Management Today, Matthew Gwyther

Gorkana held a media briefing with Matthew Gwyther, editor of Management Today, on 7 October, kindly hosted at the offices of Headland Consultancy.

Management Today is a monthly magazine addressing current business issues, trends and forecasts. Its readership includes middle/higher management and finance directors among all types of business people. The challenges women face in business careers, the “uncontrollable animal” of social media and why the “nickable” nature of MT’s monthly magazine shows its power, were just three of the topics covered by Matthew Gwyther, the editor of Management Today.

Matthew Gwyther has been editor of Management Today, or MT, since 2001, and although he started writing business news “almost by accident”, he still relishes editing the monthly title that serves more than 71,000 management professionals every month. With financial news (such as the Chinese economic slowdown) now regularly making the front pages of national newspapers, and programmes like Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice raising the public’s interest in business, he notes with pleasure, there are more opportunities than ever for brands and titles to exploit this more “mainstream” appeal.

With MT celebrating its 50th anniversary next year and a burgeoning multi-platform portfolio of events and specials, there are a number of opportunities for PRs to feed into the magazine. Here are four essential things Gwyther covered in the briefing with Philip Smith, Gorkana’s head of news and content.

MT wants to represent a diverse business community
“Trying to get women into our ‘long read’ feature is difficult. There aren’t enough of them (in senior management roles). We’ve interviewed most of the senior ones”, Gwyther explained. At the heart of Management Today is a feature that profiles senior business people. In alignment with MT’s annual ’35 women under 35’ event, which launched 15 years ago, Gwyther would like to have more women within the feature. He added: “I am really proud of what we’ve done in the space. We are now seen as a campaigning organ for women in business.”

There are great PR opportunities throughout the entire title
“You have an hors d’oerve, main and a dessert”. Gwyther used the briefing to emphasise the number of opportunities for PRs to pitch their clients, from the book reviews featured at the front of the magazine, to the product placements available in the lifestyle section. He added, “The thing to do is get hold of it and try and work out one of the ways in.”

“Obvious” promotions and plugs don’t work for Op-Ed slots
“You have to make them human and real and honest and arresting”, Gwyther noted. PRs looking to pitch clients for opinion editorial pieces should push creative and interesting ideas, avoiding anything that sounds like a direct plug for a client’s business. He continued: “We’re always open to new ideas and angles. If they are obviously plugging away, then it’s boring and you are wasting your time because no-one is going to read them anyway.”

MT is the same brand online and off but web content needs to be short and to the point
“We decide pretty rapidly at the beginning of the day which of the stories the three online [staff] are going to be working on during the course of the morning, and the (email) bulletin goes out around 1pm. The website by definition is quicker and scrappier and more ad hoc.” As a monthly title, MT posts its news online first, and will look to extrapolate anything interesting into a larger piece for the magazine. Despite the magazine releasing more of its content earlier each month to go online, Gwyther still calls the print monthly MT a “treat”. He added: “It will still be here in five years’ time”. Attending the briefing, Ina Strander, a senior consultant at corporate agency Sermelo, said: “Matthew was very interesting, and gave valuable insights into how Management Today works, as well as the wider issues in the business press today. Hearing from the editor himself about what they are interested in is always the best, and gave me some new ideas.”