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Posts Tagged ‘Editor’

Helen Jones Interview – FitPro Magazine

Monday, November 30th, 2009

helen bio

Helen Jones is the editor of FitPro Magazine, one of the leading industry publications, she has written for a large number of on and off line publications.

TG:  Hi Helen, and thanks for giving up some of your busy day to talk to us!

Thank you. I’m flattered to have been asked.

TG:  You are the Editor of Fitpro magazine (www.fitpro.com), what is your history in terms of writing for the fitness industry?

HJ: I’ve been in the industry nearly five years and have written for fitness websites such as YMCAfit, and magazines such as Australian Fitness Network. I focus most of my time writing for FitPro’s three magazines and the Virtual Magazine (www.virtualmag.co.uk).

TG:  How did you first become involved with FitPro?

HJ: I wanted to become a magazine editor from the age of 12 so when I left to school I moved to Dublin and got a BA in journalism, before returning to London to do various work experience. It was around this time I landed the job of Media Assistant at FitPro. Since then, I’ve worked hard and have a new-found passion for fitness too. It’s so satisfying to edit a magazine about a subject that really matters, rather than focusing on celebrities and make up.

TG:  What does the average day look like for you?

HJ: I get into the office around 08:30 and spend a bit of time replying to emails. Then I may have some articles to edit and send across to the proofreader. Mid-morning there could be a photo shoot or video taking place in the studio, and then I’ll be back at my desk doing some research. After lunch, I might edit a couple of the writers’ articles and then meet with them to discuss how to develop their content or style. Sometimes I’ll be out in the afternoon testing a new product or fitness class and then it’s home time.

TG:  How do you stay up to date with the goings on in the industry, any top tips?

HJ: Well I’m signed up to lots of press releases and newsletters. I try to get out of the office as much as possible too for new launches and to trial new things. I think it’s so important to attend industry events to keep up-to-date with what’s going on. I always attend Leisure Industry Week and FitPro Convention (www.fitpro.com/convention10) of course.

TG:  Who inspires you?

HJ: Professionally I’d say Morgan Rees, Men’s Health editor. Men’s Health does exactly what it’s designed to do, providing content laid out in a way men actually like to read. In the fitness industry I’m actually inspired by most of the instructors I meet. Especially presenters I meet at conventions – they all have so much energy and passion that it just makes me want to exercise as much as I can.

TG: What would be your top fitness tip for the average person on the street?

HJ: Keep changing your workout. Too many people do exactly the same thing day in, day out without challenging themselves. Mix it up – find a couple of sports you enjoy and fit them in around your varied sessions at the gym or in the park.

TG:  Who would you say are currently some of the top writers in the industry?

HJ: I like Jane Wake’s style of writing. Pete Cohen’s also very inspiring.

TG:  What is your opinion of the quality of fitness and nutrition based information that is out there in the mainstream magazines/publications?

HJ: I do get frustrated when I see that some are still recommending sit ups as the best way to get a flat stomach. The education is gradually getting better though, and as fitness continues to increase in popularity so does the quality of information out there. What Fitpro does is to take the latest research on exercise science, physiology, nutrition etc and present it in an appealing way for instructors and trainers.

TG:  How do you think that writers can make sure that quality information is getting out to people that need it?

HJ: I think they really need to stand their ground when editors ask them to write something they don’t feel comfortable with. Some will just put their name to anything to get a bit of advertising. We always use the highest standard of contributors in Fitpro and discuss the articles closely with them to ensure readers get the best possible information.

TG:  What does the future hold for FitPro magazine?

HJ: It’s a really exciting time for us right now as next issue we’re launching a fresh, new look magazine. Circulation has increased by 5% over the last six months so considering we’re not out of the recession yet and other magazines are struggling, we’re really happy with the success and hope to continue to grow.

TG: What does the future hold for you?

HJ: My focus at the moment is to keep improving Fitpro magazine, with even better content and design work, while increasing readership further. Aside from that, I’d also like to expand my freelancing work in various fitness publications and websites.

TG:  Helen, thanks for sharing with us, and thanks for such a great publication!