Moving From 'Best Life' to 'Women's Health' at Rodale

Mary Murcko Puts Her Launch Skills to Work Once Again

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Mary Murcko joins a fairly new venture for Rodale, Women's Health, as VP-publisher. But given she's moving over from her post as the founding publisher of men's lifestyle magazine Best Life, she likely has a pretty good handle on what's in store for her in her new job. Lucky for her, she joins when the distaff title has got great momentum. In January, the magazine plans to raise its rate base rise to 750,000, the second increase since its launch. MediaWorks caught up with Ms. Murcko on her first week on the job to discuss where Rodale plans to take this brand.
While 'Women's Health' publisher Mary Murcko says it's all about the content, she still feels a monthly is best at connecting with consumers.
While 'Women's Health' publisher Mary Murcko says it's all about the content, she still feels a monthly is best at connecting with consumers. Credit: WireImage

MediaWorks: How do you think your previous post at Best Life will help you in your new position at Women's Health?

Mary Murcko: On Best Life I was the launch publisher, so it was really about creating a brand. When we launched Best Life, we were creating a brand in a market place that had big players. We were deciding who the reader was and distinguishing it for the advertisers. It was a great experience launching a brand platform, which obviously speaks perfectly to Women's Health, which is much farther along. We've recognized who the reader is and created a magazine for them.

MediaWorks: What are the challenges of launching a new title when so much focus is on digital?

Ms. Murcko: When you launch a brand, it's all about the content and the connection with the consumer. That's what we continue to focus on over and over and over again, making sure we have the best possible content you can't find anywhere else. With all of our knowledge and research as a company, from there, how do you get out this content? What do you do with it? The brand is what we're focusing on.

MediaWorks: Where do you see print fitting into the media landscape nowadays?

Ms. Murcko: There's an engagement that readers have with the printed product, especially a monthly magazine, that is still way ahead of every other medium. This is especially true when you're talking about women's health. The trust and resources magazines can draw from creates this relationship with our consumer, which is really incredibly unique. There's nothing like it in the marketplace or through other platforms yet.

MediaWorks: With so much health info out there right now, how do you plan for Women's Health to stand out for competitors such as Health, Fitness, Shape, Self and all the info that can be found now online?

Ms. Murcko: We launched Women's Health as a brand platform. The information that we have, and talking in a tone of honesty and confidence -- that alone makes it stand out. Also, it really connects on every aspect of the healthy active lifestyle. We realized that there are so many different ways that we can interact with the community through print, and online, which is very important. We're constantly involving all other brand extensions of the magazine, and there's been enormous consumer response to it. Everything we're doing is way ahead of our schedule.
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