“Beauty Journalism In A Changing Media Landscape”
with Nicola Moulton, Creative Director, SEEN
On Wednesday 13th June CEW had the pleasure of hosting award-winning beauty journalist Nicola Moulton for a compelling morning titled ‘Beauty Journalism In A Changing Media Landscape’.
Nicola Moulton has spent twenty years writing for some of the UK’s best newspapers and magazines, including Vogue, Grazia, Marie Claire, The Guardian and The Telegraph. After a long and successful career as a beauty director, last year she joined beauty communications agency SEEN as Creative Director, where she now works with brands on consulting, trend forecasting and of course brilliant and original brand communications.
Despite Nicola’s slight change in career direction there is one thing that has remained a constant: she is passionate about the need for exceptional beauty journalism and absolutely believes in the need for great content to come from brands as well as editorial.
Through her twenty years in journalism Nicola witnessed some of the most dramatic changes the industry has ever seen. She worked through a huge period of change for both print publications and witnessed first-hand the introduction of digital and online journalism. This sudden transition to digital meant that Nicola was having to produce more compelling content than ever before, and reminisces on times when she likened her job role to that of a salesperson – everyday would be spent ‘pitching in’ an idea or ‘selling in’ a story.
On joining Vogue as Beauty Director Nicola realised magazines were now having to prove themselves as a brand in an ever-changing and highly competitive world. Throughout this period of change Vogue kept a clear focus on their USPs, ensuring that they always stayed ahead of the game and always landed the most sought-after exclusives. Nicola divulged to the audience that at times the beauty house would receive up to 1,000 press releases a week some of which “were really not press releases at all!”. Nicola found herself feeling increasingly frustrated at the lack of meaningful content found both in written press collateral and press launch events: “(as a brand) we need to be honest about how we’re packaging things up and be honest about what it is we are doing. A lot of brands are not releasing news – just an existing product!”.
Nicola moved to SEEN in 2017 to try and fix some of these communication problems that she was faced with on a daily basis. She wanted to answer her own questions and get to the bottom of what makes truly great content. Nicola’s shift in career has made her realise the importance of a brands tone: “brands can be obsessed with their logo and visuals but clueless about their own use of the language.”
By means of a conclusion Nicola told the sold-out audience how despite industry changes it is still increasingly important for brands in the beauty industry to ‘keep things light’. “We don’t want to be seen as a frivolous industry so we try to prove things with science, but despite this beauty content still has to be digestible, informative and easy to engage with.”