Gorkana meets… Little White Lies
Adam Woodward, digital editor of Little White Lies, the bi-monthly print magazine which champions great movies and the people who make them, talks to Gorkana‘s Niall Davies about creating a unique ranking system for the title, looking for new ways to connect with its audience and what PRs can do to help enhance its content.
Tell us about the ethos behind Little White Lies.
LWLies was started in 2005 as a response to the populist, PR-driven magazines that continue to dominate the cultural conversation around movies and the people who make them. We were frustrated by the failure of the media to speak to us in a way that felt honest and authentic. So we created a niche for ourselves, based on passionate journalism and cutting-edge design that reflected the medium we love. But our vision is also inclusive and universal – LWLies is a magazine for anybody who has ever been touched by cinema. We believe in Truth & Movies.
Who are your audience?
Discerning, film loving, millennials.
What makes it stand out against other film magazines and websites?
Its honesty, integrity and iconic cover portraits.
How do you decide what film is featured in the front section of the magazine?
As a bi-monthly magazine our lead times are quite long, so we need guarantees of access, but generally we pick a film we like the look of (or have been fortunate enough to see in advance, and are already in love with) and jump right in.
LWLies is known for its striking design choices; what makes it onto the cover?
Typically we’ll pick the star of the film; sometimes we’ll opt for a more abstract interpretation. As long as it reflects the tone and themes of the cover film.
You’ve created a unique tripartite review system for LWLies; what’s the thinking behind this and how does it benefit both the audience and the film reviewed itself?
Because movies don’t exist in a vacuum, we devised a unique ranking system to reflect the various aspects of the moviegoing experience. All review scoring is essentially arbitrary, but we’ve found that ours adds an extra layer of engagement for both our writers and audience.
How do new digital distribution methods for film, such as day-and-date release on VOD – or before its even reached theatres – affect your coverage?
We used to be dictated by the UK theatrical release schedule, but that’s no longer the case – partly because there is just too much for us to cover on a weekly basis, but also because of the different ways people now watch movies. Our audience is global, and it’s important that we help them discover more of the movies they love by looking beyond traditional exhibition platforms.
What is your digital strategy?
We don’t have the resources to compete with primarily SEO-driven news organisations – instead we set our own agenda, telling original stories, commenting on a broad range of social issues and reporting on what really matters to our audience from an informed, less reactionary perspective.
What kind of comms professionals are most useful for your team to hear from?
We’re constantly looking for new and interesting ways to connect with our audience, creating stories that are as visually appealing, engaging and interactive as possible. So anyone who can meet our needs in that sense, please feel free to reach out!
How can they help to contribute content?
It depends on what expertise or services they’re offering, but in terms of collaborating, we are looking for people and companies that can boost our existing content while retaining our core brand values.
What’s the biggest mistake a PR can make when pitching to you?
Not addressing me by name, or showing a basic lack of understanding about who we are and what we do.
With the Venice Film Festival coming up in August; how can PRs get involved in your coverage of festivals?
By contacting me with essential information about titles they are supporting, which may be of interest to our audience.
Adam Woodward was talking to Gorkana’s Niall Davies.