Attending Magazine 101 and Brainstorming Final Product Ideas

Mentor Visit Assessment 2

Mentor: Staci Parks

Profession: Online Managing Editor

Location: D Magazine Office

Date: February 1, 2017

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

On my second mentor visit with Staci Parks, I had the opportunity to attend a presentation by D Chairman Wick Allison for interns and new employees called Magazine 101. The presentation detailed the history of D Magazine, why magazines are still around, what purpose magazines serve, and the components of a successful magazine. First and foremost, Magazine 101 taught me that D Magazine is published for a specific, targeted audience and focuses on enhancing the lives of Dallas residents. The original D Magazine aims content towards the interests of mainly middle aged, home owning Dallas residents with a median household income of $330,000, while D CEO targets business professionals and D Weddings targets, of course, brides and family of the bride. Mr. Allison detailed the importance of catering to the needs of the community you are serving and focusing only on how you can better serve them (meaning publishing audience-specific content that the magazine’s community of readers want/need), not on how vague you can make content so that you will attract more readers. The presentation overall taught me about the purpose and goals of the publication at which I am conducting my mentorship, so I can now cater the composition of my final product to that purpose. Furthermore, I learned that a successful magazine is built on meaningful content, advertising, and of course, its readers. With a combination of content that the magazine’s readers are interested in, strategic advertisements that take into account the readers’ average income and way of life, and readers that invest in the magazine, the publication will thrive and complete its original purpose- to create a community of readers and serve them.

After Magazine 101 concluded, I briefly met with Staci to decide on a specific story idea for my final product article. We decided that, because I have a passion for health, fitness, and food, I should write an article in which I interview dieticians, nutritionists, and even potentially natural food grocers. I believe I will be writing a story about grocery shopping with a nutritionist, and it will be geared towards spring, focusing on buying seasonal ingredients that can keep you healthy and happy. Staci has previously interviewed at least one dietician, one nutritionist, and one farmers market representative, so she has offered to get me in touch with those sources to be featured in my article. Another reason this particular story would be a great final product is that it is, as the D editors call it, an “evergreen story,” in that it has no particular expiration date; it will not be considered “old news” if it is published at any time, and people will be interested in it for a window of a few months rather than one or two days like in the case of news stories. This will allow me a longer time period in which to write the content of the article and go through all of the refining and editing steps it requires on the journey to publication. I think I will immensely enjoy writing this article, as it combines many of my passions into one project.

Staci and I also planned our next mentor visit for Friday February 10th, on which we will begin my education on the fact-checking process as well as AP Style. I look forward to working with Staci on bringing my story to fruition.


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