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There are tons of women’s magazine on the market, all pretty much aiming at the same audience. There’s little to choose between the 60-odd pence weeklies, but most people have one or two they just stick to. If you want a change though, or are new to the whole wafer thin paper mags, you need to know the answer to just one question: is Best best? BEST FOR TRASHY REAL LIFE STORIES? Probably, yes, if you want really and truly atrociously trashy tales to make you laugh / cry. A typical claim? “My flab saved my life”, “I’m 60, he’s 23, why I love my toy boy husband”, “How can I tell dad I’m a glamour model?” (not, I hasten to add, the same story). Yep, as far as trashy goes, Best’s pretty much got the edge over other more conservative magazines, but whether or not this is a good thing depends on what you’re after. BEST FOR CELEBRITY NEWS? For a magazine not selling itself on having all the latest gossip (like Ok or Now do, for example), Best doesn’t do badly. They seem to extract a scary amount of pleasure from showing photos of the rich and famous looking the worst they ever have in their life, but then what’s wrong with that? Seeing as it’s weekly, if I get the latest issue I can often find out some, ahem, “facts” before I see them on the net. BEST FOR FASHION AND BEAUTY? If “best” means affordable fashions and standard if a little basic tips then yes. If “best”, however, refers to clothes you’d want to wear or even could wear, then no. The emphasis here is on presentation rather than practicality, but they’re still pretty to look at I guess. BEST FOR FOOD AND HOME IDEAS? Erm, no, Not really – in a typical issue you’ll only get 3 or 4 pages featuring these, which no one could claim is in depth coverage. And, what they do say,
seems to be a repeat of what you already know. Like the whole using masking tape when painting thing to get smooth lines. The recipes are useful if you’ve never cooked before, but are usually rather uninteresting and not really exciting if you’ve ever been through even a term of Home Ec classes at school. BEST FOR HEALTH HELP AND ADVICE? Rather than catering to the masses as with a lot of magazines, Best goes in entirely the opposite direction, ignoring the common complaints and focusing on rare diseases and disorders instead, meaning these pages are of little use to the majority of their readers. BEST FOR BUYING ABROAD? That depends on the issue. On a normal week the cover price is 62p. The Germany price is 3 Eur (~1.80). So 3 times as much. However at Christmas, the bumper issues cots 99p in the UK…..but still 3 Eur in Germany. Now either the importing types didn’t realize, or they didn’t care, but either way I was quite happy with this. I wouldn’t buy it every week either here or at home, but now and then I don’t mind shelling out. BEST FOR USUAL MAGAZINE FEATURES? Not best, but not the worst either. As with most of the weeklies, this one contains letters pages and horoscopes and problem pages and competitions, though the prizes seem a bit stingy at times compared to other ones on offer. It seems to have pretty much everything you’d expect, but there aren’t any nice surprises hidden among the pages. BEST FOR A GENERAL READ? Again, not best, but not bad. Although I seem to have slated it in a lot of places, there are very few magazines out there that are good in all areas. Best’s not my favourite magazine, but it’s not too badly written and the features are occasionally interesting. It covers a nice broad range of topics but the level of detail naturally enough is pretty shallow. I’d buy
it if I wanted an easy read and it was all that was in the shop, but taking out a lifelong subscription is pretty far down my to do list for the next 20 years. Best is not best in my book.
