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Stuart Harries, Editor-in-Chief of alive Magazine

Stuart HarriesMy career in the magazine industry started after I spent many uninspired years working in retail and finance.  The career change happened when I was about 30 years old and needed to pursue a passion; for me, that was writing. After graduating from the Print Futures Professional Writing program at Douglas College, I immediately took over as managing editor of Tactics Magazine, a globally distributed business-to-business magazine.

Eight years later it was time for a change. I deliberately sought a position with alive for two reasons. First, alive was an already established and successful national magazine located on the west coast—where I wanted to be—and secondly, I have been a reader of alive since 1990 because of a personal interest in natural health and wellness. Today, I’m more interested in all aspects of natural health and wellness than ever before, but I must admit that I really enjoy alive’s food section the most, as I’m a bit of a foodie.

Before entering the magazine industry I would have liked to know more about the relationships between the various departments. Often the editorial department and the sales department have competing agendas and I had no idea this conflict existed.

The biggest challenge of my job is managing people, and keeping everyone on top of deadlines. The best part of my job is the opportunity to inspire and educate our readers to live a healthy lifestyle.

I think the print edition of alive magazine will continue to be relevant to our readers because it targets a specific market segment and we have a very loyal reader base. I think our current readers are comfortable and happy with print, but we’re always looking at digital initiatives. We must cater to people who are not interested in print.

For instance, our social media presence actively began within the last year and it has created considerably more brand awareness. We currently have more than 13,000 Twitter followers and roughly 3,300 Facebook friends. We are also receiving more feedback and commentary than ever before, and it is great being able to interact with our readers in this way.

Ultimately, I don’t think print magazines are going anywhere. I think they will continue to fragment into niches and become more specific as they explore the opportunity to become carefully targeted. I also believe that readers still enjoy having the tangible hard copy of a print magazine to read if the information it provides is timely and of interest.

— By Krissy Bublitz, Langara College Library Technician Practicum Student with MagsBC, March 2013.

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