In an industry facing change, Jacqui Mooney, editor of Women’s Health believes brands such as hers will continue to be a constant.
Please note: this article was contributed by Magazine Networks.
The magazine industry may be seeing substantial change but Jacqui Mooney has a goal that remains firm: to create happier, healthier lives for Australian women.
“There’s been more change in the last 18 months than in the last 18 years, but it’s the brands that evolve with this change that will continue to thrive,” she says.
Women’s Health has certainly continued to thrive. It was the first iteration of the brand to launch outside the United States in 2007, with the launch buoyed by great expectations following the title’s success in the US market.
Women’s Health USA experienced the most aggressive circulation and advertising growth in the market following its introduction in 2005, and in Australia, the title followed suit.
Today, Mooney says Women’s Health is more than a brand – it’s a global community.
“We’re up to 29 editions in 53 countries, which is incredible,” she says.
“It’s one of the fastest-growing women’s health, fitness and wellness brands and, in fact, probably the fastest-growing women’s magazine brand in the world. That is such an opportunity.”
Here in Australia, the digital presence alone of the brand is, in Mooney’s words, “exploding”.
With a combined social reach of almost half a million across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, Women’s Health’s website audience is also booming, up 75 per cent year-on-year.
Much more than a magazine
The reach and influence of Women’s Health extends well beyond print and digital, and last year the brand launched Women’s Health Fit Night Out. Essentially a giant workout party for women, the event took over Sydney’s Town Hall in 2016.
Earlier this year, Fit Night Out returned, this time on a Friday night.
“Instead of going to have a few wines with the girlfriends after work, why not come down and do a workout?” Mooney suggests.
The event included integrations for a lengthy list of sponsors including Toyota and Ocean Spray, and concluded with a surprise ‘90s R&B dance workshop.
“The lights went down and it was fantastic,” Mooney says. “The vibe in the room and just seeing our audience – our Women’s Health community there together in the flesh – was just so exciting. We’re really thrilled with how it how it went this year.”
And that won’t be the last party Women’s Health throws this year, with the brand currently celebrating its 10th birthday.
The birthday issue, which hit stands earlier this month, features an exclusive cover shoot with model Jennifer Hawkins, fitness power couples including Michelle Bridges and Steve Willis, plus a look back at the biggest health, fitness and wellness trends of the past decade.
A career in a changing industry
Keeping with the theme of birthdays, Mooney scored her first magazine job prior to turning 21. She started out working for trade titles before landing at Dolly magazine, and has since taken on a variety of roles at publications including Cleo, Bride to Be and Weight Watchers.
Pacific Magazines’ stablemate, Marie Claire, was one of the reasons Mooney went into journalism.
“Their features and campaigns have been so important to women,” she says. “It’s such an iconic fashion title.”
Mooney reflects on her days at Cleo with fondness.
“Everyone remembers the parties and I remember my first ever Cleo swimsuit party at Altona on the harbour with models rocking up on speedboats. It really was a different time,” she says.
However, editing Women’s Health is her ideal role.
“I’d have to say the job I’m doing now is without doubt my dream job, because health and fitness are my personal passion, and it’s been a professional passion over the last 10 to 15 years,” Mooney says. “It is absolutely the pinnacle.”
She acknowledges the support she’s had from other women along the way.
“Being able to work alongside some incredible female mentors over the years, I’ve been very lucky to learn from them and now bring other people up in their careers,” Mooney says.
Yet, regardless of the title, Mooney has forged a career creating engaging content for a largely female audience.
She says she’s been lucky to work on brands created for communities of women with a uniquely Australian voice, and relishes the ability to be part of an offering that helps women to be in the driver’s seat of their own life.
Mooney is undeterred by the swiftly changing landscape of her trade.
“This is actually one of the things that are making media and magazines so exciting at the moment,” she says.