An interview with Joel Snape, the associate editor at Men’s Fitness, blogger at health and lifestyle blog, Live Hard and now editor at a new magazine EatFit. From the makers of Men’s Fitness, the health food magazine is due to launch on 3 December. Joel reveals what is so unique about EatFit, why it’s the most PR dependent magazine he has ever worked on, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and more.
Can you tell us a bit about new magazine EatFit and the idea behind it? Fundamentally, it’s a magazine for people who want to eat a bit – or a lot – better, but don’t want to spend the rest of their lives scraping dry chicken breasts and steamed broccoli out of Tupperware tubs. It’s packed with recipes that will build muscle, burn fat or generally make you healthier – but they’ve been put together by Michelin-starred chefs and high-end eateries. We’ve also gone to a lot of effort to investigate the new science of food – how it’s possible to race-fuel more efficiently with fat, for instance, or why Tour De France teams are increasingly making their own pocket-frittatas instead of eating energy gels.
What makes it different from other health food magazines? There really isn’t any competition out there. Food magazines, obviously, don’t typically have health as their first concern, and even when they make a nod towards it there’s a lot of misinformation around. We aren’t about fad diets, and our principles are pretty basic – most people should eat a lot more vegetables and a bit more protein – so our recipes are based around that. Our core audience is similar to Men’s Fitness’s, though EatFit is really suitable for anyone who wants to learn about nutrition – or improve their cookery in a healthy, sustainable way.
What are the main challenges when getting a new magazine up and running? Planning the whole thing, really. When you’ve got a blank slate and a tonne of exciting ideas there’s a temptation to try to cram everything into the first issue. At some point, you have to settle on a flatplan and stick to it.
Where do you hope to take the publication in the future? Well, it’s currently set to be bi-annual, but I’d certainly like it to be more frequent than that. Cookery has never been more popular, and it’s certainly the key factor in being healthier. Oh and I’d like to go and hang out with Nathan Myrhvold. He’s sort of my hero.
What are the advantages of social media for journalists? Are there any challenges? I’m pretty active on Twitter, so the advantage is that I’m constantly exposed to ideas about training and nutrition that I’d never get from aimlessly surfing the internet. The challenge, really, is not compulsively checking it every ten minutes.
What materials are you interested in receiving from PRs and marketers? How should PRs go about making a good impression and creating good relationships with journalists? EatFit is the most PR-dependent magazine I’ve ever worked on. I’m not just looking for new food products and kitchen gear, but for recipes, restaurant openings, cookbooks and everything in between. That said, I rarely answer my phone, and almost never put anything in the magazine on the strength of a cold-call. The best way to get me is pretty standard: a very quick email about something I might like and a follow-up email a few days later if I don’t respond. If you ring me to ask if I got your email, I probably won’t respond well.