Best magazine claims to be Britain’s best weekly and in this opinion I will try to explain why I happen to agree. Yes, it’s a bold claim to make; in fact, it’s almost arrogant of Best to boast in their media pack that they’re the most up-to-date mass-market general interest woman’s weekly. But, actually, there’s nothing arrogant or pretentious about Best at all. What I like most about Best is that it’s realistic; totally down-to-earth – indeed, it aims to be accessible. Excuse me while I quote from the media pack: (cough cough) “Best genuinely understands everyday women” and says the magazine’s ultimate aim is to “satisfy the curiousity of real women.” In other words, it’s full of gossip, showbiz and true stories from other women of a similar age – it’s a chance to be nosy… a magazine that’s proud to be ordinary! THE FACTS Best magazine is 14 years old and it’s the National Magazine Company’s only weekly magazine. It used to be owned by Gruner and Jahr but the National Magazine Company took it over in September 2000 and it joins 17 other consumer titles. Its total circulation is 432, 252 and it’s read by 1,351,000 adults; more than ¾s of that figure are women (1,194,000). It’s 64 pages long, 64p and saddle-stitched. THE READER So what’s the average Best reader like? According to the natmags website she’s: 40 married with children; an experienced mother who loves being a wife an honest, respectable member of society juggles a busy work and home life Best focus groups reveal that when the average Best reader picks up the magazine she wants to be inspired: she’s expecting: – fashion advice – recipes – beauty tips – ideas to improve her h
ome She doesn’t want anything out of her range; no Prada, thank you very much – but she does want designer clothes at high street prices. It’s unlikely she lives in a mansion; Best know this and make their home improvement ideas realistic and achievable. WHAT DO I KNOW, EH? Hmmm, so far I’ve claimed that Best listens to the reader and promises to deliver what they need. But the cynics among you may be wondering: how does she know this? Well, I’ve actually sat in the Best office and asked each and every member of staff what they like and hate about the magazine and how they contribute towards it. In fact, I was a real pest, handing out questionnaires for them to grudgingly complete! THE RESULTS Seems the reader wants stories by real readers – this is considered an important part of Best – indeed all the staff of Best favour these sections the most! I had a very interesting work placement on this magazine. Every single person I interrogated, er, I mean questioned said their favourite aspect of the mag was the human interest stories; the personal touch – it’s truthful and emotive; women can relate to the real life issues. WHAT ELSE DOES THE READER REALLY REALLY WANT? Hey a bit of light relief to soothe all that emotion and empathy exuded from the true tales; she lusts after a mix of showbiz and news – what’s the latest goss.? Who’s who, who’s new and who’s doing who in celeb. land?! STRUCTURE OF BEST Best is aware that their average reader doesn’t have a lot of time to herself; just a few snatched minutes here and there. The magazine is designed to provide a fast fix; everything is quick and easy to read so the reader can dip in and out of it whenever she has the chance. Just to bombard you with some more impressive facts, the media pack states that the reader picks up the magazine 3.9
times on average and opens 87 per cent of the 64 pages. STYLE OF BEST Let me throw some words at you: it’s bright accessible practical newsy format committed to entertaining real women The design changed last year and now Best is selling more copies than its rival Bella; Best claims to be more stylish than the other weekly magazines which are aimed at the same target audience, Bella, Woman and Woman’s Own. WHY DID IT CHANGE? To move with the times; Bella also changed their layout in the same month which shows there was a definite need for improvement. These days there’s a higher demand for celebrity-based articles; people are obsessed with Posh Spice and soapstars – showbiz magazines like Heat and Now are suddenly appearing on the shelves and they are hugely successful. So the new-look Best contains more showbiz features. People are also a lot more health-conscious so Best has devoted more pages to health and nutrition, adding the calorie content to recipes. It has a more modern look; there’s lots more white space, the type spaces are thinner and less colour is used to shatter the stereotypes that weekly magazines are packed with colour and garish. Ultimately it’s designed to be more approachable, stylish and appealing. COVER Some people complain that the front cover puts them off buying it; every week there’s a mumsy looking model on the cover. It is rather bland. Even the staff admit this! Best’s assistant editor explains that if they started putting younger models on the cover there’s the risk that their 40 plus readers would stop buying the magazine. He says most of his readers are ‘mumsy’! Yes, 25 year olds buy the magazine but anything too radical would frighten away their older readers; th
