Publisher of the award-winning food and wine magazine, Selector, Paul previously managed some of the UK’s finest restaurants: Bibendum, Quaglino’s, Mezzo and the Avenue.
On his return to Australia, he studied journalism and continued working with and learning about wine. Paul combined his collective food, wine and writing passions and began working
in magazines. Now, as the publisher of Selector, Paul writes about food, wine and travel, as well as authors and publishes food and wine-related projects. Paul feeds his passion for wine by judging, presenting and educating about wine as often as possible. He Tweets at @PDPublish.
Your job title is Publisher. What do you do and how is it different from an editor role?
I am responsible for the overall running and performance of the mag. The editorial team and output, the content and partnerships team, events, distribution, promotion and all the associated responsibilities that go with all of that. The editor is responsible for the inflow and construction of the content to meet our deadlines. My editor, Jackie Macdonald, is also a great writer so she also goes out and represents the company at events, do travel stories etc. I was a sommelier, then a journalist before I became a publisher so it’s great that I still get to learn about wine, write about it and educate others.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It’s a pretty vibrant job there’s no such thing as a typical day. As we are national with relationships and teams all over the country there is a bit of travel. We have also developed a pretty robust events footprint so that activity dovetails into client meetings, content development activity and general business development. So lots of meetings, events and travel but when I’m back in the office it’s also pretty varied depending on where we are at in the publication cycle.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The variety and flexibility and freedom to build content that really brings people close to the subject. I’m lucky that I have a team of really talented people and I love watching them do things that they love and are proud of. But the most important thing though, is that I get to produce a beautiful magazine with great content that means something to many people. I always get to be proud of the work we do and to me, that’s pretty special.
Who do you consider the best food and wine writers in Australia at the moment?
That’s like asking a father to pick a favourite child. There are heaps at the moment doing great things.
For a press release to grab your attention, what should it contain?
The biggest thing for me with press releases is targeting. We get so many PR releases that are irrelevant to what we do and the audience we speak to. We also get heaps that are for something next week and we are working a month or so into the future.
The best PR is from companies that have taken the time to build the relationship with the medium and know what’s going to work and make it easy for the editor/ publisher to talk about / promote etc.