Journo intel: Elizabeth Jordan, editor of BSEE on an environmentally friendly future and PR agency middlemen
This week we were lucky enough to sit down with the editor of Building Services and Environmental Engineer (BSEE) and find out about what makes her tick and what has changed for her since lockdown:
What makes a good story for you?
A story that captures the mind of anyone, regardless of how much they know about the industry, and makes them think about how much technology, effort, energy and power they rely on and how that impacts on them and the rest of the world. The scale of this industry continues to blow my mind, and I love being able to show it off in features.
I also love stories that explore new ways of doing things that could benefit the environment as well as the people directly in contact with it. Stories that show the imagination is one of our industry’s strongest tools.
What do you wish that brands would do more (or less) of?
This year has probably taught brands a lot in terms of how to reach people differently to all the methods tried, tested and relied upon in previous decades, with the cancellation of so many industry events. It has probably also made core parts of the industry more of a focal point in homes (heating, lighting, energy bills, internet connections) which has brought advertising away from all the gimmicks to a much more universally understandable level. If the “new normal” is anything like the past six months, brands will need to be willing to be much more natural in their approach.
As editor of a well-established magazine, how are you negotiating the switch towards digital and social?
I’m very lucky that BSEE has such strong online and social platforms already. Each issue is published both in-print and digitally so that our readers can access them whenever and wherever, as well as following up-to-date news on our website or via our Twitter and LinkdIn pages. We are always looking at ways to be as environmentally friendly as possible in terms of our printed issues, because, while the stereotyped view of the future of such publications is of 100% digital, I think that the ability to hold a publication in your hands still holds value for a lot of people.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the agenda for your readers?
I get the feeling that the pandemic has shown a lot of people how to really divide their time, what is important and what isn’t. With this in mind, there has been some streamlining done to BSEE’s 2021 Feature list and brainstorming has begun in terms of a new look for our website.
I also reckon most readers love any escape from COVID-19 through stories that look towards an optimistic, environmentally friendly future for the industry.
What have you observed about working with PR agencies? What works and what doesn’t?
Where would we be without PR agencies? They are the middlemen and often translators between publications and some of the biggest brands on the planet. Without them, I’m pretty sure I’d spend a lot of time scrabbling around trying to get through to the right people.
I tend to find having a fixed set of editorial rules is the best way to be, but as an editor, it’s always best to allow for a bit of flexibility. I very rarely have to chase people for contributions, in fact, images are often harder to find than editorial!