Ultimate Scottish Football is a new online publication aiming to bring fans in-depth reporting and exclusive interviews from every level of football in Scotland. Editor Andrew Jenkin spoke to Cision about the decision to start an online football magazine and what he’s looking for from PR professionals.
Cision: What were the reasons for launching Ultimate Scottish Football?
Andrew: I’m sure it’s not news to anyone that print media is in decline. In the past, I’ve read the first couple of issues of magazines that can’t afford to keep going because of the print and distribution costs attached to it. Just last week I read that The Word Magazine was finishing for one reason or another. There’s also been a correlating shift between that decline and the rise of young people going online for their news.
At USF, we didn’t see any point in going to traditional print media when the future is online. We want this publication to be different from the few published football magazines around in so many ways and being based online was one of them. We’re also our target market: football fans that don’t feel there is much written about the other side of Scottish football and want to address that.
Cision: What are your plans for the website and how will you compete with other Niche football news websites like Scotzine?
Andrew: Our website is slightly different from most of those around. Whilst they report news and provide forums for fans to discuss the issues, ours is a base to launch the magazine from, that’s its primary purpose.
Whilst the likes of Scotzine, Pie and Bovril and The Away End are all great, there’s no point in us trying to replicate them. USF is a football magazine, not a news website or paper; therefore the content will be much different and based more around features and interviews rather than news.
Cision: How will Ultimate Scottish Football be using social media?
Andrew: Social media will be massive for us. The two fellow editors and I are straight out of university and have been living on a budget for the last four years. We don’t have much budget at all for the launch of this publication and social media will be pivotal in spreading the word of its release. We’re big fans of Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Really, we want to provide these streams as platforms for the readers or contributors to have their say. In the future, as Pinterest continues to rise in popularity, I’d like to have a USF Pinterest board for fans to pin their fan artwork or photography of their favourite teams, as many clubs in Scotland don’t have official boards to do that. So for us, Social Media will be big in spreading the word, but also allowing others to have a say, which I think many organisations that use these networks forget.
Cision: Later this year the UK will host one of the world’s largest sporting events, the Olympic and Paralympic Games. How will you work with PR professionals on Olympic related content?
Andrew: Sadly (or not, depending on why you want to believe this is true), no Scots were selected for the Team GB football team, so there’s little opportunity for a football magazine to talk about the Olympics. However, we will of course be watching with a keen eye to see how it goes.
Cision: With your primary focus on football, how does your relationship with PR professionals work? Do you have any advice for PR professionals?
Andrew: As a start up publication, I think offering PR professionals advice might be a bit cheeky. I can only say what we would ideally like to receive which is a mix of the latest news with interesting statistics and stories which could be of relevance to a Scottish football fan.