home has three target demographics
Ideal Home was first published in 1920, for a whole “new breed” of homeowners. Its aim was to help the new middle class that emerged following the First World War to design and decorate their homes.
Although much has changed since then, the magazine’s ethos remains the same. Richmond says there are three main demographics the magazine creates content for.
First, there are the “busy mums” who are short on time and space, and obsessed with storage. Next, there are the “style conscious starters”, who are more likely to rent and have a brave, expressive style. Finally, the “active empty nesters” are older readers who want to experiment and redecorate now their kids have left home.
The print edition is planned five months in advance
Ideal Home’s print edition is planned five months in advance, with production running around three months ahead of time.
“February and March time we did a big push on extensions, kitchens and bathrooms – that’s the time people are really thinking about planning that stuff,” says Richmond. “People want gardening stuff at a certain time of year, so we’d be idiots not to serve it up to them.”
The website is a little more “fast and dirty”, Cutmore adds. Each month is planned based on seasonal topics, with content being scheduled at daily morning meetings.
“We’re going to have the July meeting this week,” she says. “We’ll think about Wimbledon and other things that are going on in July and come up with a content plan around that. Also, we’ll do keyword research and see what keywords are going to be strong in July.”
Great photography is absolutely essential
Ideal Home prides itself on delivering top quality picture content. Its readers want great photos, design ideas and a window into other people’s homes. As such, the magazine only accepts submissions that come with great imagery.
“This all stems from the redesign that we did last year,” says Benedetti. “The things we learned from all the readership groups we spoke to were that the things they wanted us to strip back on the lifestyle content. They just wanted more pictures.”
She concludes: “You could have the most amazing product ever. But unless the photography is good, we can’t feature it.”
Ideal Home publishes a wide range of content
The team says it loves hearing about news stories from high street retailers. They’re looking for new brands, new launches and home improvement ideas. Home transformations and renovations are obviously a perfect fit. But so are stories about practical innovations, home solutions and tech products.
The digital team also hosts weekly Instagram takeovers, which are great for bloggers and stylists who have a distinctive or unique style. However, they are not interested in pitches from interior designers or about products their readers can’t afford to buy.
Richmond explains: “A really persistent PR recently hassled me about a particular brand of bed linen and towels. I looked up the towels online and they were like £120! Who in their right mind would spend that? I mean, I wouldn’t. So it’s not going to go in the magazine.”
What’s the best way to reach Ideal Home?
The Ideal Home team prefers to be contacted by email with short press releases summarised in bullet points. They don’t accept pre-written articles and like to receive example photos along with your pitches.
The team loves meeting with PRs to discuss story ideas or to demo exciting new products. But many of the section editors regularly work from home, so it’s best to arrange any meet-ups in advance via email.
You can find contact details for everyone who works at Ideal Home in the Gorkana Media Database. Click here to discover what makes our database the UK’s most comprehensive media intelligence service.