Behind the scenes at BBC Good Food with Lulu Grimes


In the hot seat:

  • Lulu Grimes
    Managing Editor at BBC Good Food

Lulu's Focus:

  • Responsible for and oversees all content. Covers family travel too
  • Lulu likes breakfast meetings, the best time to meet. Doesn’t like phone calls
  • Lulu covers family travel; everything has to be reviewed
    • She prefers to travel on her own due to the fact group trips are not a true representation of what a place is like
  • Her annoyances are: being pitched something that’s been covered in the previous issue, make sure you know what they write about

BBC Good Food

  • BBC Good Food don’t feature or publish anything unless it has been tasted. Samples needed.
    • 80 recipes are tested every month
    • They don’t tend to print recipes that haven’t been commissioned
  • BBC Good Food has a podcast
    • Hosted by Tom Kerridge and Rosie Birkett
  • If sending things (food and ingredients) to the office, ensure that all relevant paperwork accompanies it, need to know who it’s from and what is the point they’re being alerted to.
    • Clearly think about packaging, from a sustainability point of view and a practical point in terms of space
    • Clearly mark on the external packaging if it needs to be opened upon receipt and if it needs to be in the fridge
  • There is one content team – most print goes online
    • New products won’t go online unless there is a reason
  • There is a four-month lead time for print, themes for 2020 are being set already
    • Themes include: meal prepping, sustainability (especially packaging), meals for 1, family meals
    • January and June have a health focus. October, November and December are all big issues and very popular
  • In the magazine:
    • 3 months lead time
    • 4 travel features, a restaurant feature – will focus on a particular cuisine or country associated with this and is very much led by a recipe. Ski edition once a year
    • Weekly news compiled by Anna Lawson
      • column called ‘What We’re Eating’ – new food trends
    • Interview with a chef. Barney Desmazery puts this together and he wants to interview people with something different to say. Also gets Bartenders to give guides
    • Victoria Moore = all things wine related
  • The readers of BBC Good Food are averagely aged 45 although it is very much a generational mag
  • As it is the BBC they outsource opinion

Pitching Top Tips:

  • Pitching: short and succinct wins. Make a good case. A picture, why it’s good and who is it for. Imagine how the end user might want to use somethingoth parties need to be clear on what the coverage will be generated
    • Keep ‘if you want a sample’ at the top of the email
    • Most people come in and read emails straight away so best time to pitch, as by the middle of the day emails get lost
  • One of the first things Lulu looks at in a pitch is price as this is important for the end reader
    • Research has shown for Travel, people want all-inclusive so they know what they are spending before
    • If you are pitching hotels, always put the lowest price
  • Press Releases: short important info at the top as that is what’s looked at first
    • Make sure subject line is about what’s being written
  • Travel: interested in how expensive it is / prices / hotel room rates
  • Don’t be embarrassed to chase journalists – they get distracted at BBC Good food so ok to see if still interested

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