Fangirling 101: Meredith Corporation

*Disclaimer: This was originally published on Emily Weaver’s blog

The word “fangirl” is usually associated with films, comics, or celebrities, but for me it’s networking with professionals. Most fear dressing up business casual and sitting down to discuss your strengths and weaknesses—basically pitching yourself to a company.

I get a rush from it. I love pitching myself and maybe that’s because I have a laundry list of experiences (I’m not going to lie, I throw myself into opportunities left and right without realizing how much I’m taking on) or because I’m just that confident that I can do it. Either way, I wouldn’t trade that rush for anything else because I know in the long run it’s going to be worth it.

Last Friday I was able to attend a networking event at Meredith Corporations in Des Moines. Guys, not only did I go, but I planned the whole dang thing. Talk about feeling like a professional. I was able to walk right in and go, “Hi, my name is Emily Weaver and I am here to see Katie Miner.” And guess what, she buzzed me right in.

We started off with a tour of the building that included a brief history of Meredith and the architecture of the building; photography rooms where they were shooting the cover of an issue; the kitchen where recipes are filmed and cooked (yes, there are two separate kitchens) including the testing room; offices for designated magazines (i.e. Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Homes, Quilts & More, etc.); and we even got to see the pin ups for a spring issue.

When we got to the actual cooking kitchen, we were greeted with samples of gluten free recipes they had just tested. I ate some of the best deviled eggs I have ever had. To say the least, we got our steps in and some top notch quality  food.

After the tour, we ate lunch and prepared for the panel. During the panel we were going to hear from representatives from Better Home & Gardens, Agrimedia, AllRecipes, and Traditional Home.

Kicking off the panel was Amy Panos, Home Design Deputy Editor, from BH&G. Nearly 100 years old, BH&G is the largest brand at Meredith but that doesn’t stop them from adapting and learning, making them cutting edge on content and delivery. I know what you are thinking: A brand? It’s just a magazine.

WRONG. Think again. A brand is print, digital, video, social, products, etc.; they are the flagship for millennials. Don’t believe me? Take a look at these numbers.

BH&G brings in 42 million video viewers per month, that is more than Sunday Night Football, people. The brand also has 48 million readers, which  is more than the size of Texas and NY combined.

Prop room: Everything and anything you would need to stage for a shoot.

Better Homes & Gardens is not your grandmother’s magazine. True, the red plaid cookbook is a staple item in any household and your mother and her mother probably have one. But at the end of the day, all we want is to come home, take off our heels and have some me-time with a glass of wine and a magazine.

Following Amy was Justin Davey, Content Director for Meredith Agrimedia. As if his list of achievements and awards wasn’t enough, he has been working for Meredith for 10 years and is a boss at his job.

His job includes working with three brands including the one that originally started Meredith: Successful Farming. These brands have over 600,000 subscribers and reach out to those who enjoy the rural lifestyle. Not to mention he works with large scale business to develop content for their advertisements.

Up next we heard from Nichole Aksamit, Senior Editor from AllRecipes. You have probably heard of this brand or seen them on the internet because when you type in a recipe they will more than likely be the first site to pop up.

This is because their motto is, “By and for cooks of every sort.” Meaning, this could be your first time cooking with meat or you’re making a meal for your boyfriend’s parents and looking for an impressing meal.

With 20 million members, 90% of their recipe content is generated from members creating a doable, interactive, practical, and delicious environment.

Nichole summed it up best saying, “If the site is the Amazon of recipes, then the magazine is the Cliff Notes.” No one ever said no to Cliff Notes, now did they?

Wrapping up the panel was Julianne Holmes Bartlett, Associate Articles and Web Editor from Traditional Home. This brand releases 6 issues a year and focuses on “Timeless Design for Modern Living,” aka for all you DIYers out there, go pick up an issue and get to work.

On my way to living my best life.

Their brand reaches a 4.4 million audience and spends a great deal of time connecting in the digital age. Julianne has seen this brand through and through. She was an intern at Meredith, continued to work there during breaks, and eventually found herself on staff designing the website we all see now. Talk abut #goals, amiright?

Her biggest advice besides learning basic HTML, was that you don’t have to be an expert in everything, you just need the interest and the passion.

Safe to say, Julianne is my type of girl.

It was beyond great being able to go back to Meredith and relive the same excitement I had last year, which is where I first got inspired to start a blog. Meredith sure does put a charm on Des Moines and I’m not saying I would move there, but if Meredith needed an intern or someone…let’s just say, I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea.

There is nothing wrong with being excited about my future in this amazing and growing industry and I’ll belt it from the rooftops (or my Instagram account). Next stop: New York City.


Some light Christmas reading already in the works.

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