Explore: Media

Publishing Director

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Justine S

My name is Justine S, I’m the Publishing Director for Cosmopolitan magazine and I work for the National Magazine Company. The Publishing Director is responsible for overseeing and running the business of the magazine, so that includes, kind of, all areas of the magazine, from the circulation and distribution, the advertising, the brand positioning, and making sure that everyone is kind of consistently working towards the same end in terms of delivering both the product, and the quality, and the editorial, and everything that we agree this brand should be, and also all the commercial revenues that come into the magazine from newsstand and from advertising, promotions, sponsorship, any other areas. So really it’s like a business manager of the magazine.

00:00:54 I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, as it were. You know, people say, you know, ‘Did you always want to work in magazines,’ you know, ‘No, I didn’t really know’… I had no idea that this job existed. I had no idea that the job I began in magazines doing existed. I think probably if you’d asked me what I wanted to do when I was sixteen or seventeen I may have said something like, I don’t know, be a dancer, you know, things that I quite enjoyed doing at the time that I thought ‘yes, that might be quite fun to do as a career.’

00:01:30 I’d always enjoyed the more arts based subjects, so I did literature, I did history, I did art, and I ended up actually doing a degree that was based around American art and literature, and I spent a year studying in the States as part of my degree. So I ended up doing a four-year degree. And in the meantime, before I started my degree, I also took a year out and worked for a year. So at the time I’d completed my, kind of, education, I was a couple of years older than a lot of my peers.

00:02:00 When I graduated, I just went and saw various of those kind of recruitment agencies, and I’d actually managed to interview and secure an offer for a sales job on ‘What Truck’ magazine, which I was jolly pleased about, you know, and quite right too. And then a friend of a friend who in fact worked at an advertising agency at the time had said, you know, I was chatting away and he said ‘What Truck magazine? Well, let’s just see what else there might be around,’ he said. In fact, what happened was that I had then discovered that there was a display sales role going on Options magazine, and Options was a hugely successful launch in the eighties, so that’s where I started.

00:02:46 I did have work experience before I made that call and before I put myself forward for that role, and I’d worked in shops, I had worked in restaurants, I’d waitressed, I’d, you know, done work in the kit… I’d done various different roles, none of which were directly relevant to this job, but I think what that said, it said this person, you know, wants to work, this person is prepared to do any number of different things, this person has got, you know, sales ability in the broadest sense, you know. I hadn’t really strategically thought about that at the time, but I recognise now that was really helpful to me in securing that first job.

00:03:31 My first kind of proper job was in magazines, it was in magazine selling, and I have been in magazines for the whole of my career. Of my immediate peer group and my close friends who I still see now, I’m the only one that started in a particular area, in a particular career, in a particular medium, and is still in that and still loving it. All of the others have changed at various points and done something else, and I think that probably I’m unusual in that respect. From that point of view, I feel very lucky, actually, that I kind of landed – because it is really about that – I landed in magazines, and have loved magazines, and that’s where my career has always been.


Justine S is Publishing Director for Cosmopolitan magazine. “I had no idea that this job existed”. She loves working in magazines and started by selling them. She thinks that all her experiences from working – in shops or as a waitress – were valuable preparation for her business career.

More information about Marketing and sales directors

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

63%  male 
37%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Marketing and sales directors plan, organise and direct market research and formulate and implement an organisation’s marketing and sales policies.
Entry is generally via career progression from related occupations (e.g. Marketing Manager, Sales Manager). Entrants to the professional qualifications of the Chartered Institute of Marketing require GCSEs/S grades, A levels/H grades, a BTEC/SQA award, a degree or equivalent qualification and/or relevant experience.
  • Liaises with other senior staff to determine the range of goods or services to be sold;
  • Discusses employer’s or clients’ requirements, plans and monitors surveys and analyses of customers’ reactions to products;
  • Examines and analyses sales figures, advises on and monitors marketing campaigns and promotional activities;
  • Controls the recruitment and training of staff;
  • Produces and/or assesses reports and recommendations concerning marketing and sales strategies.
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