e weekly market is so diverse Best get 80 year old readers too. The safest bet is to appeal to as many people as they can so they use models who could pass as the girl-next-door; pretty, fresh faced smiling 'innocents'. AN INTERESTING LITTLE TALE BEHIND THE TRIANGLE-SHAPED TITLE People also complain that the title should be bolder; the word Best only covers half the page. There is a reason for this:- it’s because of the way magazines are stacked on the newsagents shelves; because it is a weekly magazine it gets stacked so that only half the magazine can be seen; the other half is hidden behind Bella or Woman etc. Now for my story: it’s about the red triangle that forms the background to the title Best. It’s intended to mimic the daily national tabloids like The Sun and The Mirror. Monthlies can use any colour they like for their title and background but if you look at weekly magazines the majority (Chat, Take A Break etc) use white lettering on a red background; it is designed to make the magazine seem up-to-date; almost as current as a daily paper and a lot more contemporary than a monthly. I love that story! CONTENT What you’ll find in Best every week: there’s now a huge ‘Real Life’ section and every week you’ll find double page spreads on: - ‘2 Sides to My Story’ where two readers, usually a husband and wife present their opposing views to a dilemma (for eg in the issue I have here…) - a ‘Story of the Week’ – usually hard-hitting reportage (ie murder) - always the first story you turn to - an Open Letter – this is an anonymous confessional letter usually to a mother-in-law/daughter (eg..) - ‘Turning Point’ – how a traumatic event forces a reader to turn their life around - 2 pieces of reportage - ‘Best Investigates’ a controversial issu
e (adoption etc) - ‘Survivor’ – how a reader copes with a certain problem there’s a Showbiz section; every week there’s: - ‘This Week’s People’ which is a weekly round up of gossip, glamour, soaps and scandals - an update on the soaps - an interview with a soap star - an in depth feature on an up and coming storyline Health sector – this contains medical health updates, a column that focuses on a celebrity’s state of health, a doctor’s page full of questions and advice and a particular illness explained with a case study on a reader Then there’s 4 pages on fashion, 4 pages on cookery, 2 beauty pages, weekly puzzles, horoscopes, consumer news, letters page, problem page, tips, parenting, relationships, fiction, books and travel. ADVERTISING The adverts make up around 23 per cent of the mag and reflect the target audience; there are adverts for loans, phones, clothes, catalogues, PG Tips, age-defying cream, Slendertone, supermarkets and soup! 77 per cent is editorial so it is indeed good value for money. CONCLUSIONS To conclude, there really is a lot of variety in Best magazine; there’s a bit of everything which is why it has such wide appeal. People stay faithful to it, looking forward to their weekly ‘fast fix’. It’s safe but far from boring; the Hunky Husbands competitions provide a bit of sauce. Basically, the variety and attention to what the reader wants makes Best magazine the (groan) BEST weekly magazine to buy!
The other month Best magazine had a survey in it. It asked you the reader what it was that you wanted in the magazine. Like many I filled it out. Well it did have a cash amount to a couple of readers whose name was picked for filling it out! This week Best has a New Look. It took notice of what the readers said in the survey and put it into action. Best is not so popular as say Chat and Take a break but this is not because it is inferior but because it only has 3 sometimes 4 competitions in it compared to the other two magazines that has 14 or 15. The reading material though is as good as Chat or Take a break and in a lot of cases better. You never find a story in Best that you have read in another magazine as you do with a lot of womans weekly magazines. The New look face lift for Best is there is more on showbiz, parenting and beauty advice and a good new item that tells you all the best deals in the supermarkets that are going on at the moment. This will save a lot of footwear and walking! Best is 64p and comes out every Tuesday. The subjects and areas covered by this magazine is so that there is something for everyone. That includes all ages and especially all sizes. You will notice that they dont have fashion just for the perfect figure but for all shapes. If you havent bought a copy of Best yet it is well worth going to the newsagents and picking up a copy.
