About The Running Bug:
The new site launched last week and is now live at: www.therunningbug.co.uk
It’s going down a storm and we’re getting ever more confident of achieving our aim of becoming the UK’s number 1 online destination for recreational runners.
What stories are you most interested in covering?
Anything related to running. We cover all the things you’d expect, like gear and event reviews, trends in the sport, advice on training and diet, etc. But also many things you might not, like celebrity interviews, hair and skin care (in the women’s section), health club/spa reviews, even travel features – all from a running angle of course.
What makes you different from the other outlets in your sector?
There are other content sites for runners and other social networking sites for runners, but The Running Bug is only place that offers the whole package and does it well. We’re a wholly-online platform (rather than just a website offshoot of a print magazine) and we’re not beholden to a publisher. All of the TRB team have a background in new media, so we know our stuff when it comes to the web and we’re passionate about delivering excellent community functions and top quality content. Of course, we’re all runners too!
How do you decide the content, front covers and headlines?
The new site has a great promo slot on the homepage for highlighting our most compelling new articles. I’ll be covering all the running basics in our content like training tips, injury advice, gear reviews, etc. But for our headline articles I really would like content that covering new trends, is linked to something in the news, or is just something really original that our visitors won’t have come across before.
Do you produce a features list? Why? Why not?
Yes. It will be ready for distribution soon.
Do you use freelance contributions, and if so, are they for any particular section/type of work?
I don’t have a budget for freelancers yet, but I do welcome contributions if they’re well-written, well-sourced and fit with the tone of the site.
Do you work closely with PRs (e.g. for supplements, round tables, events) or do you keep them at arm’s length?
Yes, mostly for product reviews.
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
Most PRs get it right anyway, but I would like it if some of them would understand how busy my email inbox is. I get about 100 emails a day, many of which are press releases or enquiries from PRs. I do read all of them, but it’d be impossible for me to reply to everyone. I’m afraid if I don’t get back to you it means I’m not interested, there’s no need to get in touch again to ask. I wish I could reply to everyone all the time, but I’d never get anything else done!
How should a PR approach you about their client?
We pride ourselves on quality editorial at The Running Bug, so I’m not going to publish advertorial on the site or copy-paste press releases – they need to speak to the commercial team about an advertising package if they’re hoping to place something like that. Otherwise they can feel free to drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Info on running product launches, events, and details of relevant research will always be welcome. Sometimes I’ll contact PRs when I need comments/quotes for articles.
When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
Anytime by email. I prefer not to get phone calls about pitches.
Describe a typical day at work: What are you editorial duties/responsibilities at the outlet (e.g. commissioning, subbing, features, interviewing)?
All of the above and more!
What interests you most about your job?
Running, fitness and the outdoors are probably my main passions in life, so it’s fantastic to have a job that combines these. Working on The Running Bug is perfect for me, because I love new media and online social networking, it’s such an exciting thing to be a part of.
Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I worked at the BBC for a long time, mostly in online. I’ve freelanced for a huge variety of different titles – The Times, The Independent, Cosmopolitan, Closer, Good Homes and UKTV to name a few. I’m still a regular contributor to Walk magazine and some fitness magazines alongside being Editor of The Running Bug. My last job was Editor of Running Free magazine. I enjoyed working on a print title, but I’m really pleased to be back in online.
Do you Twitter?
Yes, love it! Do drop me a tweet: @julia_b
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Take a chance, while you’ve still got the choice.
What media do you seek out 1st thing in the morning?
While I drink my first cup of tea it’s got to be The Today Programme on Radio Four. So sensible and clever, I find it quite soothing… Then I’ll probably get into the car and listen to XFM on the way to the office to get me going for the day.
If we gave you £1000 how would you spend it?
I know this is really boring, but it’d just have to go into the bottomless pit that is my off-set mortgage account!