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think publishing

Interning with Think Publishing

April 29th, 2015 by Leia Forster | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Interning with Think Publishing
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think logoIn January 2015, I began to intern with the award-winning content and publishing agency Think. Founded in 1999, Think Publishing employs more than 60 members of staff, work with over 40 clients and have offices in London and Glasgow. I was lucky enough to work in the editorial department of the Glasgow branch which produces a number of great magazines for a variety of organisations.

During my time at Think I believe I learned a great deal about magazine publishing as well as gaining insight into the workings of an office environment. I quickly found that the inner workings of a magazine publisher were quite different to that of a book publisher. On my first day I was presented with strange magazine terminology such as ‘furniture’ and ‘copy’, but I caught on quickly. I found myself intrigued by what could be considered a somewhat unconventional business model in the realms of publishing – client funded publications. Trade fiction publishers essentially gamble with every publication they choose to publish. They invest money in these publications and rely greatly on their commercial success. Think’s business model provides a secure financial platform to support the publications that they print for their clients.            scotland in trust

While I was at Think I worked on a number of magazines such as Scotland in Trust, Historic Scotland, Escape, Splash and Legion Scotland. Tasks included the transcription of interviews, research for features, writing content for magazines, sourcing images and coming up with ideas for future features. I found that there were far more opportunities to undertake creative tasks than could be expected in typical book publishing editorial roles, and one of the most rewarding parts of the internship was being able to produce a piece of copy and watch it progress through different stages before finally being included in the magazine.

Despite working primarily on editorial tasks, Think’s office environment allowed me insight into all the different roles and tasks involved in the creation of a magazine. The open layout of the office meant that I could look across the room and watch the designers working on magazine covers and spreads. Being able to observe staff interactions and listen to office discussions was very useful and my time spent doing feature research was never wasted as I found myself leaving the office on a daily basis with a new selection of random facts and knowledge.

I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to intern with Think, and this insight into the world of magazine publishing has given me the confidence to consider magazine publishing as a potential career path to follow upon completing the course.

 

Visiting speaker: John Innes – Think Publishing.

October 15th, 2014 by Heather Margaret McDaid | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visiting speaker: John Innes – Think Publishing.
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Whale Dolphin Conservation“We want to create content that connects with the reader, and has its own aims and objectives,” says John Innes, associate director of Think Publishing, the second of the MLitt’s visiting speakers for 2014-15. Heather McDaid reports:

The company currently has 58 staff, 38 clients and 45 titles they handle, with 4.5 million copies per year printed. But it’s not just content creation they handle; as with any competitive company within publishing they offer a full service to meet their clients’ needs. This can range from editorial and design, advertising and research, to finance account management.

Just like the service they provide, their client base is broad and varied. Publications include Historic Scotland and CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), as well as Whale & Dolphin, with digital copies available on ISSUU. Though there’s a stark contrast in some of the content, Innes notes there are lots of similarities in dealing with membership magazines that makes it easier.

“We need latitude to make it look interesting,” he notes, explaining that it’s hard to work within a rigid brand. To avoid it looking like a corporate brochure, they need to evolve the publication to keep it interesting for readers. He deems it “Brand+” – they take the basic brand and add to it to create a better product.

In order to do that, he continues, they need to satisfy all three of their customers without encroaching on another – the client, the reader and the advertisers.

“Every issue we produce should be better than the last” in at least one way, and they use workshops heavily in order to meet the client’s needs while creating a quality product. This goes beyond a mere print publication at times, with digital content being generated for almost every client, from extracts to video content. People are platform agnostic, he adds, but it’s still important to make each one functional and appealing.

With this digital age, there is one key issue: “there is no such thing as news in an internet environment”, instead they’ll try generate interviews and analysis, not “news that happened last week”. In a world where information is available instantaneously, print publications can’t compete.

But what about those who would like to work with Think Publishing? “The best question to ask is ‘why?'”, says Innes. They need people not only with an interest in their work, but the ability to ask why they do certain things, why competitors do certain things, and whether that’s something they should consider. They need people who want to make the publications better and more interesting, and encourage people to look into their internships if it sounds something they feel they’d be suited for.