Best - Magazine read all about it. I won my new boobs on the Radio: Two women, two babies and one man. Best magazine is a weekly magazine aimed at women. It is a great magazine, which can be brought at most newsagents at the cracking price of 64p. I have been buying Best now for over 6 months maybe not every week but when I feel like reading a magazine a always pick up a copy of Best. The front page captures me every time, with its glossy cover, colourful print and excellent layout of the week’s features and real life stories. Best magazine is usually about 65 or so pages long, but about 15 of those pages are advertisements for products such as Woolworth's, Ariel colour, Renault Kangoo and many more. Best has a contents page at the front of their magazine so if you want to read about a particular subject, you can find it quick and easy. Best has a wide variety of interesting topics to read each week. Real life - These pages talk about real life stories some happy, some sad, some shocking and as always some unbelievable. Why I would have a cloned baby/ I won my new boobs on the radio. Showbiz - This section gives you information and an insight into famous peoples lives, anything from interviews with the stars to the latest soap gossip. Health - This section is my personal favourite, the pages give you interesting facts and information on health and health issues, it also gives you a news update such as - The hidden dangers in your fruit bowl and why brain strain is bad for you. The Problem page - is quite boring I think as I read Dr Vernon problem page in the Sunday people and you just can’t even get close to being as good, clever, witty writer as him. When I say boring I mean that the subject of the problem is a bit narrow minded such as I’ve got every thing I want - so why aren’t I happy or What’s wrong with being unfaithful. (you know the
sort of stuff even Peter could answer, ah ah) Fashion and Beauty - These pages are really good, the clothes fashion is nice, sexy, smart and casual. They keep up to date with the latest fashion fads and the new in colours to be wearing. They test out beauty products and hair products sometimes and generally keep you on your toes. Cookery and Home - This section isn’t to bad, it gives you some great recipes and tips in cooking, and it shows you some good home ideas and makeovers. I always enjoy the home-style section this tells you about tips, tricks and tremendous buys for your home anything from cheap microwaves at Comet to new products such as Comfort Vaporesse. Every week - This section includes Horoscopes, Books we couldn’t put down, you tell us. Puzzles - There are about 3 puzzles in Best every week, an arrow word with £50 prize for 5 winners, a Wordseach with a £50 prize for 5 winners and a crossword with a chance to win £1000. The most useful page in Best in my opinion it the 10 new tips to make your life easier page, these are tips and idea sent in by some of Bests readers and some of them are really good indeed. - When potting your seedlings and young plants, put a tea bag in the bottom to cut down on compost and aid drainage. (Not a bad tip) The layout, colour and design it excellent, it makes you want to read it. All in all for 64p it is a bargain, a good read with some hot gossip, great tips and real life stories. 10/10 mate.
My mother-in-law recently went away on a boating holiday and, as usual, bought herself a pile of magazines to read. When she came back, she donated them to a worthy cause - me! I don't usually buy or read many magazines at all. Any spare time I have is either spent on the computer, writing, doing housework or reading books. But, the magazines were free, so I thought I’d give them a go and let you know what I thought. There are oodles of women’s magazines out there. So for one to claim it is the ‘best’ is rather presumptuous of it. However, the front cover refines this to ‘Britain’s best weekly’. Well, I’m not sure exactly what the competition is like, but this is my opinion, based on the issues for May 15th and 22nd. The magazine costs 64p, but it looks cheap. The pages are thin, the models are thinner. It is a strange contrast between the perfect teeth and perfect skin of the beauty industry employees, and the sheer ordinariness of those in the real-life articles. The content seems rather image obsessed too; ‘20 easy rules of beautiful hair’, ‘6 amazing diets’, ‘surprising things that age you and how to beat them’ (My kids age me, but I wouldn’t suggest beating them!). I know I’m overweight, I don’t know how to lose it. I want a magazine to take my mind off all these problems, not exacerbate them. Each magazine contains real life stories, showbiz gossip and interviews, health issues, fashion and beauty, cookery and home, puzzles, horoscopes, letters page, a fictional story and ‘7 pages of essential advice from the experts’. I’m sorry, but I think I can live without tips for foreign travel, when we can’t afford it ,and being terrified of flying, I can also happily ignore an article on ‘Coping with the dangers of a long-haul flight’.
