Hearst’s Seventeen magazine is building on a program it launched a year ago, after finding success with The Seventeen Fashion Experience. The program is a fashion summer camp for junior and high school students, that not only functions as a revenue stream, but allows the magazine media brand to stay in touch with and learn from its teenage audience.
“We know girls are interested in fashion, we know they're interested in Seventeen,” explained Joey Bartolomeo, executive editor at Seventeen magazine. “The Fashion Experience is a way to bring girls to New York and LA to find out about business.”
Joey Bartolomeo / Photo: Naomi Nishi
The Experience participants are interested in not only fashion, but business, Bartolomeo explained. “They want to know about how things work, how people succeed, and a lot of them ask us ‘how did you get to where you are in your career?’”
The Fashion Experience was the perfect opportunity for Seventeen to reach out to their readers, to their target audience, in partnership with WestCoast Connection, and to advertisers and fashion brands, too. “We have connections with all of these different companies that also are excited to meet the girls and talk to them and find out what they’re interested in,” she said
The Seventeen 360 Student Travel Fashion Experience began last year in partnership with WestCoast Connection. For two weeks, girls aged 13-18 from all over the country (and other countries, too) would come to New York, to meet and learn from Seventeen editors, photographers, stylists and executives, to learn about Seventeen’s visual direction and the process of publishing an issue.
“For the most part, because it's called the Seventeen Fashion Experience, they're obviously fans of Seventeen and interested in fashion in a range of ways,” Bartolomo said. “Some of them want to be journalists, some of them are interested in fashion design, some of them are interested in magazine design and photography.”
Participants would also meet executives, take part in lectures and workshops, learn beauty techniques used in fashion shoots, and take tours of fashion brands and partners in New York including Guess, Henri Bendel, Sakroots, H&M, DKC Public Relations, and The Edit by Seventeen/Kahn Lucas, among others. And on weekends, they would get to experience New York City, including taking a harbour tour, seeing a Broadway show, strolling along Fifth Avenue, and taking a ride on a Coney Island ferris wheel.
The student tour ran for two weeks this summer, twice. The first session ran July 10-23, and the second ran July 24 – Aug. 6.
And, because the 2016 pilot program in New York was such a success, Seventeen decided to expand the program to Los Angeles in 2017, offering a 28-day Seventeen Fashion Experience for teens, “an all-access pass to everything fashion” – covering the ins and outs of Seventeen and behind the scenes tours of fashion brands in Southern California, with visits to partners including Chaser, Chinese Laundry, Guess, The Brand Agency (fashion PR firm), Hurley, Walker Drawas (celebrity stylists), Yoobi and Skechers, among others.
One of the benefits of speaking to, working with, and touring teens around New York City for two weeks was the opportunity to get to know them better, according to Bartolomeo. Speaking with campers, at times, functioned like a mini-focus group, she said.
“We get so many ideas from them, because it really helps us stay on top of what girls right now are interested in, even in terms of where they like to shop, who they follow on social media, how they spend their time, but also about issues that really concern them,” she said. “We had a whole conversation about body shaming. So, it's really nice for us to have that conversation face to face with our readers.”
Having face-to-face interactions with teens helps Seventeen think about editorial for the future.
After meeting with the Fashion Experience participants last year, there were takeaways from those conversations that influenced the editorial content Bartolomeo put into Seventeen print editions, she said.
“It's so valuable to hear from them and to be able to really be able to focus on certain things they tell us and make it something we work on in the future,” she said. “And, for our publishing side as well; they also meet with the girls and they really get a lot of information they can use and go out and talk to their clients about.”
And, even after the two weeks are up, participants keep in touch with Bartolomeo, she explained.
“I get emails from them all throughout the year,” she said. “They might have an idea or want to check in. Sometimes we just run things by them, I'll say, ‘what do you think about this person? This celebrity? Is this something you care about?’”
The Seventeen Fashion Experience has been beneficial for the magazine brand, Bartolomeo said.
“Everyone who talks to them in the building and out of the building, we get so much out of it,” she said. “It's an opportunity to connect with teens which, they're very busy, I think it's often difficult for them, for people to get one on one time with them, whether it's a brand, for us, it's our readers.”
It’s been a successful programme, Bartolomeo said. Not only is it a source of revenue, but it also allows both Seventeen and program participants to have a unique experience. The program has had a total of 92 participants across the three programs.
“That's what we've learned,” Bartolomeo said. “I think a really great way to market to them is through an experience like this. So, I think, everyone who has participated in it has really gotten something out of it and the girls get something out of it, it's a learning experience but it's also really fun for them and I know they have a great time.”
Indeed, Bartolomeo said the teens tell their friends about it. “You know it's a success when they're recommending it to others,” she said. “We had a girl who did the program twice, and there are girls who hear about it from their friends, and so, then they do it the next year.”
Get stories like these in your inbox every week. Subscribe to our (free) FIPP World newsletter.
More like this
The best thing about the prospect of improving reader revenues is that it has the potential to liberate news publishers from the scramble for reach, a model that undermines trust in journalism. To take advantage of this opportunity, digital news publishers need to find better payment methods and discovery tools. These were some of the themes explored during the recent Newsrewired conference in London.21st Mar 2019 Features
It is early days for developing new mobile storytelling formats. Despite some successful prototypes, most of the heavy lifting is still about to happen, says Jacob Gjørtz, VP marketing at CCI Europe. Based on what we have learnt this far, brevity, video and AI will be central to what happens next.18th Mar 2019 Features
Last year Facebook hired Jesper Doub, who was then CEO of German media giant Spiegel Online, to lead its new media partnership team. In the past the high profile executive has been both a critic of Facebook and a passionate advocate of its Facebook Journalism Project.18th Mar 2019 Features
There is a lot of discussion within the content marketing, and indeed the publishing industry in general, as to how recent technological innovations are going to change branded communications. Christine Beardsell, chief content officer and board member of C3, and presenter at DIS 2019, is among the figures leading the conversation.18th Mar 2019 Features
A Swiss digital news publisher has found their conversion rate of registered users to paying subscribers has increased by five times since they have altered their approach from building paywalls to creating "dynamic pay gates".14th Mar 2019 Features
After years of shifts, downsizing, and mergers, some magazine media around the world are feeling the pinch. We're all dealing with strained and sometimes non-existent resources, stretched for time, and tasked these days with doing more with less.18th Mar 2019 Features
The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) has made the Innovation in Media 2018-2019 World Report available in Vietnamese.18th Mar 2019 Insight News
Visit our Youtube channelFIND OUT MORE
FIPP newsletters allow you to keep up with industry trends, research, training and events across the worldFIND OUT MORE
What’s happening now, what’s coming next