On Thursday September 18, 2014, Southern Living’s managing editor Candace Higginbotham visited the University of Alabama, specifically Jamie Cole’s Journalism 426 Advanced Journalism Design Class. She spoke about her career, day to day life as a managing editor, and the production cycle.
Candace Higginbotham first began this visit with a brief introduction of herself, as well as some of her past jobs and work experience. To accompany her verbal presentation, each audience member received a handout with additional information about the points she would discuss. The packet was informative and strengthened the presentation by providing visual aids such as photos and charts. Mrs. Higginbotham often referenced this handout in her presentation.
Higginbotham focused a lot of her time on talking about the digital aspects of Southern Living, a traditionally print magazine. She discussed the tactics Southern Living was beginning to employ to keep up with the times and meet reader’s needs. In addition to monthly print editions of the magazine, Southern Living also has digital versions available on mobile devices and tablets. According to Mrs. Higginbotham, “everyone on staff has some kind of digital responsibility.” Higginbotham shed light on the different ways employees of Southern Living are working to keep up the website as well as social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The increased focus and work ethic dedicated to the digital side of things seems to be paying off; the number of visitors to the site and social media followers are at all time highs. She stated that “it is interesting to see the [age] demographics [of readers] merging together between digital and print.
Other areas of discussion were staff size, other projects Southern Living is a part of (ie Southern Weddings), advertising, content pillars, and much more. The presentation closed with Higginbotham accepting questions and allowing audience members to introduce themselves or ask more personal or specific questions.