My mother-in-law recently went away on a boating holiday and, as usual, bought herself a pile of magazines to read. When she came back, she donated them to a worthy cause – me! I don’t usually buy or read many magazines at all. Any spare time I have is either spent on the computer, writing, doing housework or reading books. But, the magazines were free, so I thought I’d give them a go and let you know what I thought. There are oodles of women’s’ magazines out there. So for one to claim it is the ‘best’ is rather presumptuous of it. However, the front cover refines this to ‘Britain’s best weekly’. Well, I’m not sure exactly what the competition is like, but this is my opinion, based on the issues for May 15th and 22nd. The magazine costs 64p, but it looks cheap. The pages are thin, the models are thinner. It is a strange contrast between the perfect teeth and perfect skin of the beauty industry employees, and the sheer ordinariness of those in the real-life articles. The content seems rather image obsessed too – “20 easy rules of beautiful hair”… “6 amazing diets”… “surprising things that age you – and how to beat them”… (My kids age me, but I wouldn’t suggest beating them!) I know I’m overweight, I don’t know how to lose it. I want a magazine to take my mind off all these problems, not exacerbate them. Each magazine contains real life stories, showbiz gossip and interviews, health issues, fashion and beauty, cookery and home, puzzles, horoscopes, letters page, a fictional story and “7 pages of essential advice from the experts”. I’m sorry, but I think I can live without tips for foreign travel, when we can’t afford it ,and being terrified of flying, I can also happily ignore an article on ‘Coping with the dangers of a long-haul flight’.
So, let me browse through an issue with you…Are you sitting comfortably? No? Then, invest in a decent high-backed chair – but that’s another opinion… Page 4 has got a nice pic of the gorgeous Geri Halliwell on it, reminding me her album is out, so next time I get a spare £13 or so, that’s what I’ll buy. There was also a short interview with a woman who had recently done jury service. This was interesting, as it’s something I don’t know much about. Page 5 has a “fun chart” to see if your dog matches your personality. We have a rescue dog, which apparently means I am “a people person with love to spare” and I “need to be needed.” Aww. Group hug :-) Still, fairly frivolous and superficial so far. But just as you feel light and frothy, it’s time to turn over and find the first serious article, a double-page feature on a woman who helped her ill son to die. He had Huntingdon’s disease and she smothered him with a pillow on his 42nd birthday. He had wanted to die and took a heroin overdose, but his mother assisted him. She was charged with aiding and abetting a suicide, but received a conditional discharge. Anyone reading her story would be sympathetic, I am sure. Very moving and interesting, but without over-sensationalising it. Then I skip over several pages – adverts, five pages of swimsuits and bikinis that I haven't dared to wear for ten years or so, fashion accessories <yawn>… Just as I am about to fall asleep though, I notice a ‘reader question’ on how to disguise flabby tummies. Being a very reluctant owner of one exceedingly flabby tummy (four kids in 5 ½ years!), I read with interest – only to discover I should “invest in some tummy-control pants”. Sob. That’s the end of MY sex life then… Finally, I reach the health section, where I am smugly in
formed that “women who have used permanent hair dyes for at least 15 years were three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than those who didn’t”. Damn, and there I was thinking the way to a ‘New Me’ was through the blonde highlights I had done on Monday. Glance at the horoscopes – mine says “With money burning a hole in your pocket…” – that’s true, won’t bother reading the rest then. Perhaps I should spend my Dooyoo earnings on those tummy-control knickers?? Then there’s a mother/daughter article in the ‘2 sides to my story’ section – daughter’s 13 and wants to be a pop star (Don’t they all?), mother doesn’t think she’ll make it. Well, cynics amongst us might suggest she will now, since she’s had two pages of the magazine devoted to her ambition! Beauty pages – fake tans, olive oil, lip gloss – pretty pictures of pretty people. More reminders of how girlie these magazines are, and how little I give a toss about such things. Ah, this sounds interesting – “So what do men really think of their exes?” Just as well there