Publisher builds on 'Do's,' Dont's'

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Suzanne Grimes developed her media management techniques years ago, but she began sorting them into handy "Do" and "Don't" categories in April. That's when Ms. Grimes, 42, became VP-publisher of Glamour, Conde Nast Publications' monthly fashion, beauty and relationships magazine that features "Do" and "Don't" tips as its most recognizable editorial content.

"On my Do's list, one of the first things is to form a close bond with my editor because when the two of us are working together, we'll accomplish a whole lot more," says Ms. Grimes, who has been a publisher at four titles since 1995. (She will have to do this with new editor Cindi Leive, formerly of Self, who will replace Bonnie Fuller.) "The second thing is to build a team that combines both the veterans who have a lot to offer and some new talent and energy. And the third thing is to leverage the editorial franchise, to build programs that speak to [readers] everywhere-in-book, online, in-store and at home."

And her leadership "Don'ts"? "Don't assume anything," Ms. Grimes says. "Just because [Glamour] has been around for 63 years doesn't mean there's not still a lot to share with the advertising community on what the magazine is all about." She continues: "Don't get lost in the details, but rather chart the course. And don't worry strictly about [cost per thousand], because especially in a tough market, the strongest brand with the strongest ideas will win out."

Ms. Grimes' career has been moving forward at a rapid pace in the past year. In May 2000, she was named publisher of the health, beauty and fashion magazine Allure, a Conde Nast sibling of Glamour. At Allure, she helped turn around a three-year slide, posting a 13% increase in ad revenue last year.

Ms. Grimes says her ad experience a decade ago for TV Guide positioned her well for the current conditions. "Right now, when the market is tough, anyone who has experience managing something big and/or difficult is desirable," she says. "Certainly when I was at TV Guide, that was a period of time in '91 when the market was difficult for magazines, and we managed through that and came out quite well."

She says economic downturns must be addressed with discretion. "The biggest challenge is remembering the economy is cyclical," she says. "So as you make your business decisions, you can't get bogged down. You need to focus on the core attributes of the brand and plan for the [brighter] future."

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