Anna Jones, CEO of Hearst Magazines, which contains Cosmopolitan, Elle, Men’s Health and Reveal, amongst many other household magazine names, spoke at Newcastle University’s Hatton Gallery on Thursday night.
The talk was run by the University’s very own Entrepreneurial Society, in association with RiseUp – the Career Service’s entrepreneurial development section.
Jones, who is a former student at Newcastle University, covered many topics about the business strategies of the magazine company during her speech. These included how to approach the magazine industry in an era that could be considered ‘beyond print’, as well as business events they hold and the products they produce.
The CEO touched on how Hearst Magazines employs experts in the fields they cover, such as fashion and beauty, food and drink and homes and interiors. In fact, she noted how a quarter of articles released about these fields are covered by Hearst Magazines.
Jones also spoke about the role of women in the industry. According to her, very little has changed regarding the amount of women in the industry since the 80s, and she believes that her own daughter will have to face the same problems that she had to.
Finally, she gave advice to audience members about how to strive in such a competitive field, saying that those who are most successful are the ones with a great attitude, who put their hands up, ask questions and take every opportunity they can. She said it is important to follow your passion, and what you need is hard work and focus about what you want to do. Out of the 900 people she employs, she doesn’t know if they even did a degree, or if they did, what mark they got – but she does know if they work hard to make the business strive.
Jones also noted how it is extremely important to be authentic, as people can very easily sniff out a fake, and to make sure how you are respectful of people. However, the CEO stressed that the most important thing was to enjoy yourself, as positivity is essential. Jones also left plenty of time at the end for questions, which many audience members took the opportunity of asking. These included “what do you do to turn being a woman in this heavily male-dominated industry to your advantage?” to which she replied to not try and ‘testosterone up’, and not change who you are – you got there for a reason.
Finally, some of the students who worked for RiseUp ended the speech by advertising the NCL Apprentice, a competition for entrepreneurial students that gives them the chance to work together to complete business-related challenges for a prize of £500.