isn’t a section on Dooyoo about this! However, the credibility of the article wanes somewhat when we find out the woman is a model and actress <sigh> and her exes are a business consultant, drama coach, artist and actor. So, just found them conveniently wandering outside the office, did we? Hmm… Letter pages – god, how I hate letter pages! The ‘for and against’ section is a bit different though. This issue puts across opposing views on “Is it asking too much for a man to show affection?” As a woman whose other half once brought her home a present of some Selotape, I think it’s best not to comment. I then trawl through colour photos of delicious desserts that I dare not eat, if I ever aspi
re to fit into those bikinis on page 10. The celeb bit is on page 36-37, where Craig Fairbrass (EastEnders, London’s Burning) and Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing and, erm, not much else) are interviewed. Not really interested in these two, except reading that Craig is 6’ 3” sends me a teensy bit wobbly. I like TALL men! Puzzles… “Does Ruth know your secrets?” – yes, psychic Ruth gets out her bones and crystals to tell a divorced woman she was unhappy in her marriage. Gosh, what talent! … short story… household tips… “My big sister’s 20 years older than me – but we both go to the same school” – yes, you’ve guessed it, one’s an assistant teacher, one’s a pupil. After all, that age gap’s nothing, there’s nearly 31 years between me and my sister! So, to sum up, before you all start yawning with boredom… I think Best is worth a read, if you’re sat in a waiting room, bored. I don’t think it’s worth 64p. There are a few interesting articles, which I enjoyed reading, but most of it was irrelevant to me and just made me feel inferior. A good magazine? Yes. The Best? No way.
Best by name and by nature. This is one of the better weekly women's magazines. There's a bit of everything in there so always something for everyone. Apert from the usual health, fitness, diets, homestyle, stories and articles there is an excellent readers' letters page which I always read (and have been fortunate enough to have 'appeared' on from time to time.) The cover always looks friendly with lots of content listed .... you cannot help but take it off the newsagent's shelf. You'll get your horoscopes too, a bit of fashion, down to earth features and for around 65 pence it's a bargain.
Out every Tuesday and costs 64p. For this you get a good read, from cookery to real life stories and consumerwise/moneywise to about recycling. This magazine seems to have a lot less advertisements than a lot of the other womans magazines but it only has four competitions and giveaways. A good item is Lindas easy cooking and although this isnt exactly Delia Smiths how to boil an egg it is along those lines and all the meals and menus are simple but look good and no way out ingrediences needed plus all the things most families would love to eat.
A womans magazine with a bit of everything in it for everyone and all tastes from Cookery to your stars for the week. It has three puzzles for prizes weekly but these puzzles do tend to be the same week after week. For people on the internet you can send in letters via email although they do reply to you by snail mail which rather defeats the object! but then they are getting there! The Real life stories are good and you dont find them in other magazines as you do with some magazines. It has stories you can relate to instead of more "way out" ones and readers can give their verdicts on the stories which makes for interesting reading.
A great mag ! Full of allsorts...lots of interesting snippets. Theres, Real Life Stories, High Street Fashion that affordable to everyone, Beauty Tips, Household Tips, Readers Letters, Horoscope, Problem pages...one is the usual relationship etc problems, the other is your problems answered by a Physic. It doesn`t matter what your interests are you will find plenty in this mag of interest. The stories are not to long, and theres loads of little bits of information on Health, Beauty, Travel etc. It has the usual Recipes...but not too many, a few Competitions, again not too many. There`s a Fictional Short Story. I find it`s a great mag to pick up when you have just a little bit of spare time. When I am in the Dentist or Doctors waiting room if I see a Best in the pile of mags, I`ll always pick it up. If you`ve never read this mag, then get it, I promise they`ll be plenty in it you`ll enjoy, and if you don`t like it...well it won`t break the bank, as it`s one of the cheapest mags around.