Publishing Print in Lockdown

By Helena Lang, SevenC3 on

Sainsburys magazine

It’s here. On the shelves. In customer’s trolleys and added to their online basket. The May/June issue of Sainsbury’s magazine is a strawberry cheesecake smothered thing of beauty and stuffed with recipes to see our audience through the next month of lockdown and beyond.

Producing and planning multi-platform content is a juggle at the best of times, but during lockdown the immediacy of being able to tweak, adjust and reschedule for online and social, have made publishing a print product with long lead times seem like wading through treacle – but we got there

Of course, half our content had to go – the features on barbecue parties, celebration cakes, British weekend escapes and sunny stories from foreign climes were just not (sadly) appropriate anymore. 

New ideas were commissioned. Book extracts bought. Shoots arranged and art directed remotely. Our soaring online numbers (users, page views and visits have doubled in four weeks) helped drive the new content. The whole nation is baking, so there are the simplest of cake recipes with surprising flavour twists.

Instagram is stuffed with home-made pasta tips so our step-by-step masterclass is bang on track, people want to shop less, and store more so we’ve got how to show your freezer some love and what the most useful ingredients are to fill it with. Finally, we collated a bumper batch of foodie crosswords – online page views for our reader competition top 3,000 each month – so our readers can  while away the hours on their sunny patio whilst their cakes are in the oven. 

And, if you’re puzzling over whether any of this matters, we’re thrilled the news that sales of this issue are currently up significantly on the previous month (when we first went into lockdown) which proves that when it comes to creating relevant food content the Sainsbury’s magazine team have the right recipe.

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