In the UK a heatwave usually conjures up a day or two of summer warmth. You wave at the sun. And then it’s gone. Not so this year. London (my home) and much of England is broiling like a garlic chicken basted in onions and mushroom with a lashing of hot chilli peppers thrown in.
Having just about saved my long-time Worldwide HQ from a similar fate (without the culinary accoutrements), I and my team are battling through the heat to ensure the last flurry of an intensive (even by our standards) publishing blitz is completed.
In the past eight days, we’ve published three e-Zines (all produced via our spectacular new e-Zine platform) with another one (on Duty Zero by cdf) due out this week. All this on top of our annual Top 25 travel retailers Print & Interactive Editions (two different but complementary beasts), also due in coming days. And of course that beast, I mean website, that never sleeps, www.MoodieDavittReport.com (would someone please slip it some night nurse or a very large Craigellachie single malt to help the poor soul rest?)
On top of that, we’ve produced the fourth issues of our new titles, NEXUS (a curated weekly quickfire summary of, and links to, key stories from the related worlds of travel, retail, luxury, brands and beauty) and our Chinese WeChat title Love China, Love Duty Free (a joint venture with Shanghai-based Jason Cao and his long-established Duty Free Expert).
Phew, it’s sweltering. And I’m not talking about the weather. Sometimes I wonder how the Moodie Davitt word factory keeps up with all this volume, especially when you overlay the publishing side with our events business (FAB and The Trinity Forum). The answer lies in our dedicated and talented team, whom I am proud to lead from the trenches.
We’re bolstering that team, not simply to ease the pressure on existing members, but to roll out some exciting new concepts in coming weeks. We’ve just employed a top-quality Global Blue journalist, Hannah Lewis (pictured right), as Managing Editor and the much-respected Michael Barrett (below) as Events and Corporate Social Responsibility Director (the second part of the job title is particularly exciting to Michael and me). We’re bolstering the best freelance team in the business, which already includes Colleen Morgan, Kevin Rozario, Clare Austin, Melody Ng, Shriram Sanjeevi, Jaroslaw Adamowski and newcomer Hannah Lyn Tan (also embracing her millennial alter ego Judy Free), as well as top-class consultants Adele Wolstenhulme and Richard Jell, with further appointments in the days ahead and we’ve got some other moves planned.
Our new e-Zine, I believe, redefines travel retail publishing in the same way that our original pdf did way back in September 2002. The visual impact of the full-screen treatment combined with the ability to integrate audio and video and dynamic advertising is a game-changer for us, and we hope for the industry. And we’ve only just started to realise its power of possibility.
In travel retail and in travel retail publishing you just have to keep moving to keep ahead. Comfort is the enemy of progress, said that greatest of showmen, P.T. Barnum. We’re determined to remain uncomfortable. And not just because of the heat.