It’s an unusually warm spring day in Melbourne when I make my way to Southbank to have lunch with Nene King at VECCI’s Women in Business luncheon.
“I wonder what she thinks of WOMAN.com.au”, I hear myself say.
Launching a publication is no easy feat. Personally, it has been a long, hard road. The idea around WOMAN.com.au came to me in 2002 when I worked in the media, devouring various business publications as part of my job.
And boy, did those things bore the bejesus out of me!
So I went to work conceptualizing a publication that speaks to women in a personal way. One that empowers women to take control of their business, career, relationships, health and money – basically their lives – without going all “professional”, intimidating and bloody boring.
The idea finally took shape in January 2012 and the rest, as they say, is a lot of hard work, little sleep and lots of hustling.
The publication is growing fast and I need any help I can get so what better way than to learn from the queen of the mag herself.
The theatrical, self-confessed show-off who took Woman’s Day to no. 1 at a time when magazines wielded so much power and influence, it was every woman’s staple news (read: gossip) diet.
Armed with an audio-recording app on my iPhone, a KikkiK leather-bound notepad and a Sony digital camera with optical zoom, I come to learn specific strategies and tactics Nene used to achieve phenomenal success with Woman’s Day.
But I don’t get that.
“I hate to tell you, I lurched from day to day. If you’re waiting for a deep and meaningful strategy, forget it”, she says.
So I put away my KikkiK leather-bound notepad, turn off my audio-recording and just go with the flow.
“I can talk about two things: myself and magazines”, she proclaims.
Nene does not disappoint because I get so much more. Her story and her journey: the good, the bad and WTF.
“I did not yell and scream at Kerry Packer. I didn’t need to because I was making him lots of money he thought the sun shone out of me”, Nene clarifies the hostile relationship portrayed in the mini series Paper Giants: Magazine Wars.
Happy to admit she knows nothing about the bottom line, Nene knows what she does have: an instinct for news.