In the latest of our “Meet The Team Behind The Team” features, we sit down with Lesley Brown, who works in advertising in our London office.
How long have you worked for DC Thomson?
I joined in January 1982, and I haven’t regretted a minute in 37 years.
Back then it was the age of manual typewriters — which were soon replaced by electric typewriters, then word processors, then big, bulky computers, and now to present-day technology.
We’re not necessarily at the cutting edge, though. When I asked my boss if they had any Macs, they offered me an apple!
Tell us about your role with the “Friend” team.
As a production coordinator in the advertising team, I liaise with our clients and agencies to make sure all our advertising pages are filled before the magazine goes to press.
What does your typical week look like?
It’s important to note that I work two weeks in advance, so as to give the client/advertiser time organise their copy.
First, I send a list of potential advertisers to [“Friend” Editor] Angela, and with this information the ads can be allocated pages on the plan for that particular issue of the magazine.
I liaise with those advertisers to make sure I have all the correct material and information for their ad, and then I can then start placing them on the correct page on the system — although it has been known that I will change the pages around. I often have to chase people to get the copy in, and some of the excuses I hear for a missed deadline are priceless!
With the “Friend”, I try to make sure that the ads are all in keeping with the tone of the magazine, and won’t unduly upset the readers.
Once all the copy is in, it checked (and checked again!) before the issue is signed off by Angela and sent to press.
As well as our external clients, I also liaise with DC Thomson’s Enterprise team with regards to their ads that I place (for DC Thomson products, like the “Friend” tartan notebook).
Although the deadlines rarely change, no two weeks are the same in this job!
Do you have any “Friend” connections?
I didn’t know it for the longest time, but my cousin is an avid “Friend” reader. She loves the stories, but her favourite part of the magazine is “The Farmer And His Wife”.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I have to say the people who I work with in the London Office are great. It’s like going to work and seeing your family.
The Editorial Team in Dundee are brilliant — I love the banter we have, and the friendship is always there. I feel extremely lucky to be working with such a great team of people.
Everyone really cares about the “Friend”, too, and it shows. I love it when the Strawberry Tea comes around. They all have a go, and the results are amazing!
How would you describe the magazine to a potential reader?
I love the articles that relate to places to visit.
Having been to some of the places mentioned, I can confirm the eye for detail is superb! The storytelling is brilliant, and the articles are up to date and informative.
The “Friend” does an excellent garden feature . . . updates on finance and health . . . it’s a winner all round.
I think this was more than proved when it reached the grand old age of 150 this year.
I was very proud to be a part of it.