“GQ is always trying to improve the lot of its readers... and fashion is core.” At this morning’s breakfast briefing, GQ’s online editor, Conrad Quilty-Harper, and engagement manager, Becky Lucas, revealed how the title has evolved since it launched in the UK in 1988, the synergy between GQ and James Bond, and why PRs need to think exclusivity when pitching to the team.
Here are some of the key points PRs should know from the briefing:
1. The GQ man
GQ is aimed at ABC1 men aged between 20 and 44. It has a 400,000 monthly readership, with online boasting over 1.7 million monthly unique users, and more than 1.1 million social followers. “The GQ man likes things that every other man likes, but they want the best... it’s about escapism,” says Quilty-Harper. “If a man wants to buy a £500 jacket, he’ll come to GQ.” According to Lucas, GQ men don’t look at gift guides, but women do visit GQ.co.uk to get an idea of what they can buy the men in their lives.
The GQ team is currently working on a six-month experiment project on what works in terms of video for the title. Its in-house video team is happy to receive B-roll footage or suggestions for locations to shoot, especially around fashion. Access is very important for video, whether it’s a celebrity for your campaign or an exclusive shoot around a new product.
Exclusivity is the watchword for GQ. It’s the difference between the team saying yes or no to a pitch. If the team can get their hand on a new album or artist video 24 hours before their competitors, they are likely to say yes to covering them.
4. Working with PRs
“Do your research, find the right person and be relevant when pitching,” says Quilty-Harper. The subject line needs to tell him exactly what it is that’s being pitched to him otherwise he’s unlikely to read on. Also, if it’s from someone he’s already built a relationship with, he’s more likely to give it some attention. A bugbear for Lucas is when she receives an email that isn’t addressed to her and doesn’t get to the point.