Grazia to craft a June issue of its magazine on Facebook Live

Grazia UK is putting Facebook Live video front and center this summer. The Bauer Media-owned weekly fashion magazine is giving its readers the chance to shape, inform and potentially write bylined articles for a June edition — all live on Facebook.

For a week in June the entire 35-strong Grazia editorial team will decamp to Facebook’s London headquarters, where they will create content for the issue, a large proportion of which will be streamed via Facebook Live.

Readers will get a glimpse of the sausage being made. They’ll be invited to take part in decisions usually made by the editorial team. That could include voting on the final cover shot, posing questions for celebrities being interviewed by Grazia, or pitching interview or feature ideas. If it happens that a reader who pitches an idea through Facebook is a decent writer, they may even get commissioned to write a bylined piece for the magazine, according to Grazia UK editor Natasha Pearlman.

“So many of our readers are on Facebook, we want to start building a more personal relationship with them, in the place they spend more of their time,” she said. “The aim of this is to unify our platforms, to bring everything — social, website, print, mobile — together to come alive as one brand, rather than a brand with five different platforms.”

All the footage that is streamed during the week, as well as ideas pitched for other stories and content, will be repackaged for the print magazine, she added. Readers can contribute to regular feature series that run in Grazia including “10 Hot Stories,” “Chart of Lust” and “You the Fashion Jury.”

Facebook is rolling out the welcome mat for Grazia, supplying the team with meeting rooms, a photo studio, green rooms, a canteen where guests can come in to be interviewed and filmed. The entire daily process won’t be streamed, as that would be overkill, Pearlman said. Instead, Facebook live video will run between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Readers who already have the Grazia mobile app will be notified of upcoming streams and voting sessions with push notifications. Grazia will also be making the most of other Facebook tools and plug-ins, like live chats, polls. Mini trailers of what’s coming up will be seeded onto its social platforms ahead of their airing, though it’s not yet clear if Facebook messenger bots will be used for notifications. “We need to be careful not to bombard readers, so we’re still mapping out with Facebook how we’re going to communicate it all,” added Pearlman.

Grazia will bring a third-party video production team along, to help shoot the more ambitious set pieces for Facebook. For lighter, short-form content, editors and staff members will use their mobile phones for clips. Grazia fashion and beauty directors will get their own Facebook pages, where they’ll also produce live content.

One of the bigger video sessions will be a live exit debate, which will be filmed in front of an audience and streamed to people watching via Facebook, where it currently has 145,793 followers. Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vp of EMEA, will host an event on empowering female entrepreneurs and small business, which will also be streamed.

Grazia has been working on expanding its editorial coverage beyond beauty and fashion alone. “Our readers are women who are ambitious, interested in world politics, passionate. A really important strategy for brands these days is making sure it’s not just a matter of being digital but cultivating community,” said Pearlman.

Grazia wouldn’t reveal if any brand commercial partners are yet on board, but there are plenty of ways it’s hoping to monetize the project. Advertisers can get involved through product placement partnerships, branded video content or the usual print advertising opportunities in the magazine.

The monetization play isn’t quite clear cut for publishers (at least, it isn’t for those who aren’t selected Facebook partners) and advertisers. Of course, Facebook live video views look terrific because Facebook favors them over regular videos in the News Feed, but there’s a way to go before Facebook Live can offer monetizing opportunities for those who aren’t partners.

“Live streaming does seem to be holding audiences’ attention, but its single ongoing nature makes it tricky to insert traditional adverts within,” said Jerry Daykin, digital partner at Carat Global. “For now Live is a long way off offering monetizing opportunities.”

Image: Courtesy of Grazia.

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